Browsing Category

Interview

Saving The Ocean One Bikini At A Time

May 1, 2016

Steph Gabriel OceanZen

We first met the lovely Steph Gabriel at an one-of-a-kind conference in Sydney… yes you guessed it, at Rad Livin! In between sipping free ciders and groovin to Ziggy Alberts, we managed to exchange business cards (yes we have a business card, very professional we know! 😉 ) and also got to know all about Steph’s current passion project, OceanZen. Our stars truly aligned meeting Steph, as what she’s doing is 100% what we live for at Uninhibited. But what is OceanZen you ask? OceanZen is a Sunshine Coast based swimwear label that is focused on marine conservation/education.

But this is NO ORDINARY SWIMWEAR!

OceanZen bikini’s fabric is made from recycled fishing nets and plastic bottles from the ocean which is then manufactured into high quality lycra! We know, pretty freakin cool! To top it off, all orders are packed in recyclable pillow boxes instead of plastic, making OceanZen completely sustainable.

We new we had to reach out to Steph to get the deets on how she pulled this off, so below we have our interview with the lady herself! Steph’s responses are vulnerable and down to earth, giving you guys the truth behind starting up a business, even if that means sharing the not so pretty parts. We have done this not to scare you, but to giving you a far more realistic depiction of OceanZen, making it all the more empowering!

How old were you when you began your OceanZen journey?

When I left Australia I was 20, no idea where to go, what to do, who I was, what I wanted. All I knew was that I had this urge to go. So I did. I packed up and left.
I was travelling the world for about 3 years, frolicking on islands and wandering across countries, and I landed myself a job in the Caribbean where I stayed for a year. This job was what changed me and essentially what has lead me to where I am today.
I was working with wild stingrays on a snorkel guide sailing boat. My role was to swim down, lure the stingrays up with squid, hold them and allow the tourists to touch their wings. It was the most surreal and craziest experience and I learned alot about the marine world from being in it for 8 hours a day! I think that is what sparked this passion for protection and marine conservation. I came home about a year after finishing up on the island, enrolled myself into uni and studied a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. From this point I knew that this field was my destiny in someway or another, but my passion wasn’t research and being indoors bores me. The best place to learn about the marine world is in it!

13059856_10156830108405611_1646087223_n

What made you create OceanZen/what was the inspiration behind it?
So I started to brain storm ways I could help in my own way. I had discovered this fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets and it completely blew my mind! Discarded waste is one of many huge problems that oceans face and from this point on the idea of OceanZen only felt natural. I ultimately wanted to combine both of my passions, (marine conservation and swimwear) together in my own unique way.

What is the meaning/idea behind the name OceanZen?
Travelling and of course the ocean have always inspired me, both equally exciting my soul. However it was when I was travelling Thailand the name OceanZen came to me. I had just spent the day snorkeling and was sitting on the deck of a yacht drifting along the coast, admiring the beautiful silky flat ocean surface. I felt somewhat zen-ish at the time and the name came to me as if it jumped right out of the ocean. It could not be more true to what OceanZen bikini is today! 🙂

What was your biggest hurdle when starting up your own business?
There were constant hurdles, and still is today.
I feel like most people don’t know where to start and that’s exactly where I was at, especially in fashion. Where to manufacture, how, all of the costs involved. It is such a time consuming process especially during the sampling stage. Manufacturing is still one of my biggest challenges today.
The biggest hurdle for me was starting a business while studying full-time at Uni.
I had discovered this sustainable fabric but it unfortunately came at a higher cost than what I could afford. I had to let go of the idea to launch with this fabric and hope that one day I could afford it. Alot of people come up with really amazing business ideas but don’t always act due to their own personal doubts, but the rewarding feeling of following your dream and passion defiantly outweighs the fear.
For me, I really wanted to make a stand in some way for marine conservation. It was that passion that pushed me to my creative reach to come up with an idea. If you truly believe in something and knock out all of the doubtful thoughts, your passion will be the only thing you want to put all of your energy into. To answer the question, I think the biggest hurdle of all is just taking that first step to turn your passion into a reality.

