East Coast Faces
interior designer : mum of three : stylist : winter racing carnival fashions judge
Kya Faust is thankful her dream of becoming a podiatrist didn’t work out, the young mum of three ultimately pursued her creative talents and not only designs interiors for both new and established home owners in Townsville, but has now added fashion styling to her skill set.
Football fans might know Kya from some time ago when she faced one of life’s biggest challenges; she has since rediscovered herself and found love in her life and her career - here is her story…
On interior design :
‘I’ve been in my own business for 12 years now doing interior design, primarily residential. I’ve recently stepped into the commercial industry due to the downfall in the ‘res’ market, which has been nice because I’ve worked on some really nice projects. I work primarily with a builder, they get me to come in and start the concept from the floor plans up, right through to the styling.
It’s been quite full on, we’re just about to launch a new display home out at Elliot Springs which will be a little bit different here in Townsville, I’m calling it ‘Modern Bush.’ We’re using polished concrete, and beautiful ‘blush’ concrete bench tops with some really nice raw oak. I’m using a lot of natural leather, really nice filtered lighting, a really nice neutral palette with lots of texture.
It’s pretty exciting, people say it’s a dream job but it’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes. In Townsville you can’t be repetitive, you really have to try to be abreast of trends and what people are doing down south, but also putting your own kind of unique spin on it, so it can be quite stressful.’
On fashion styling :
I s’pose it really goes back to when I was a little girl, I was an only child, so pretty much was quite spoiled by my mum. She was always getting me fashion pieces and whatnot, and you’d find me on a Saturday in my room playing shops by myself. I’ve always loved fashion, and I think the older I’ve got, the more confident I’ve become in pushing the boundaries, I guess a little bit more than the stock standard looks.
I lovethe racing season here in the North; every year, probably a few months out from it I start with my dress or my suit, and then I kind of develop the story from there, yeah I look forward to this time of year!
Any advice for last-minute Fashions on the Field entrants?
Start with the outfit itself, whether it’s a dress or a suit - then develop the story around that. If it’s a bold print dress you’d probably team it back with some quite simple shoes and such but maybe with something quite bold to interact with the print, on your head.
I think fashion has never been more exciting, so for me, it would be about wearing something that relates to you and what you feel comfortable in.
I believe that it’s not necessarily the more classic style any more, if you look down south at Melbourne or Sydney, people are kind of edging those outfits out, it’s not that kind of classic racewear look any more.
You can be a little bit more adventurous with it, and you want to be able to wear it again as well!
I’m born and bred right here in Townsville, I’ve been a North Queensland girl all my life. I moved away when I finished high school, believe it or not I was going to be a podiatrist, and I moved away to follow love (I was right into sport back in the day, and yeah, apparently I was going to be a podiatrist, it just sounded ‘smart’ I guess, I don’t know!?)
I moved with my partner, Sam, he had a contract at the time with St George Dragons, so we were both fresh out of school and we moved to Cronulla, and he was playing for the Dragons there for a few years.
Coming straight out of school obviously I needed to get a job, so I fell into insurance and I worked for a company that insured large companies, for example Collette Dinnigan was one of the accounts that I held.
It was quite exciting, so I would do that by day and study interior design by night – ‘corporate’ was never my thing, that’s for sure!
I’ve always been quite a creative, I don’t know if it’s the Gemini coming out of me but as I said, it goes right back to when I was a young girl on Saturdays whether it was moving my room around and styling it or playing shops with the clothes in my cupboard, selling them to the make-believe people; I should have known right back then that that’s really where I was going to land.
I finished my interior design course down in Sydney, and then at that stage Sam had got a contract back in Townsville to play with the North Queensland Cowboys, so we relocated back up to the North however I couldn’t find a job anywhere who would take any designers on, so I fell into the construction industry initially, doing contract admin work.
The builder at the time that I was working for got so busy they split the role, then I landed the interior design job from there. I was only 20 at the time so pretty young; it kind of evolved from there.
I had my first child at 21 and Sam was in the peak of his footy career, he got Rookie of the Year that year that he played his first NRL game, so that was really exciting, then the few years that followed he retired and we went on to have our second child.
Around 2009 he was diagnosed with leukaemia, an aggressive form, and then from that point our lives spiralled a bit out of control, we pretty much lived in hospitals and floated around.
I pretty much was working seven days a week to be honest, and with the support of my mum and dad and family and friends I just floated around, Sam would commute from Townsville to Brisbane quite frequently in the hope of trying to get into remission.
We were in Brisbane at the time and trying to make plans to get over to America, I was pregnant at the time and we had planned to collect the cord blood for him to get a transplant because he couldn’t get a match, worldwide – but he ended up getting pneumonia and passed away in 2011, he’s been gone seven years on the 22nd of May this year.
It feels like a lifetime, so much has happened since then. Me personally, I feel like I’ve changed as a person, I’ve become more independent because you know, when you’re in the footy-kind of realm, you’re known as a ‘footy wife,’ and I probably lived in his shadow a little bit - just because footy culture here in North Queensland is, y’know, everything – so having my own identity I guess was difficult, but when he passed away I didn’t really have a choice.
I had to kind of wake up every day with three young girls and kind of try to get on with the job, I guess, and that’s what I’ve done. I guess just realising I didn’t have a choice and had to move on and being a single mum and to pay the bills and get forward in life I had to follow my dreams…
Vanilla Design happened 12 years ago, but to be really honest I was really trying to juggle motherhood and being a wife and all those kind of things, I never really pushed it into the forefront and made it a priority like I have in the last seven years. It’s still evolving and there’s still so much I want to do with it, it’s full-time, but on the side of that, I’ve just stepped into this styling role.
I might be out having drinks with a girlfriend and someone might come up and ask where I got my dress from, or earrings, or whatever it might be, and I kind of realised that you could make a business out of that. Like in my interior design business I spend hours scouring the internet or sourcing pieces for that ultimate look or finishing a style so I guess I just realised that there’s a market for that here in the North. People like the idea of someone making them feel beautiful or different as opposed to the norm.
Fashion Style :
I would say I’m like a Modern Boheme – I really like that kind of floral print or effortless dressing, but then in the second breath, I love a suit! I’m an eclectic dresser, but I do love that boheme vibe and I do always try to channel that.
I love basic dressing edged up with those killer accessories and I love suiting, they’re my favourite looks at the moment. I love a Michael Lo Sordo suit, it’s lovely and baggy but looks really tailored and chic, I actually wore it to Fashion Week in Melbourne this year and got so many compliments on it, it was a really beautiful grey kind of suit, really light, it was like I was wearing a robe to be honest, I love that kind of sacky dressing, like I said, I’m really eclectic – you’ll never find me in anything too tight, I love comfort!
I obviously love design and fashion so I spend a lot of time scouring the internet, I want to get into more travel, I’d love to be over in Italy, or France, Southern France for that matter, Greece – those kinds of places, and probably spending more time with my girls, I’m pretty time poor at the moment but obviously they’re the most important things to me so I’d love to do some travel with them, they’re 12, 10 and eight, I just don’t know where the years have gone.
Favourite item :
I love accessories, I have many bags and earrings and my favourite piece in my cupboard would be an old Scanlan & Theodore bum bag, it’s like a light pink and I’ve worn it to death!
What’s on your playlist?
The Gemini in me really shines through here, one minute you’ll find me listening to Angus and Julia Stone, like Big Jet Plane, and the next minute it’s Kendrick Lamar… I’m a bit eclectic in the music sense as well