I have always loved craft but have never been able to afford serious craft initiatives. I have always loved the environment and the ocean in particular. A specialist in child sexual assault counselling and protective behaviours, it seemed natural for me to also protect our natural environment and make sure my grand kids get to enjoy nature as I have throughout my life time.
I also love my husband, very much, and when he was diagnosed with bipolar I could not walk away. I had a professional understanding of mental illness but did I really want to live with it in my house? I figured I already was so I stood by him. But, as happens with bipolar, in a manic phase my husband made some bad choices that affected my credit rating. After mania comes severe depression and inertia and my husband lost his job. My life fell to pieces because I wasn’t protected against financial devastation caused by a third party.
Unable to make house payments, he was declared bankrupt, the bank took the house and I later voluntarily declared myself bankrupt. I did not have the energy to continue to work like a mad woman in my own private counselling and consultancy business, care for him and pay the crippling (way more than I could cover by myself) debt.
After hysterical crying, cursing and threats (there was much toxic shame for me), I put secure financial and emotionally protective factors into place, closed my beloved private practice (Imaginif) and turned my eyes inward. I found solace in nature and in craft…recycled craft that cost me nothing from material that I picked up while walking through rainforest or on the beach.
I returned to the workforce to work in my profession and I started and managed The Junk Wave for an enviro-psychologist friend (Char Paul of Reuse and Recycle) and then later, voluntarily, for a training college that specialised in early childhood education. I voluntarily managed The Junk Wave because I was already working part time for the training college and we were both passionate about protecting our entire environment from harm….not just the home environment but the wider environment that we all survive in (if only I had protected my financial environment sooner!). The Junk Wave was a nice extension of our commitment toward child protection and in teaching students at risk new skills and sustainable leisure opportunities.
The Junk Wave kept evolving and workshops were requested all over Queensland. People loved the idea of using post consumer junk to create a near zero craft budget and they loved the idea of doing something worthwhile to reduce their carbon and plastic footprint. Smart Art workshops fitted in beautifully with the new Early Years Learning Framework and school based My Time Our Place curricula.
While I am still in bankruptcy, that part of my life is history. Sad but nonetheless a part of my journey toward happiness and doing what I love: making our environment safe while creating something from nothing. It was the life crash that happened to show me that everything I need, I have at my fingertips…and that love IS worth it.
I aim to recover from bankruptcy, to thrive AND to repay every cent to creditors. Bankruptcy was not an option I took lightly. I am an entrepreneur and adore the work from home model…the consequences meant I could do neither for a period of time.
The rule of bankruptcy is that I cannot trade under a business name without telling every person I do business with that I am a bankrupt (it’s all about transparency). That is too scary for me so I trade under my own name. Hence, Megan Bayliss IS The Junk Wave and selling chapters of The Junk Wave that you own. I support you to build up something from nothing in your name.
Another rule of bankruptcy is that I cannot travel internationally without informing the trustee. This was a major blow for me because I LOVE to travel. From the trustee’s perspective, if I have savings for international travel then they should be dispersed to creditors. However, if I travel for work it is acceptable: I declare all income to the trustee anyway so travel for work is a goer. If you want me to come and talk or workshop in your town, let’s start talking. You can find my travel fees in Option 4 of this document.
I sincerely hope you don’t negatively judge me after reading this personal disclosure. I have re-started from the bottom of the financial pile and am proof that it can be done.
Thanks so much for being part of the incredible recycled craft journey. Together we will make a difference. Every piece of plastic that stays out of landfill or ocean saves our marine life, birds and our planet. These, and our children, are the things that matter greatly to me.