Ocean Zen

Tell us more about this recycled material!! How did you pull that off!?
The fabric is really amazing and completely mind blowing that it is made from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets from the ocean. It is collected in the oceans around the USA, taken to their processing factory to be cleaned and shredded, then re-created into a yarn. That yarn is then shipped to Italy to be turned into a high quality italian lycra. This is such a huge goal for me and OceanZen. This fabric has been something I have wanted for two years, it felt like christmas when i finally got it! 🙂 The fabric is shockingly super soft and just awesome that it is sustainable.

When not frolicking with whales in your gorgeous OceanZen bikinis, how do you spend your time/make a living?
Haha that is a great question! I’ve been lucky enough to make a living working on a whale watching boat for the last 4 years which pretty much was the cash that I got to kick start OceanZen. But these days OceanZen takes up most of my time which is awesome. I also do marine conservation education shows for a company here on the coast a couple of times a week at different schools which is awesome!

OCEANZEN

We see you have just launched a fresh swimwear line (congrats!!) What did you learn from your last launch that you will be bringing to this one?
Thank you 🙂 So much heart and soul has gone into this new collection, especially with the sustainable fabric. There are always constant battles with getting any business off the ground, and with every new collection I launch there are always going to be new ropes to learn. Challenges with manufacturing are constant, costly and exhausting but always worth it when I see the final product. With every new collection I launch the styles and prints get fresher and even more beautiful.

Ocean Zen

From your experiences with OceanZen, what advice would you give to those wanting to start up a bikini line or fashion label?
Find a point of difference. There are alot of swimwear labels that are popping up these days. Figure out a way where you can have your brand represent your passions in a way that is different to everyone else. That way if your brand both represents and feeds your passion, you will love going to work everyday 🙂 Try and think outside the box and get creative. Do lots of research on where to manufacture. An ethical factory was something that was really important to me. I didn’t want to go to China or use any cheap sweat shops. The place that I use is a family owned business, they choose their own hours (which is why it can take a long time haha!)
For me OceanZen is my heart and soul, it’s an obsession with the ocean and the wonderland of the marine world. It’s a passion and an urge to defend it and protect it.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of OceanZen?
Currently I am actually working towards a goal of donating a percentage of profits to a new conservation project of my choice every year, but there are lots of logistics that go into this.
There is alot happening this year with OceanZen, it’s growing and its beginning to reach internationally! There are just so many different roads it can take! I would ideally love to expand on the brand and not just be about awesome bikinis! But I think I want to stick to the roots for now and just stay true to the OceanZen lifestyle.

OCEAN ZENOCEAN ZEN

We hope Steph’s journey so far inspires you to pursue whatever passion or dream you are currently holding you back, knowing that it is possible for anyone. Our favourite piece of advice of Steph’s would have to be:

“If you truly believe in something and knock out all of the doubtful thoughts, your passion will be the only thing you want to put all of your energy into.”

It really brings home the idea that to truly put your heart and soul into anything, the passion has to be there. Also if you live on the Sunshine Coast, look out for Ocean Zen as they make their debut at the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival 2016!

To stay up to date with OceanZen and current marine conservation issues head to their Facebook page here or follow them on Insta at @oceanzen_bikini

Want to join the OceanZen tribe and purchase one of their ocean-saving bikinis? Head to www.oceanzenbikini.com & don’t worry, they ship world-wide!

OCEANZEN15_0388382

Let Them Eat Cake!

April 17, 2016

CUE MOUTH WATERING….

Miss Trixie Drinks Tea

We give to you, fellow Melbournian and the woman behind “Miss Trixie Drinks Tea” Miss Alice Bennett! A one-woman show that began as a simple blog to allow her family and friends see her weekend baking, Miss Trixie Drinks Tea has now grown to an insta following of over 10k and most importantly into a thriving baking business! However this is not “just a baking business”,  Alice pours her heart and soul into all her creations and proves that baking is not only a skill but an art form. We were lucky enough to snag some of her time between her busy schedule, and as imagined Miss Trixie is just as sweet as her mouth-watering cakes!

