Ashleigh Adamson and Danica Erard built their respective businesses from the ground up. After turning to each other for support during the coronavirus, the pair are working together and plan to collaborate on future projects. Picture: Ashley Pillhofer
Ashleigh Adamson and Danica Erard built their respective businesses from the ground up. After turning to each other for support during the coronavirus, the pair are working together and plan to collaborate on future projects. Picture: Ashley Pillhofer

Pair overcome COVID ‘despair’ with partnership

WHETHER they're facing a global pandemic, a recession or just regular business woes, two Mackay women know they've got each other's backs.

Designer Ashleigh Adamson and milliner Danica Erard work full-time as sole traders as well as full-time as mums, both running a successful businesses from home while their partners work away.

Miss Adamson is the face behind Eclectic Creative Designs and sells hand-poured resin homewares and art, while Ms Erard has had her creations worn by Aussie celebs and A-list stars.

Ms Erard said the pair clicked instantly with the friendship soon blossoming into a working relationship.

"There is something unique about meeting someone that does not want to take something from you but wants to bring something and add it in so it becomes better," she said.

"There was an immediate connection where I thought 'oh you work really hard and are a young mum, I know what that feels like'.

The pair have collaborated on a series of racing headwear featuring resin. Picture: Ashley Pillhofer
The pair have collaborated on a series of racing headwear featuring resin. Picture: Ashley Pillhofer

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Ms Erard's sales dropped by 90 per cent "almost overnight".

"It gave me time to reflect on what I am doing and I always look at the future being bright because if you don't think of it that way how do you keep the spark alive - it is like a good marriage but it is a marriage between you and the business," she said.

Miss Adamson's business was not immune to the impacts of the virus, but managed to sustain good sales throughout the lockdown driven by gift purchases and Mother's Day.

Designer Ashleigh Adamson creates stunning resin homewares and art. Picture: Ashley Pillhofer
Designer Ashleigh Adamson creates stunning resin homewares and art. Picture: Ashley Pillhofer

Leaning on each other, the pair pulled themselves out of "COVID despair" and have found renewed creativity and passion.

"We have that relationship and trust in each other," Miss Adamson said.

"If we've had bad days we go for a walk to clear our heads and come back and brainstorm.

"It happens naturally for us, we talk about anything and everything and then will be like 'oh my gosh we need to do this'."

Ms Erard said having Miss Adamson's support helped her overcome negative emotions about the virus's impact on her business.

"It is a very good way to feel in business, it is a little pick-me-up when you don't know if you can get the next day and do stuff creatively because you are flat," she said.

"I wouldn't have got through it without the backup."

The pair have collaborated to create resin jewellery and resin headwear but hinted at an exciting collaboration coming up in the future.