WHAT started as a hobby to keep herself busy while her partner worked on the farm has flourished into a thriving business, with Bold Aesthetic Handmade Co. creating statement earrings inspired by beautiful colours, the rural landscape, bold fashion and quirky home decor.
Emily Cousins had always been obsessed with fashion and accessories and in 2019, after moving to Corrigin to be with her partner Jake Turner, she was looking for a hobby, that wasn't Netflix, to fill her time.
In February last year, she discovered polymer clay and was instantly hooked, so after some practice and some questionable first pairs, Ms Cousins started to wear her creations and began gifting them to friends and family.
It wasn't long until people started asking to buy them, so drawing on her marketing degree background, she started an Instagram page and began selling her designs in August 2019.
"I've always loved accessories and I think it's because my mum didn't let me get my ears pierced when I was a kid and everyone else had their's done," Ms Cousins said.
"I was just wearing the clip-on ones and once I was allowed to get them pierced when I was about 12 I went wild and started wearing these huge, ornate earrings.
"Looking back at me as a kid, I always loved fashion and getting dressed up, so creating statement earrings was the perfect hobby for me."
When Ms Cousins moved from Perth to Corrigin, she knew no one and starting the business was an ideal way of keeping herself occupied.
However it's grown past that and is now at a point that when Jake comes home and wants to spend time with her, she's often busy creating new designs or making orders for people.
"Polymer clay earrings exploded and started to become a fashionable thing around 2018 and since then they've just become more and more popular," Ms Cousins said.
"I'm pretty much self taught so the internet and YouTube were super helpful when I started out, it's not hard but it takes time and experimentation to get the process right.
"It's an interesting product as it gets baked and when you do that, you can bake it for too long, or not long enough, if it's the wrong temperature it can crack or not hold its shape."
The designs that Ms Cousins has available for immediate purchase are up on her website, but for those with time to wait, she also offers a custom design service.
"For me it's about making sure people can wear earrings that they love and that suit them," she said.
"There's nothing worse than having the perfect outfit but not being able to find the earrings to match, so I work with people to design a custom pair that suits exactly what they're looking for."
In terms of a creative process, Ms Cousins isn't sure she really has one, but she draws inspiration from the landscape around her and the things she loves.
For example, there was a dress that she really wanted but was too expensive, so she incorporated the pattern into a pair of earrings.
She is also on Pintrest, looking at crazy homewares, house designs and bold fashion.
"I love going for walks and looking at the landscapes that we have, the Wheatbelt has the best sunsets in the world and there are so many beautiful wildflowers out here" she said.
"When you grow up in the country you don't notice the nature aspect of it, but coming back after a few years away, there's so much beauty - even the rocks have these gorgeous patterns on them.
"I definitely draw inspiration from the country because this is where I live, it's what I see every day and it gets under your skin."
Ms Cousins grew up in Brookton before heading to Perth for boarding school and university and when she left, she vowed she would never return to the country life.
She wasn't keen on moving out to Corrigin, thinking that the opportunities in the Wheatbelt would be non-existent and she would end up a bored farmer's wife.
"I've totally shifted my perspective now after just over a year living out here, it's been the most invincible experience," she said.
"I love Corrigin because it's such a great community, I don't know if all small towns are like this one, but there's a lot of young people and stuff happening all the time.
"From my own journey of moving out here and thinking there will be nothing to do, to realising country towns have so much to offer, I really want to showcase that to people."
Bold Aesthetic remains Ms Cousins' side-hustle, with the majority of her time taken up working as a community development officer with the Shire of Narrogin, but keeping the business as a hobby also keeps it fun.
While it may not be her full-time gig, that hasn't stopped the business from growing, with online sales having now been made in every State and Territory in Australia, as well as in New Zealand.
Ms Cousins said the expansion had been very organic, she put it down to being in the right place at the right time and saying yes to opportunities that have come up.
"I get a lot of direct messages on Instagram from people all over the Wheatbelt wanting me to go to markets and I try to say yes to as many as I can, or if someone wants to collaborate and include my earrings in a giveaway, I'm more than happy to do that," she said.
"I also think that COVID was a good thing for small businesses because consumers really pivoted, they wanted to support locals and that was great for me."
Ms Cousins has friends in Corrigin that will wear her earrings and let her take photos of them for Instagram, as well as help her out at markets.
She has found that the business community around the Wheatbelt, particularly in the creative space, are incredibly supportive which is something likely not felt in the city because that community feel isn't there.
"There are so many women in this craft business space, they're all so welcoming and ready to support you or help out straight away," Ms Cousins said.
"A lot of the women in the Wheatbelt that are selling their goods at markets are also selling online, so they don't have to be restricted to the 40 ladies in their town.
"That's where the majority of my sales come from, Instagram and the website, I can connect with people all over Australia and all over the world, so I'm not limited to the Wheatbelt."