So scroll a little further and get your daily dose of passion and wisdom whilst also a mild sugar craving….sorry in advance!

When did you start “Miss Trixie Drinks Tea” & Why?

I started Miss Trixie as a blog when I was in uni because I have a mild obsession with dessert and anything sweet. The blog shared my recipes of every sweet I made in my home kitchen. It slowly turned into people asking me to make their cakes for birthdays and special occasions. It has really taken off over the last 18 months and I decided to move it from blog to business.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 10.12.48 AM

Has your passion always been for cakes? Or did you have another plan when you left school?

To be honest, when I left school I knew I wanted to go into marketing/PR. But I’ve always had a passion for sweets. Growing up, I was always the one to want to bake. Batches of scones were my speciality!

Has transferring your passion into a business taken the joy out of your work or has it just fuelled your passion further?

Fuel it! But don’t get me wrong, it can be really exhausting – the pressure is certainly on. There are some days when I just want to come home and flop on the couch but I’m needed in the kitchen. It’s a balancing act, that’s for sure!

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 10.15.43 AM

At what point did you realise that you could turn your passion into your career?

People tell me everyday that I should be doing cakes. Most people at my work tell me I’m in the wrong industry! I know that I’m passionate about cakes and sweets – if your passionate about something, then you can turn it into your career.

What do you do when you are not preparing cakes/do you have another job?

I work full time as a marketing and events producer for Mango communications. So I organise and coordinate large scale brand events and live activations. And I bloody love it!

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 10.11.33 AM

If you had to bake a cake to represent yourself, what would it be like?

If it was to represent me, it would be my rich chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, nutella and toasted meringue. Then I would have to include my favourite chocolates on top: reeses buttercups, peanut M&M’s, maltesers, kinder bueno, boost and kit kat. And it would have to have Darren Purchese’s salted caramel. Because no one can make caramel like that man.

What were the biggest struggles in the early stages of business?

I think I’m going through this right now – the biggest struggle I have is time management as I work full time. And I’m a one woman show, so having to do everything myself can be exhausting and tricky to manage. I am however so lucky to have the most supportive network one could ever ask for.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 10.13.38 AM

Who/what inspires you to create your GORGEOUS, mouth-watering creations?

I have a couple. Okay, more than a couple. My Mum. Darren Purchese. Phillipa Sibley. The Meringue Girls. Katherine Sabbath. I get inspired by great work, clever work. All of these people do exactly that.

Your Insta feed is to die for, how does social media help your business

Instagram is everything for Miss Trixie. So many people stumble across me via Instagram, so it’s so important that I keep it regularly updated. It’s the way people shop now!

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 10.14.17 AM

Do you have any advice for young people wanting to begin a creative career like yours?

If you have something you love doing, then do it. There are so many tools to fuel a passion now, so investing in your passion is so easy now. And always remember the people who help you, because good karma is a thing 🙂

And lastly, what’s in the name?

Trixie was my grandmothers name. I loved her name and always thought it would be very marketable. I used to joke about it with her. Most people ask me if she was my baking inspiration, but to be honest, she couldn’t actually bake! My mum tells me of these hilarious horror desserts that went terribly wrong!

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Alice as much as we did! We especially loved her advice in the last question, INVEST IN YOUR PASSION! It sums up exactly what we are about here at Uninhibited. 

To curb those sudden cake cravings or to supply a special occasion with a Miss Trixie creation, head to www.misstrixiedrinkstea.com

Do your feed a favour and follow her mouth-watering Instagram at @misstrixiedrinkstea

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 9.20.40 AM

 

Blog Kooks Meet Lost Kooks

April 1, 2016

Lost Kooks was an idea conceived in the famous waters of Bells Beach on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. Fast forward a few months, and Lost Kooks is now a team of creative individuals working together to “build the brand from the sand up”. We first heard about Lost Kooks through Instagram (yes, we are insta-addicts!) where their sweet logo and photographic feed filled with the turquoise hues caught our eye. Being such a fresh surf-apparel brand on the scene, we were keen to learn more and of course share it with you!

