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An insight into a career change

Our thoughts are often the greatest indicator of what we want to achieve in life. If you're doing one thing and wishing you were doing another, it's time to consider what you truly want to accomplish.

Reioni Douglas's path to Holmesglen was found in a similar way. Creativity is at its brightest when given the freedom to imagine, and Reioni found she was drawn to upholstery. To support her goals, she made the decision to trade her role as a stewardess on super yachts for a career in the workshop.

"As a stewardess, I was missing the ability and space to pursue my creative passions. I have always enjoyed and found an outlet in making and creating, particularly in textile-related aesthetics around the home with an emphasis on recycling. It seemed like a no-brainer to pursue a creative career that combined these [aspects]," she said.

A goal requires commitment and Reioni's career change was also matched by a lifestyle change. She moved from New South Wales to study at Holmesglen. The option of initially undertaking a 'non-apprentice' study option gave her the flexibility and benefit of being introduced to the field before becoming a mature-aged apprentice. She has followed this training progression and currently works at Torquay's Surf Coast Upholstery.  

"Starting the course before getting an apprenticeship gave me the skills and knowledge to confidently begin my career. I found that the fundamental skills learnt in the first couple of months set me in line to be immediately useful to my employer."

Reioni points to the importance of "practical tuition" and the "real-life scenarios" of her training as helping her to develop these skills. The same ambition that led her back to study is also reflected in her future goals. Reioni hopes to establish a vintage upholstery restoration business. While long-term, she dreams of creating a brand that handcrafts vintage-inspired furniture, which uses recycled timber and materials.

For the moment, she is enthused by the journey and what can come with hard work.

"I enjoy seeing [my] skills flourish through continued practice and patience, and being able to accomplish the end result of a piece of furniture."