I’m often asked what my favourite genre to read is, and while I adore classics, for me, memoirs are hard to beat. I love being afforded an intimate and insightful look into the life of other’s, and find the nitty gritty of what makes us human fascinating to read about.
Unlike most people who reside in Bondi, I’d not heard of Samantha Wills prior to reading Of Gold and Dust, which meant that I had almost no knowledge of what would unfold in her memoir. A story that starts with Samantha’s upbringing in the small coastal town of Port Macquarie, and follows her as she moves to Bondi with a friend to pursue her dream of becoming a jeweller designer, I loved reading about the long days, the late nights and the steps Samantha took to navigate the unchartered waters of carving out a career for herself that had only ever previously seemed like a pipe dream.
And while the business element of the book was both fascinating and inspiring, what I found the most interesting was the personal anecdotes weaved throughout the story. The break ups and the boyfriends and the best friends that were instrumental in her path to success; the debt and the bad business decisions; the psychic reading and the finding of her feet as she navigates making New York her new home.
I was lucky enough to interview Samantha for a recent Bondi Literary Salon, and she spoke openly about the importance of showing the behind the scenes of the highlight reels that we’ve all become so accustomed to seeing played out on social media. Because while Of Gold and Dust is a story of Samantha’s journey to stardom and success, more than anything, it’s a reminder that our very beings are made up of highs and of lows, and of tragedies and triumphs – all of which fuse together to create lives that are filled with love, with loss and ultimately, with adventure.
I loved this article on why Samantha Wills has no regrets about walking away from her $10million jewellery business.
Of Gold and Dust Summary
I tried so hard to find balance between my creative career and my personal life, but the more I tried to separate them, the more balance eluded me. It was only when I began to fuse the two that I realised there is no such thing as having a creative career and a personal life – there is only a creative life. That realisation, and the freedom it gave me, remains one of the most significant of my life.
Samantha Wills started her self-titled jewellery company on the kitchen table of her share house in the eastern suburbs of Sydney when she was just 21 years old. While her rise to the global stage looked meteoric to many, Samantha has said ‘It took me twelve years to become an overnight success.’
Following Samantha’s journey, from being named a breakout star by The New York Times to barely being able to breathe on a hotel room floor, Of Gold and Dust is so much more than a business memoir. In her unique, confessional tone, Samantha tells the intimate details of her life and business, sharing her truths with a rare rawness and vulnerability.
Funny, down-to-earth, revealing and heartfelt, Of Gold and Dust is a must-read for anyone who has a desire to start their own business, or a passion to live a creative life and follow their dreams. Her story is an inspiring blueprint for getting out there and finding the magic that awaits you.
Samantha Wills Author Bio
Samantha Wills has been in the spotlight as one of Australia’s most dynamic speakers and creative personalities since launching her self-titled jewellery brand at Australian Fashion Week in 2004, at just 21 years of age. Samantha has spent the last decade in New York City. Having just returned home to Australia, she now resides in NSW as a creative director and keynote speaker.
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