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29 Feb




I am so excited to welcome the lovely, talented, intelligent, #mumgoals, Shay Paine to the blog! Shay (the better half to ‘Shay & Dean’! #girlpower), is an interior creative, co-founder of The Wild Creatives, blogger, teacher, personal shopper/stylist, design consultant, mummy, business woman/mumpreneur… AND, they won The Block 2015! Yep, I am tired just typing some of her many credentials. As a big fan of her work and their collective style on The Block 2015, I wanted to hear all about what it was really like filming a reality show (sleep deprived and with your husband!), being a mummy and hearing about her new journey and adventures. A BIG thank-you to Shay for spending some time with SISJ and continuing to inspire me.

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QUESTION ONE – Before we talk shop, tell us a little bit about yourself: 

Born and raised in Newcastle, NSW,  I was a little tomboy in dresses. I have always loved being creative and a lot of this stems from making cubby houses and building mud pies while growing up. I was a distracted student (I tell myself all the creative ones are) and didn’t quite find my feet at school. I did, however, find my husband. That’s right we are high school sweethearts and have been together for nearly 15 years. I did eventually find my passion for education and a love for feeding the soul with knowledge, now, if I could, I would go to university everyday. I completed my Degree in Education, specialising in English and Drama, and to prove  I wasn’t the ‘naughty’ kid at school  (remember I was the creative one) I completed my honours degree, graduating with first class honours and was awarded the university medal (ok now I just sound like I’m bragging lol). I was super blessed to find a full-time teaching position straight out of university at a great independent school and Dean was just super happy I was finally paying some bills.

Hidden amongst all of this we started our family. Our sparky little girl arrived two weeks before I had to return to the final year of my degree. She was a trooper and came along with me. We often joked that her first word would be epistemology or something along those lines. So here we are, a family of three off on adventures together.

QUESTION TWO – You and Dean both seem to be harmonious in your creative visions when it comes to colour, design and styling. Has it always worked this well between you, or was there some ‘convincing’ on your behalf?! 

Dean and I make a good team because we trust the role that each of us plays. I have a creative soul and so often my vision is not so practical. Dean is great with spacial and structural elements and so I trust him with these decisions, as does he trust me when it comes to style and colour. On The Block the only time we disagreed was in regards to our master bedroom layout. If you saw this episode, you will know it took some convincing. It was like we swapped minds, Dean was being creative and I was being practical. At the end of the day we were creating an apartment that needed to appeal to a broad market and so we went with what was practical. It would be a very different story if we did it again, we would take risks and show the boldness we have in us.


QUESTION THREE – What was it REALLY like being filmed and followed around every single day in such an unnatural and high-stress environment? 

The Block is this uber surreal bubble that is unlike anything you can truly explain. I remember just really wanting to feel comfortable with the cameras and at times that happened, but you never forget they are there. Imagine someone caring where you are every second of the day, how long you are going for, why you are going, and how you feel about that. In fact that sounds like what every girl wants from a partner (insert cheeky laugh). To be fair, once it was all over I missed it. You build a strong relationships with these elusive people who follow us around. They become a part of your life. I won’t sugar coat it all, there were times when I really didn’t want my tears and cranky faces broadcast to the nation, but at then end of the day, that’s what we signed up for, sort of.

QUESTION FOUR – From personal experience working with my husband and now renovating a home, wow, we’ve had some serious exchanges of words (to put it politely!). What are some of your ‘marriage-saving’ advice for other couples?

Giving marriage advice is such a strange thing but as I have gotten older (and I like to think wiser but who are we kidding), I have come to realise how little we share about our relationships. Relationships are stories and in every story there are complications, climaxes (some pun intended), and resolutions. We often only share our highlights because we think we are the only ones with complications. I don’t have any magic words of advice on how not to argue but I do feel it’s important that other women know that they’re not alone. I would also say that it’s healthy to disagree because we learn life lessons in our challenging moments. We learn how to compromise, we learn more about our partners and what they are passionate about (I am very passionate hehe). Find comfort in learning from your loud discussions and find peace in the beauty of discovering more about the person you love.

QUESTION FIVE – Tell us about your new venture, The Wild Creatives: Where to start? 

TWC was born out of our brainstorming of ‘what’s next’ after The Block. I have always wanted to run my own business and it’s no secret I love to express my creativity and so starting our business at this time was both the most difficult and the most perfect time in one. We wanted to create a brand that allowed us to move between creative ventures without having to rebrand. TWC, while it looks like a design company, it is actually a creative hub for all of our future projects. We want to share with everyone the joy of having fun and playing with creativity as an adult. We are placing a focus on interior design at the moment but don’t be fooled, we have grand plans to run creative workshop days and even build a farm that we would open to the public (they seem like very different ventures but in fact they are all just expressions of creativity).

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QUESTION SIX – What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career? 

Disclaimer: the following is full of metaphorical dribble but, if you can decipher it, there are some good points. 

We make our own choices. We choose to work full time, we choose to have a mortgage, we choose to stay in a job that we don’t like. If you want to try something new, choose to. This might mean that you need to sell your house or that you need to work part time in a job you don’t like while you retrain, but choosing to do something different means you are on the journey to doing what you love. And on a side note, enjoy the journey, cherish it, love it, because if you don’t enjoy the journey you might be disappointed when you arrive at the destination.

QUESTION SEVEN – What has been your proudest moment to-date – professionally and personally? 

These two go hand in hand for me. One of my proudest moments was finishing my research paper at University and dedicating this to my daughter. I want her to one day know that her mumma went out into the world, worked hard, tried new things, and lived. I hope there is a prouder day to come when my daughter looks me in the eyes and tells me I inspired her, even in only a small way, to live big.

FOLLOW SHAY & DEAN’S JOURNEY: @shayanddean / www.thewildcreatives.com.au