Kat Creasey is a 26 year old Australian entrepreneur living on the sunny Gold Coast. A self confessed vintage hoarder with a passion for everything 50s & 60s from fashion, furniture to classic cars and vintage caravans. This passion has turned into many different businesses over the years including the successful events that she runs with a vibrant retro flair. Read our interview with the lovely Kat below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I left school at 16 to pursue a business making jewelry. I had no interest in going to school – actually I really hated it. I’ve never been one to fit into a someone else’s time schedule. I march to my own beat and create my own hours and that definitely reflects on the businesses that I have created. I have always been very creative, but as with any person with an entrepreneurial mindset, we can get bored very quickly and have many projects on the go. I owned a successful business called ‘My Little Rockabilly’ for 10 years, and last year I completely quit the business, sold all my jewelry making supplies and said goodbye to all my customers. I found that I got really bored with having to compete with larger companies that stole ideas from someone who handmade everything from scratch. It was always a hustle, but not one that was beneficial for my physical or mental health – it was also negative for the people that I involved myself with and one day, I just decided ‘I am so over this’ and I quit! What good is a successful business that physically drains you and makes you tired getting up in the morning to deal with that negative vibe every day?
Tell us about your business.
I now own a beautiful, uplifting, inspiring, life changing business called ‘The Design Collective’ alongside my very handy partner Matt. We create events that showcase designers and creatives to an audience that appreciates good food, handmade wares, amazing music and family fun adventures! We are the only events company that create ‘pop up’ events by popping up in various locations from Brisbane to Byron Bay every single weekend! And we are now at a point where our whole business is on wheels and we can take our ‘traveling’ show anywhere! We have a very funky retro caravan that we have turned into a stage and another two currently in restoration that will be mobile bars so we can work with local craft beer & wine companies. I found that there was a real lack of acceptance for young designers in the market and events world. Although we have an application process, we are very accepting of everyone’s creative flair and give everyone a chance.
Our events can range from small intimate gatherings to huge street food festivals with thousands of attendees.
We have recently started a side project called ‘The Travelling Eats’ where all of our gourmet street food vendors can connect, socialize and support one another in the hustle to gain catering jobs. We have a one-stop website where event coordinators, wedding and party planners can select and choose their preferred mobile catering vendors that we guarantee will be reliable (and very delicious haha).
I have completed many courses in small business marketing, fashion design & beauty and makeup.
Where is your business based?
The Gold Coast, Queensland Australia.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Really made sure that I was ready with everything to launch. Beautiful graphic design, logo, website, social media channels, various insurance, positive connections and the correct procedures in place to host safe festivals and events.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
We owe everything to the power of social media! We have a large following online and it grows stronger everyday. We find that a lot of people find out about us from word of mouth with positive reviews from happy clients and customers.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Competitors and jealous people trying to bring us down. We have NEVER tried to destroy anyone else’s success and we find time and time again people go out of their way to cause destruction for us. The thing I do not understand (probably because we are definitely not like this) is why someone would spend unnecessary time causing problems for someone else rather then trying to better themselves and their business. Especially in the game of events where we are all in the same playing field and by causing problems for us, it stops fantastic opportunities for their clients (who they are meant to be supporting). Everyone in our world knows that we do not chase the dollar and maybe that is why we are successful!
How did you overcome these challenges?
We have found that other event coordinators do not like mutual vendors coming to our events. We ENCOURAGE it! We want everyone to succeed, we want everyone to make it. We line up our vendors to go to other festivals and events all the time and give free promotions for their events. When people push hate toward us, we push a ton of love their way – because obviously that person isn’t happy or content in their business and life. Hates gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate.
How did you keep motivated through difficult times?
Meeting up with people who appreciate what we do. We have a really awesome group of friends that really push us to keep going. We see that our success has created success for them and it’s soooooo rewarding.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We are friendly, fair, honest, accepting, reliable, quirky and fun. We go above and beyond for our clients and customers and we kick goals every day – that benefits other people too! We go out of our way for a real mini festival experience and people can see how we differ from our competitors.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Don’t f %^#ing worry about them! Focus on kicking more goals – you got this. (Thanks Polly).
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Be so damn creative, brilliant and amazing that you are untouchable. Keep reinventing yourself so that your competitors don’t even get a chance to bring you down.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Having mentors (my parents are rock stars at advice).
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“The Medical Medium” by Anthony William. Seriously, if you are suffering from any health problems this guy knows what’s what! He talks about entrepreneurs and burn out – including adrenals, thyroid, and immune health.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
The realization I will soon need a personal assistant and being okay with that. Eeeeep!
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Putting on amazing events in rural communities, showcasing local farmers and growers and putting our amazing vendors in front of various communities that absolutely appreciate these family friendly events coming to their town.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.