We were lucky enough to have a chat with the self confessed “kook’ and man behind the brand, Ben Nathan, where we discuss his journey so far breaking into the world of surf fashion.

IMG_0094

So Ben, where are you based?
Lost Kooks is based out of inner city Melbourne, however we spend most of our time residing in Torquay/Jan Juc with our mates, just hanging out and shit.

What sparked the idea/inspiration for lost kooks?
I bought myself my first surfboard off eBay as soon as I finished school and headed down to Jan Juc to teach myself how to surf. I have a strong background in swimming so I was capable enough to get out there with the board, but my coordination took some time. One of my friends, Mark (who funnily enough is now working at Saturdays NYC) had just come back from Indo on a trip with his girlfriend and asked if I wanted to come for a surf one day. Abidingly I said yes and we headed down to the world renowned, Bells Beach. To be honest I was shitting myself. I had only been surfing for little over 3 months and only on little beachies on small days. This day was perfect. 2 to 4 feet, light offshore breeze and Mark and I were the only ones out at the bowl on dawn; for a good half hour we sat there chatting as the swell was slow at that point and talking about what I wanted to do and I came up with an idea of starting a surfing blog/instagram.

What did your life look like after graduating high school?
Pretty boring to be honest. Started at university and never really got into it. I worked two to three jobs so I could earn enough money to travel to some of my favourite places on the planet and enjoy myself. Unfortunately (for my mum) I wasn’t too interested in pursuing my studies, I just wanted to chill out and enjoy life. However to this day I’m still studying (my 3rd degree in 3 years) and have no clue where I will be in 5 years time. Just taking life as it comes!

When not going on awesome road trips and weekends away for Lost Kooks, how do you spend your time?
I spend most of my time working. I carry two jobs which takes up a lot of my time, as well as uni. I sit at home and watch the surf forecasts a week in advance to see if I have no work on so I can head somewhere down the coast and find empty waves and a spot to have a few beers. Actually, I probably spend most of my time planning mini adventures for the future hahaha. I’m a pretty boring person.

IMG_0405

What made you chose to focus on surf apparel?
We focus on Indie Surf Apparel, because not many people do it in Victoria. It’s all hyped around Byron and the Goldy so why not bring it to Victoria?

Do you/did you have any prior experience in business/running your own business?
Yep. Me and a few of my mates ran a pretty low key business called “Halifax Co”; it was pretty much the coolest thing in the North-West suburbs in 2014. It was a basic streetwear label that outsourced tees and put prints on them. It was cool, I learnt a lot from that 6 month experience.

How did you get in touch with your team of creatives/amazing photographers?
Instagram! What would I do without social media? This is a long story that I will keep short. I got in touch with Hayden O’Neill initially, an up and coming photographer out of Mornington Peninsula. He came up and met me for coffee and I went through with him my plans and what I want out of the brand and he thought it was rad. I purchased a large abundance of his prints to use for the site and instagram at the time and he shot our Death of Paradise range. He (at the time) was with another big up and comer in photography, Cait Miers, who is now signed by Roxy. She’s a really cool chick who knows a lot about what she does and is so unique in her editing and feministic nature, it’s so beautiful. I also got in touch with Hector Clark, a super indie, raw photographer out of South Yarra in Melbourne. He is one super nice dude that had traveled all the places that I wish I had visited. He creates very masculine and raw footage and is now going away from the surf photography scene and now into fashion/portrait photography. His stuff is sweet.

On to our current team of creatives, well what can I say? They are Luka Kerr (Sydney), Bevan Gemmell (Sydney), Harley Kingston (Mornington, Victoria), Zac Dorio (Mornington, Victoria), Hayden O’Neill (Mornington, Victoria) and Surfvisuals/Brooko Mckeon (Surf Coast Victoria). These guys are the leaders of our vision to #exploreyourlove. This hashtag is a movement where we want engagement from our customers and we want our photographers to help shape our brand. These guys are legends and you
should go check them out.

