Country Style Feature
Featuring our Creative Director & Designer Amy Jones
Words by Hannah James
Images by Francesca Laude
Amy Jones left her fast-paced world in Melbourne for the Mornington Peninsula in 2015.
"I moved from Melbourne out to the Mornington Peninsula six years ago. I'd returned from living in London and was single and in my early 30s. I threw myself back into living in share houses in St Kilda and Richmond, attempting to fit back into Melbourne life. But I soon realised this didn't fit me anymore, or I didn't fit it."
"I knew I wanted to be in the Mornington Peninsula longer term, but I was intimidated by it as a single person. In my eyes, a life on the Peninsula was where married people lived with dogs and kids... neither of which I had. It had no nightlife or urban action, or the things singles are meant to be doing. I was probably scared of being isolated and lonely."
“But I got up the courage and did it anyway. I figured I was better to be somewhere alone (and out of my comfort zone) where I wanted to be, than in a place that didn’t resonate for me. I leased a house in Mornington for two years to test the area before purchasing my own house in Dromana. And I never felt lonely once."
I was freelancing and had just incubated the concept of our now full-time business, Mia Fratino, a luxury knitwear brand, with my business partner Tim Fitzpatrick.
We established the business remotely between our Melbourne and Sydney offices (mine was a desk in my house with a view of the bay). It was challenging, building a new brand from home with no one to bounce ideas off. But this environment and space (and daily beach walks with Ruby, my rescue dog) let me clear my head and be focused. I thought the distance to Melbourne would be a hindrance, but I was surprised how little I needed to go in. When I did, I loved coming home to the peace of the Peninsula. Accessing professional contacts was a challenge, but others have also made the shift and now the area is a thriving hub of creatives.
I’d advise other tree-changers to get connected. Join a gym. Join a swim or running group. Find your people. If you’re working from home, there are fabulous co-working spaces in most regional ares.
“My life filled up with everything good from the second I made the shift. I grew up on the Peninsula, and coming back, I have come full circle. It felt right to be back."