Upon entering the house of Simone Bennett-Smith, there are 3 things that you first notice:
1. Her 5 dogs, who lovingly jump and slobber all over you
2. Her incredible bookshelf full of ancient books, statuettes, and everything in between
3. Her incredible laugh! Despite her busy life, Simone makes you laugh at every chance she can get
Simone has worked as a dancer, actress, entertainer, TV presenter, stylist, and everything in between. As a mother, a woman in work, and a business owner, Simone balances her life living in between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay, QLD, Australia. Having a chat and a tea with Simone was like sitting down with an old friend. She is light-hearted, very empathetic, and she loves her job.
After recently opening up her new small business creative hubs, The Kollective, she has been spending a lot of time with Byron and Gold Coast locals. As Homebodii is a Gold Coast-based brand itself, we love to hear about small local businesses being supported by people such as Simone.
Here we have a little insight into Simone's life, as well as some photos of Simone in her Gold Coast home.
1. How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
Determined, creative, mindful, sensitive, passionate (and a little bit naughty!)
2. What is the long version of how you got to where you are today?
I dreamt of being on the stage since I was a very little girl and started dance lessons around the age of four at a local dance school on the Mornington Peninsula. By the age of 12 I was asked to study part time at The National School of Ballet in Melbourne and later offered a full time position as a student. I finished my high school through correspondence and trained as a classical ballerina up until the age of 17. Unfortunately at the time my height (5’9”) limited my options as a classical dancer here in Australia so I began auditioning for musicals and working as a freelance dancer in Melbourne. I got my first big break in the lead role of Judy Turner in Kevin Jacobsen’s national tour of A Chorus Line. Around the age of 21 I went overseas and based myself in London where I lived for almost six years working as a dancer and actress in Europe and America. My career highlights whilst living in London were working with amazing artists and brands such as Simply Red, Cher, Robbie Williams, Bryan Adams, Vivienne Westwood, Dolce Gabbana, Harley Davidson and the list goes on…
After many years living a very racy and dynamic lifestyle overseas, I settled back in Australia to focus on my acting career which included television presenting and corporate MC engagements, which I still do to this day. I have been very fortunate to work with so many wonderful people and contribute to endless productions along the way in the film and television industry, coordinating and styling fashion events including interior decorating for personal clients and companies.
3. Do you have a key memory where you first discovered your personal style sense?
In short, no.
I am constantly influenced and inspired by current designers, individual style icons, retro trends and vintage finds. I can glimpse someone on the street or at an airport and love an element of their ensemble that ignites a ‘look’ in my mind.
If anything, I greatly admire individuals who know their own style and elegantly commit to it…I can be a little like the Melbourne weather in my dress decisions at any given moment: four seasons (or looks) in one day! I will also add that I believe some of us, which includes myself, need to grow in to our own personal style by understanding what showcases our best assets and downplays our less flattering aspects.
4. Do you think that this personalised style shows aspects of your life other than design?
I think that is why I am so passionate about interior styling as I see it as an extension of ones personal style. In fact, I think you can get to the very core of someones style and inner life when you start ‘dressing’ their inner sanctum. A home can reveal the very soul of a person by safely nurturing the way they wish to be seen or understood when they walk out of their front door… And yes, my personal interior style very much reflects my fashion style being that it is eclectic, fun, welcoming and embracing. No monochrome here my friends!
5. What is your morning routine like?
A bloody struggle!
I really think that there should be a law which states that the day does not officially commence until after 10.30am or the first coffee. Seriously. I always wake up famished so after throwing back the covers, kissing all five dogs and asking them how they slept, washing my face (serum and sunscreen included), I shuffle to the kitchen for a cup of tea and toast with something savoury on it…Then begins the ‘what to wear’ struggle. Please refer to above… hehe
6. And your bedtime one?
A deep bath, good cleanse of face, serum, face cream, eye cream, slathering of organic no nasties body cream every where, kiss goodnight to the dogs and ask them how their day was, half a sleeping tablet (Im a shocking sleeper!) and a ripper chick lit novel…. oh, and I’ll have tucked in my daughter and said goodnight to the hubby too ;-D
7. What is your favourite source of inspiration ?
Nature / Op Shops / Movies
8. Which book are you currently reading?
I go through about two books a week as I read to fall asleep. I am just finishing ‘Big Little Lies’ by Liane Moriarty. Clever lady that one.
9. Who would you love to decorate for?
Someone that is just ridiculously fabulous like Boy George… I just love styling for kindred spirits that are genuinely ready to change and embrace something new. There's nothing worse than being capped creatively by a client or simply reviving the status quo. No one evolves in that sort of environment.
10.What item can’t you live without?
My mum, husband, daughter and dogs - all in equal place first place.
11. Which Homebodii garment best suits your personality?
Definitely a Lush Plush robe with sassy Marie Romper underneath xx
What's your favourite thing about being at home? Comment below and let us know!
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