What is the meaning behind the name “lost kooks”?
Lost Kooks comes from a little meaning from when I first started designing fashion. I was ‘lost’ because I had no idea what I was doing and ‘kook’ means someone who is shit or a beginner in the surf, and thats currently me in the fashion world. Nobody starts off at the top.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 5.50.16 PM

What has been the best moment/highlight/turning point in your Lost Kooks Journey so far?
The best moment of the Lost Kooks journey is definitely the launch of our gear. I had planned for 12 months to launch the collection and have planned well into the future. So the more support the more
great gear you get to see!

What has been the lowest point/biggest struggle with making your dream a reality?
Definitely realising I couldn’t do what I wanted to as a launch. But I’m going to keep that to myself, because you’ll see that down the track

What is the ultimate advice you would give to young creatives wanting to “start from the sand up” in their own dream business ventures?
Sell what you can see, not, see what you can sell. I learnt this from one of my bosses, I hope he reads this so he knows that I listened!

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 6.08.32 PM

What is your ultimate vision for Lost Kooks?
Lost Kooks wants to be a leading brand for alternative surf wear in Victoria. We want to help guide young people through life by pushing the passionate side of our brand, which ultimately is to have a great time, adventuring, surfing and loving life. Lost Kooks wants to be in everyones wardrobe around the globe and make a difference in peoples lives for the better.

What started as light-hearted banter between mates out in the surf is now just another example of  someone making shit happen, and following their dreams! We hope that Ben’s story reminds you that we all have to start somewhere, and biting the bullet can result in a simple dream becoming your reality.

To find out more about the Brand, or to purchase any of their stuff head to www.lostkooks.com

Keep up to date with the latest at Lost Kooks by following their Instagram @lostkooks & make sure to hashtag #exploreyourlove in any Insta pics of you pursuing your passion!

Have more questions for Ben? Chuck him an email at lostkooks@gmail.com

PHOTO CREDIT: Hayden O’Neill

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 5.47.58 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-01 at 5.46.20 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 5.54.19 PM

Behind The Brush

March 17, 2016

 

When we stumbled across Angie’s mesmerizing instagram feed filled with her artwork, we knew simply a follow wouldn’t cut it, we had to know more! Based in Brisbane, Australia we give to you the woman behind @angie7700, Angela Beggs! Angela’s paintings capture the femininity in modern surfing & the carefree beauty of surf culture. Below you can check out our little interview with Angela, where we delve deeper into the truths of being a part-time artist & her hopes and dreams for the future.

angie paint 1angie paint 2

Who/What inspires you and your artwork?

Nature, the ocean, Instagram, books,  my family – in North Queensland and Victoria who love sports and surfing, my partner – he is so supportive and understands creative people, he was a music producer and a dance music artist, my very supportive Aunty Suie who helped me turn painting from a hobby into something I can do on a semi-professional basis. You need at least one person in your life who’s encouraging and believes in you.

What has led you to being the artist you are today?

My father was an artist, not a hugely successful one, but very committed and talented. I never felt that I could ‘compete’ with him or be good enough. When he passed away a few years ago I was devastated, but it also freed me to pursue art, I started to paint and loved it.

I also spent years practicing drawing and life drawing on a regular basis and that has paid off. No one was interested in my drawings at first, but as soon as I added colour I got a positive response right away.

Hard work is very important in any endeavour but sometimes just changing a few things to what you’re doing, e.g. adding colour or incorporating a different style really pays off. You have to find out what an audience wants and try to give it to them. With art, people love colour, so put it everywhere.

What has been the biggest struggle whilst working towards your dreams?

With my art dream, I always had an interest and always did drawing but never believed in myself. I never thought  you could make a living through art because I saw my Dad struggle so much.

