Small business, I’m talking businesses with less than 20 employees, account for almost 98% of all businesses in Australia. So, when times are tough lets show-up for our mates in business and support your local! In this series, we’re chatting to ‘local’, purpose-driven businesses owners, highlighting who they are, what they do, why they chose to go into business, and why you should get behind them. Let’s kick off with Melbourne locals Storyfolk. I chat with Creative Director and partner Sarah Gross.
Flossi: Hi Sarah, you’re one of the Partners at Storyfolk, tell me about your business and what you do?
SG: Storyfolk is a branding and design studio based in Collingwood. We specialise in branding, strategy, design, art direction and animation. At the end of the day, we’re a small team of passionate creatives crafting memorable experiences for brands to connect with their audience.
What’s your business story so far?
SG: Our beginnings date back to design school, where Cass and I met. We weren’t in the same class, but our teacher saw our shared passion for creativity, experimentation and design and introduced us (Thanks Tibor!). For years we’d chatted about the dream of starting a studio together. However, we both went off into the industry working in very different areas of design which only made our collaborations stronger.
In 2018, we started to collaborate on commercial projects together. We made a great team, and were really proud of that, so thought ‘why not’ become business partners [sic], and took a leap of faith. I decided to make Cass a cake which said ‘will you be my business partner’, and the rest is history.
What is something you’re proud of?
SG: The design industry is a bit of a boys’ club, and to this day only 5-12% of creative directors or CEOs are women (depending on the country you live in). We feel proud that we can lead by example to help shape the industry for the next generation of talented female designers and creatives.
What’s your business philosophy?
SG: Our ethos is pretty simple.
- Build meaningful relationships
- Make work that matters
- Invest in strategic thinking
- Push our ideas further
What set’s you apart from your competitors – why should people visit your business and what can they expect?
SG: The design industry is an incredible industry with amazing, talented and inspiring people. Each studio and design bring their own unique flair to each project. For us, we really love getting to know our clients and then coming up with solutions tailored to that brand/business/campaign. We really immerse ourselves in getting to know and understand the industry/niche so we can come up with creative solutions that connect with the audience.
What inspires you about your job the most?
SG: I love the initial strategy and concept phase. I love meeting new people and clients, and then throwing myself into a project. In this phase, we help our clients identify their brand on a deeper level which informs the creative we produce – whether that’s a brand identity, website, illustration or animation.
Describe a typical day at Storyfolk?
SG: The amazing thing about running a design and branding studio is that no two days are ever the same. One day we could be crafting a brand, the next we could be working on an illustration or animation. We could be copywriting or hosting a workshop, pitching to a client, or brainstorming weird and wonderful ideas; sometimes all in the one day, ha-ha. As many small business owners can relate, a big part of our work week gets taken up with general management and running of the studio. We try to protect some time to work “on” the business rather than just “in” it.
What are your opening hours?
SG: We have a studio in Collingwood and are open regular business hours, 9-5:30pm Monday-Friday.
Our address is 19/21 Northumberland St, Collingwood VIC 3066.
We’re also online and you can contact us here.
Is there anything else you’d like readers of Flossi to know about your business?
SG: We like to think of ourselves as a B2H brand (business to human, rather than B2B or B2C).
We’re always looking to connect, talk with, or work with likeminded brands and people.
At Storyfolk, we like to invest our time working with clients who align with our values. One of the ways we measure this is by asking ourselves a question; “is this business/person having a positive ripple effect within the community”. We all have the power, the voice or audience to be that positive ripple effect.
What’s on the horizon for Storyfolk?
SG: We try to do a couple of purpose-driven promo projects each year. It goes back to us playing our part in being the ‘positive ripple effect’ within the community.
Earlier this year, we worked on an amazing project with a mental health platform to provide much-needed support to hospitality staff who had lost their jobs due to COVID-19. We also created a range of illustrations to promote some of our favourite local Melbourne restaurants and cafes which had been impacted. We’ve started to brainstorm for our next studio led project which we’re very much looking forward too; watch this space.
Where to find Storyfolk:
Follow Storyfolk on Instagram