Creative Directors / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Justin Linney, Creative Director at Linneys Jewellery

Justin Linney is the Creative Director at Linneys Jewellery, an Australian family owned manufacturing jeweller established in 1972.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role? 

Background – I always had passion for art, design and being creative and. I had various jobs whilst at school and then worked with disadvantaged kids whilst studying Jewellery Design at University. We took the kids to an amusement park one day. The owner of the company offered me a job on the spot as a supervisor after seeing my work with all the kids. I didn’t realise at the time but this was an incredible insight for me into people management and small business operations. Meanwhile, I joined the Army Reserve to get outside my comfort zone, then finished my Uni degree and was offered a role at Linneys to develop the design side of the business. 

Current role – Over the last 15 years at Linneys my role has grown and evolved with experience and industry training, taking over from the Father’s role as Creative Director. This entails managing the studio workshop, sales teams at three showrooms and design team. I work closely on the marketing, events, PR and website as well as working with my clients and designing when possible. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday? 

Early start around 5am with gym/ride/run/swim/surf or ocean paddle if possible before work, alternating mornings at home with my daughter Elle and wife Cat, before heading into our Subiaco headquarters. 

I’m at work by around 8.30am and the jewellers are normally underway by this time creating custom made pieces for customers or new designs for our collection. With a toddler at home I’ve developed a recent coffee addiction so a visit to my local coffee store in Rokeby Road Subiaco is sometimes required! 

Linneys has three showrooms across Perth, so there’s often a visit needed to check-in, meet with staff and clients and move stock around. We have a great team at each store and they keep us on our toes with lots of weird and wonderful requests from clients wanting different designs and gemstones. 

I’ll often attempt to plan my day with time split between meetings, client appointments, marketing/events/PR and designs however day to day business always takes priority. I do enjoy the fast paced, unpredictable nature of having both a manufacturing business and a retail business. 

We have a vault with precious gemstones and diamonds that we have procured for our collection over time. All of these stones require designs to be created and then submitted to the workshop for handcrafting. I oversee this production which is a huge advantage to have the jewellers on site, rather than sending the designs overseas for production and things being lost in communication. 

3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal? 

Take it day by day and you have to make time. Waking up in the morning is hard, but it’s the only way. 

I believe everyone should place the same amount of importance on their health and fitness as they do into being successful at work. It’s easier said than done, but I try to fit in fitness and hobbies where possible on top of being on call 24hrs a day for a business operating 7 days a week.

This needs to also balance with making myself available to spend one on one time with my daughter, enabling my wife to enjoy activities she likes doing like running and catching up with friends.  

4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life? 

After we had our daughter Elle, I’m good at getting ready for work one handed.

I only go to the gym once a week now, and for a shorter time, rather use time available to train for adventure races.

I’ve stopped seeing friends as much, casual catch ups and dinners out are a thing of the past, birthdays and occasions are the main time for catching up with everyone at once. That will change as our family circumstances change though. 

5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I mainly read autobiographies – I find it more interesting reading about real events and you can always learn something. Podcasts are something I haven’t gotten into, apart from when I’m driving to North West WA for a surf trip I listen to ‘Ain’t That Swell’ for a laugh to pass time on the 13 hour drive.  

6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

A business person who works full time, has a kid and still stays fit. It’s hard seeing celebrities interviewed and trying to work out what is realistically achievable for an everyday person that has 30-45 minutes to train every 2-3 days and no time to make nutritious meals. Working Mum’s seem to make a work-life balance happen despite wearing many hats, my wife inspires me every day the way she juggles everything. 

7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

You will never make everyone happy, including yourself. Pick your battles and do whatever is a priority at the time. For someone like me, trying to be flexible and not sticking to a routine after having a child has been the hardest adjustment.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.