FullSizeRender (2) FullSizeRender (3)

What makes your artwork unique?

There are a lot people doing surf art. I think mine’s a bit different because it’s feminine and casual. It appeals to men and women. I love surf art and what other people are doing especially Wade Koniakowsky (http://www.koniakowsky.com)

When not painting, what does your life entail?

I work in fashion and have a business selling bamboo dresses.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

I’d like to eventually work full time with art. I’d like to be represented in galleries in Australia, Hawaii, Japan and America.

I’m already in galleries in Noosa, Torquay and Hawaii so I’m proud of myself for that. I started to sell my paintings in 2015.

I want to travel a lot more. I love beachy places, (no surprise!), I’ve been to Hawaii three times and can’t wait to get back. I also want to visit the USA and Canada.

What would be your advice to other aspiring artists/creatives?

Work hard and practice! Do something every day, if you do something creative only once a week, you probably won’t get anywhere. To be creative you need to connect to the creative part of your mind. If you’re thinking about ‘rational’ things your creative brain won’t work. Plan your creative sessions so that you won’t be interrupted.

While you’re learning, don’t worry about what other people think and don’t do your work to seek approval from other people, let things flow.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Angela in a depth beyond her canvas as much as we did! There’s is nothing we love more than hearing about people just like Angela pursuing a passion that makes their heart sing. Just real people just doing what we love, that’s what we are about.

angie 2

Get in contact with Angela at angelatownsvillemrc@gmail.com or to buy/check out more of Angela’s art head to www.followthesungallery.com!

Follow her art on Instagram at @angie7700

Mike Halligan

March 6, 2016

full

EVERYONE MEET MIKE!

Mike encapsulates everything we stand for at Uninhibited and to top it off grew up as a local to us. What better person to kick off this little section of our blog and be our first local legend!

We only recently met Mike at an event called “Radlivin” in Sydney, however to our surprise he grew up in the ‘burbs of Melbourne right around the corner from us both! (small world hey!) After getting to know Mike further, we soon came to the realisation that he was no ordinary guy. Currently living in Sydney, at age 27 Mike has already run a leather Macbook sleeve business (at age 16!), created and sold a global WordPress blog design agency, created a health & fitness app, co-founded an organic skincare brand, designed a website for clothing brand “ZANEROBE” and lots more! Can you tell he studied entrepreneurship!?

Get your daily dose of inspiration & check out our interview with Mike below where we discuss the hows/whys and of course the Uninhibited!

                                                                                                                                                                                     What did your life look life after graduating high school?

I was young, stupid, painfully shy, obsessed with punk rock and so keen to travel!

I guess like most of us I had a shitty job and spent all my money partying on weekends. All I really wanted to do out of high school was see the world. It didn’t take much to convince a few friends to join me so we spent eighteen months working and slowly saving enough money to travel for four months. I enjoyed living out of home and paying no rent, but I knew there was more out there and other cultures fascinated me.

Even at that point I was pretty convinced that I was going to have my own business of some sort. I worked at Rebel Sport but it was only because I wanted to start my own sports store. My ideas were generally either bad or basic, but I had fun dreaming of what could be.

                                                                                                                                                                                       What entrepreneurial projects have you started/worked on to date?


Too many for someone my age. I think that means that I’ve had too many bad ideas or a short attention span more than anything else!

When I was 17 and knew I wanted to travel, my dad told me that the easiest way to save money would be starting my own business and selling my own product. That kind of turned out to be horrible advice as its not that easy and I didn’t know much but it was the best thing he could have ever taught me as from then on I had this mindset of there not being any rules as to how you spend your life or make your way.

I started a marketing consultancy where I freelanced for brands and small businesses when I was in uni. I thought I was pretty cool at the time making a decent wage with my shiny new car with big company logos all over it haha. While that was going I saw blogging taking off, was a decent designer and figured I could learn how to code so I started a blog design agency out of my bedroom. I had moved in with some friends in the burbs by that point and employed one of them to work on it with me.

