‘The streets of Sydney are paved with gold’ was a saying in Broken Hill and Lisa Vugich, as she was then, headed there at the age of 17 with two suitcases and $200 and a dream of becoming a journalist.
“I worked in a fashion store then made clothes to sell at Paddington Markets with one of my co-workers,” said Lisa.
“This eventually led to work in the fashion department at Studio Magazines, assisting with fashion shoots.
“Eventually I started writing fashion and beauty stories and was soon freelancing for several publications.
After gaining plenty of writing experience, Lisa headed to London and became a sub-editor at Haymarket Publishing, where she was given on-the-job training.
“The magazines were industry and trade focused and, despite the lack of glamour, I learned a great deal about the actual craft of writing and meeting daily deadlines,” said Lisa.
“I was also reporting back to Studio Magazines from the London fashion shows, which was so much fun and gave me the chance to further develop my writing skills.”
After a few years. Lisa returned to Sydney.
“My interests shifted away from fashion and I worked for several food and lifestyle magazines,” said Lisa.
“I was particularly interested in sustainable living and moved up to the Blue Mountains with my two sons.
This move resulted in Lisa co-creating the Leura Harvest Festival, a food and sustainability event held in the Blue Mountains for six years, until Covid hit.
Lisa also become the publisher of Blue Mountains Love, a wedding magazine showcasing small businesses throughout the mountains.
“We eventually sold the magazine and I started working with Melanie in 2019, after a terrible family tragedy,” said Lisa.
“In an attempt to deal with our grief, Melanie and I were spending all our spare time together and were looking for a way to combine our skills and build a business together.”
“Mel is such a talented artist and just needed the time to paint, so I took on the business side of things, managing all sales, gallery and media enquiries.”
Lisa believes that the sisters are perfect partners as they are both creative and always have each other’s best interests at heart.
“I’m also ultra-protective of Mel’s work and reputation within the art world so we make decisions together and operate in the way any small business does,” she said.
Growing up in Broken Hill gave Lisa an incredibly strong sense of community and belonging, which has always influenced the way she interacts with people.
Broken Hill’s women have had a profound influence on her.
“The women in our family have endured a great deal of loss but continue to be good, kind people, which is extremely inspiring,” said Lisa.
“Also, there is a specific sense of humour and stoicism among locals that I love and having female friendships that stretch back 50 years is something I treasure.”