By Maih Porfyriou

Hustlers to Watch

Young Creatives Making Money Moves 

Written by India Curtain 

It’s undeniable we’ve seen a boom of creativity within the last few years as accessibility to online selling platforms and social media influence grows. We love to see people turning their passions into a career, evolving the seed of an idea for others to enjoy. However, it takes a tonne of time, effort, and money to keep a dream off the ground.  

As young people, it can seem like a pipe dream to make money out of our passions, but we’ve brought together a handful of young people who are getting it done. These young twenty-somethings are here to show us it’s possible. Check out their impressive brands on the rise.  

INSIDE VOICES

Inside Voices was founded in 2020 by Jack and Isabella, young Graphic Designers and Creatives from Melbourne. It’s an independent creative practise which aims to balance clothing, art and design, and have a mission to make zero contribution to textile waste. 

What inspired you to start Inside Voices? 

(J) We both had a large gap year planned overseas which came to an immediate halt when coronavirus arrived. Instead of getting bogged down, we both realised we needed to be productive with our extra time at home. 

(I) Jack and I had both played around a bit with screen printing and fell in love with the overall creative control that the process provided. It’s a really fun and rewarding art form which we wanted to explore even further. 

What was the most difficult aspect of getting your business off the ground as a young entrepreneur/s? 

(I) I would like to say it all happened quite organically, but it took some really hard work, perseverance and belief in our designs. It didn’t help that we were in a global pandemic and morale was low, I struggled with this a lot. Whilst it was the perfect time to get creative it was also really hard to stay motivated and feel inspired. 

(J) If I’m honest, to me it’s never really felt like we have “got off the ground” as a brand and business. We both started this with very little knowledge of the industry, so are coming across new challenges everyday. For me, the hardest thing has been maintaining confidence in our work and processes and staying consistent with our delivery of meaningful goods that people actually want to buy.  

The Inside Voices process is hands on. They experiment with hand dyeing, colour mixing or diving into some op shop rails, then let their idea flourish into a collection. In every aspect of production, Isabella and Jack are ensuring purposeful and sustainable design. 

“With every step, we are always taking into consideration the environment and how we can control and reduce the impact of our processes,” Isabella said. “These can be simple things such as how much water we use throughout the printing process or the decision to work with inks and materials that are non-toxic to our environment.”  

They hope to see Inside Voices become a creative outlet, rather than just a label. Jack and Isabella Look forward to collaborating with bigger brands.  

Supplied by HYSTERIA STUDIOS. By Maih Profyriou

HYSTERIA STUDIOS

20-year-old Brisbane student Maih Porfyriou began Hysteria Studios after attending Splendour in the Grass in 2018. While studying Communications and Business at QUT, Maih still manages to explore her hobbies in designing, painting and jewellery making.  

What inspired you to start Hysteria Studios? 

(M) I had never been to a festival before but knew I loved colourful, and bright clothing but didn’t know how to express that in myself properly. When I went and saw all the amazing outfits people wore, I knew I wanted to start designing my own clothes. I had never been fully comfortable in my body and appearance and always struggled to find clothes I felt empowered in, while also feeling super cool. I decided to make my own handmade clothes for the next Splendour in 2019 and gained a lot of feedback from people asking me to make an outfit for them as well. So, I decided to create my own brand from there! 

What was the most difficult aspect of getting your business off the ground as a young entrepreneur? 

(M) It’s funny hearing these questions because it implies that other people see my business as one that has already taken off or is “off the ground”. But it’s important to note that everyone defines success differently. For some, the brand is taking off, but for me it will always be a work in progress.  

I find that the biggest roadblock that young people face is their lack of belief in themselves. It’s about finding your strengths, finding that motivation and coming back down to the reason as to why you started something. The challenge is honestly this. Waking up every day, knowing your worth and believing in yourself. People need to find that power within themselves for their passion to grow. Sales, followers and traction are just bonuses to the journey.  

Maih Attributes her success to her TikTok page, where she’d shared videos of her garments and gained a whirlwind of responses.  

“Some businesses wouldn’t even see that kind of growth in their lifetime, so I was shocked to see how quickly it took off over a few videos,” she said.  

The young designer encourages everyone to start a new hobby or start creating and reassures us that we shouldn’t be limiting ourselves because of our age. She hopes to continue in influencing and empowering others through her brand.  

“Having my own studio or warehouse one day is a massive goal of mine! I wish to start a small team as well in the future,” she said. “Watch out!” 

LOWANNA SKINCARE 

Lowanna Skincare is owned by 24 year-old Sinead Vandenbroek. The indigenous-owned, Australian-made skincare brand reflects the belief of the Narungga people, that nature provides us with all that we need.  

Sinead was born and raised on Kaurna land (Adelaide), and graduated mid-2019 from a Bachelor of Business, majoring in tourism and event management. She lost her job at a luxury hotel in Adelaide after COVID hit, and after a couple of months, she began Lowanna. 

What inspired you to start Lowanna Skincare? 

(S) I feel like I’ve always had a business mindset and I liked the idea of starting my own side hustle, but the inspiration to actually follow through on that came from my boyfriend. He started his own e-commerce business a year prior. Then after losing my job, it seemed like it was now or never.  

What was the most difficult aspect of getting your business off the ground as a young entrepreneur? 

(S) Figuring out all the little things that you don’t think about was really hard – whether it was shipping, packaging, legal aspects like writing business policies. I felt like every time I thought it was all ready to launch, something else would pop up. Don’t be afraid to reach out to business owners, because in my experience we get excited knowing that someone else is about to embark on a really exciting journey.  

The process relies heavily on Sinead’s desire for environmentally friendly, vegan and cruelty free products and packaging. After lengthy ingredient research, she decided on a focus to utilise native Australian plants from her culture. She developed a relationship with a manufacturer to create and produce her products in a lab.  

The young entrepreneur says her biggest successes are the relationships she has formed, including large scale stockists Nourished Life, as well as other small businesses and agencies.  

Sinead says she does not know what the future holds for Lowanna Skincare. 

“At this stage I’m focusing on making sure my current customers are happy, growing my customer base and wholesalers, and figuring out more ways I can give back to the community,” she says.  

Supplied by STÜM Productions. By Charlie Traynor

STÜM

STÜM Productions a fashion and creative label owned by 20 year-old Jack Stummer. Jack is a talented DJ and lover of fashion, expressing himself through fashion and design. However, he never thought one day he would bring his vision to life in his own label.  

What inspired you to start STÜM Productions?  

From the outset, I wanted STÜM to portray the feeling of ‘sound creates vision’ – that being the motto for what the brand truly encapsulates. STÜM instils my loves and passions for music and the culture from which it’s inspired. I will play music for a theme or a mood that I am trying to portray in my garments in each collection. STÜM isn’t defined by one medium as it spreads across, art, film, photography and music. 

What was the most difficult aspect of getting your business off the ground as a young entrepreneur? 

(J) There are two main aspects that proved to challenge the initial launch of STÜM. Firstly, getting the money to launch the brand and secondly, being patient. It took time to realise the time it takes to gain traction. 

The production process has continuously grown with the brand over its three years. Jack starts with a mood which influences a sound and visual genre for his art. Being 100% Melbourne made, the young creative ensures he has control over the garment’s high quality. Jack is confident that in the future, STÜM will become something “so much greater than just clothing.”  

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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