At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
Ever since I was young, I’ve always had a lot of interests.
Too many, perhaps, which has also made it difficult for me to choose one focus career-wise.
I was always slightly envious of friends who just knew what they wanted to be.
I was always eager to see the world, and as soon as I finished high school I boarded a plane in Brisbane, and landed in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where I spent a year as an exchange student.
Back in Australia, I definitely did my time at University.
I started out doing Film and TV Production at QUT, switched to Arts/Law at the University of Queensland, briefly flirted with Science after I discovered Law wasn’t my thing, and ended up graduating with a double major in Anthropology and Psychology.
Ten years later, after spending years working in marketing and business development, all the while missing the mental stimulation of study, I went back to university, this time to Sydney Uni to complete a Master of Development Studies (Anthropology).
After my first stint at University, I ventured back out into the world, living and working in a few different countries.
In London I was lucky enough to secure an internship in the features department of Elle magazine.
Fashion has always been one of my great loves.
I then took a different turn and started working in theatres in London’s West End.
I ended up travelling around the world with a South African musical called Umoja for a year, which was an incredible learning experience.
After a short stint living in South Africa and playing in a marimba band (long story!), I ended up back in London and starting working in marketing and business development.
Throughout the years, a yearning to start my own business, to create something fulfilling and rewarding that I could be truly proud of, was difficult to contain.
I’d always wanted to do something that supported and nurtured local design.
In early 2013, over coffee with a friend, the seeds of shoptrawl were planted.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to be using shoptrawl already myself.
I knew I couldn’t do it without the help of my two incredible co-founders Anna Agnola and Victoria Hamilton, so I called them up, we came together, and we pretty much got to work straight away.
There wasn’t much hesitation – the time was right for all of us.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
The realisation that I felt completely ready to do my own thing. Ready in the sense that I knew, no matter what, I would carry on.
It took me a long time to get to this point, both mentally and physically. For me this was a real achievement, as I’d had many ideas that I hadn’t properly pursued.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
With regards to the business, I would say a big challenge for a startup website is always going to be getting noticed, particularly with a limited budget.
Another challenge is competing for people’s time in a very saturated online space. You’ve got to be resilient, determined and really hard-working if you start a website like shoptrawl.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
Give things time. I try to take a step back now, particularly when a work issue arises, and give myself time to think, to come up with a solution rather than a reaction. Stress doesn’t help.
Another important lesson I’ve learned is to keep on top of work tasks every day. It’s much more intimidating when you let tasks accumulate.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
We couldn’t do without asana, the online project management tool.
shoptrawl has three co-founders, and we’re all living in different cities at the moment. We also work with some off-shore developers and designers. It helps us keep track of tasks, ideas, calendars, everything.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
I love the aesthetic and voice of RUSSH magazine. I think RUSSH has been really successful at creating a really cool lifestyle brand that also captures that unique Australian vibe.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Find a niche, something that makes your website different. Try and develop good relationships. Be nice to people, respond to emails, be open to new ideas. Don’t just do this when you’re starting out – keep it up.
We will forever be grateful to the designers and stores that came on board shoptrawl when it was just an idea.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
It was December 2012. A whole year had passed, but it seemed like a couple of months.
Time felt like it was accelerating year by year, and there was no way to slow it down.
I had just finished a university course, but I had doubts about where it could take me.
I wasn’t feeling inspired by the work I was doing or the work environment. I knew then that I couldn’t keep putting off change; it had to come from within me.
I knew that if I wanted to do something fulfilling that was more aligned with my values, I had to take hold of the reins and make it happen.
No one else was going to.
Fortunately I was in a good place at that time to start putting some ideas into action.
I was also lucky enough to have an incredibly creative and intelligent partner who has always supported and encouraged me.