An innovative new creative business, Unleash Creative, begins with a series of craft adventures to be held in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane commencing March 2014.
Taught by some of the city's well-known artists, Unleash Creative entices folk with a passion for art and craft to join a full day of hands-on creative classes.
Here we have an interview with Magdalena Franco, the talented mind behind Unleash Creative. Magdalena shares the philosophy behind her own personal creative path and passion for her new exciting venture.
Magdalena Franco, Unleash Creative
Describe your business and products/services you offer
Unleash Creative is a series of full day creative events which take place in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. They are not only catered to all creative abilities but are also designed to help people to spawn ideas through the varied skills and methods shared at each event. Say youíre a marketer and youíre feeling stuck in a rut. You havenít had much luck in coming up with creative marketing campaigns for a little while. Well, this is where we come in. The events are created to help people think outside the square, see things in a different light and look at the world around them with a fresh perspective.
What made you decide to start this business?
I have a background in PR, marketing and events and for the past 12 or so years of working in the corporate world, Iíve often thought ďwhat am I doing with my life?Ē. Like most, I havenít always enjoyed where Iíve worked or worse, who Iíve worked for. Iíve used my craft as an outlet to escape stress from my job or when there have been unhappy situations in my life. Itís always given me something to focus on and has pulled me out of my funk. So many times Iíve heard people say ďOh, I wish I was creativeĒ and itís made me determined to show people that anyone can be creative if theyíre just given the opportunity, tools and techniques. Whilst on maternity leave I came up with the idea of running my own business combining craft and events (two things which Iím passionate about). I wanted to have more time with my kids and be able to run my own race. Iím a big believer that whatever youíre passionate about shows through. And Iím hoping that this mantra will mean long term success for my events.
Did you have any business training before you started your business?
Iíve been really fortunate to work for some amazing companies where Iíve worked my way up and been given insight into the daily runnings of the business. Iíve never been great at theory, but if you show me how to do something and explain the process behind it, I will retain that forever. Thatís where on-the-job training has been a great asset and advantage for me and has meant that Iíve thrived in business situations. All the skills that Iíve learnt ever since I landed my first casual job at the ripe age of 14 years and 9 months, get used in some form or another. All those seemingly mundane filing tasks I used to complain about when I worked in administration now somehow have a place in my very own business. I run my business as though I am working for a large company; just minus the large turnover.
How do you keep up with the latest news / trends in your industry?
I donít always have the time to read websites and newsletters so I try to ensure that Iím following all the relevant people and companies on social media so that if I see something of relevance I can make sure to be on top of it. I think that keeping up with trends and whatís lacking in the market is what first lead me to come up with my business idea. I realised that there was nothing like it on offer and that there were great opportunities in particular markets to deliver what was missing.
What is the most rewarding part of running your own business?
Being able to control every single aspect of how the business runs on a day to day basis and how it evolves over time is definitely rewarding. As my business is only in its infancy, I can't comment on successes just yet, however I am proud of how much I have achieved in such a short amount of time. Itís definitely rewarding to know that I started it from scratch all on my own.
Do you use social media as part of your marketing mix?
I sure do! Iíve only ever worked on traditional marketing plans in my previous positions, however Iíve personally been an active social media user since 2010. Iíve seen how powerful social media can be and if you use it effectively, you can increase your brand's presence, credibility and awareness on a much more personable level. I feel that businesses who use it correctly are those who provide speedy customer service through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Theyíre the businesses who turn potentially negative situations into a positive customer experience and have something informative and valuable to communicate to their customers.
As part of my business I believe it is imperative to have at least daily presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with occasional use of Pinterest and Linked In. You donít need to have something new to share about your business, it can just be a powerful image or something youíve seen on the internet that you think is relevant to your customer base. It doesnít all have to be about selling, in fact it shouldnít be. If businesses focus on the word ďsocialĒ (within relevant context of course) then it can give their business a personable point of difference.
Any other comments / points you would like to share about running your business?
Itís definitely no piece of cake to run your own business, especially when you are in the very early stages of the businesses evolution. I handle every aspect of my business including website build and updates, advertising (buying ads and creating the artwork), researching the right creative mentors to run workshops, book-keeping, liaising with venues, organising catering, updating social media, writing copy, dealing with media enquiries, setting up ticketing, sourcing supplies and hiring furniture - just to name a few! I work when everyone else in my house is asleep. I guess thatís the pitfall and advantage of working from home and working for yourself. There is no shut-off or personal time. At the moment every spare moment is spent working on some aspect of my business. But I wouldnít change it for the world.
Thankyou so much Magdalena, we wish you all the best with your incredible new venture!
If you would like to book onto one of Unleash Creative's amazing events, you can do so here. You can also follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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