I sold that and used the money to hire an overseas developer to make online marketing plan software that I had thought up. I sold that too but neither sold for much. It was still cool to sell a business though!

I moved to Canada and started the least successful business of all time while I snowboarded for six months. That was almost a detox from the responsibility of working so hard and having to worry about what money was coming in and out every week.

I came back from that completely recharged to do something bigger and better. Around that time I thought up BodyWise, the app that I’m working so hard on building to this day. That was over two years ago now!


What are your current business ventures?


I’ve got a 9-5 job these days with clothing brand ZANEROBE (an old client of mine) which was a bit of a shock to the system, but it’s not your typical job and I do really love it. Outside of that I spend my time working on two things:
BodyWise (www.bodywiseapp.com) – a free health & fitness tracking app for the iPhone that 70,000+ people around the world have used to create and track a healthier lifestyle
Botanik (www.botanikboutique.com.au) – an organic skincare online store that I started with a friend of mine late last year. It’s early days with this one and Romy is mainly the brains and work behind it but its good to be learning through my own online store

When did you know a regular 9-5 job was not for you/what was your turning point?

I think for me there wasn’t really a turning point. I knew I was always going to run my own show and start my own business. What my old man said when I wanted to save to travel taught me that now is as good a time as ever, but I grew up around his business and always had the arrogance and confidence to think that I can do most things better. I definitely wasn’t always right but I think when you think like that you know that you’re not built to conform to a 9-5.

How did family/friends react to your business ventures?

They’ve generally been pretty supportive but it really is a lonely thing starting your own business, especially when you’re young as you have few others to relate too. Your friends either look at you with astonishment which is embarrassing or bewilderment which isn’t much use.

That kind of leads you to find people who work on your sort of wavelength and you end up making good friendships with some amazingly talented business owners.

Do you think there is a lack of encouragement for careers that go against the grain in suburbia, creating almost a creative void?

Yeah, absolutely. I just don’t think the suburban environment considers it an option. It’s hard to make money from creative pursuits in the suburbs. It sucks but its the truth. Without encouraging creativity you lose all kinds of ideas that spawn off it. Suburban is safe and it’s comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with that if you’re happy, but if you’re not happy and satisfied with what you’re doing look elsewhere.

Think about your life as a teenager. You go to school where they teach you things that end with a big question about what job you want to end up in. You don’t see inspiring careers in the suburbs. By the time an interesting brand or business concept reaches the suburbs its been franchised and lost its soul. That’s not always true but by and large its just the way it is.

Because of that most people that want to do cool shit and be as good as they can be move away early.

What advice do you have for school-leavers wanting to pursue non-traditional careers?

I hate to say it because I kind of love my upbringing and still have a soft spot for Ringwood, but get out. Get out and travel. Meet fucking interesting people. Work in jobs that you can learn from – not just earn a few dollars. Read. Practice. Put the time in. All your heroes and the people that seem to have the best lives all worked 100x harder than it appears to get where they are. Put the sweat in.

What is it in your life that feeds that burning desire in your heart to follow your dreams?

I guess if I search deep down there’s got to be a chip on my shoulder fuelling my passion to keep getting better. I was a dick to some people in high school and really didn’t like who I was. Classic ‘I was bullied so I bullied others’ teenager stuff, but I was always ashamed of myself. Once I got out of school I guess I’ve always just wanted to be better than that person I was.

Fascination plays a huge part too – I kind of like everything in life and its led me to never be bored. Without being fascinated with a lot of different things you can easily drift. Fascination is always dangerous too because you need discipline to know when to stick at something and when to explore something else.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

To be happy. I don’t think there’s much more to it than that. I could give a long answer, but I think that’s better than any.

For more about Mike & his latest projects head to www.michaelhalligan.com.au or chuck him an email at mike@michaelhalligan.com.au! He is very open-minded and willing to help you in anyway he can (we know this from personal experience!!) You can also follow his more personal adventures on Instagram at @mrmikehalligan!

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 4.38.28 PM