Coming back to earth after BrisStyle Create + Connect
Wow folks. What a time. Friday 6th March 2020 not only marked the inaugural BrisStyle Create + Connect conference, it was also a milestone for D’Alton Baker Productions.
Angela and myself had the absolute pleasure of being invited to speak at this maker community conference, alongside 11 other industry professionals. Featuring a combination of presentations and panel discussions, the aim of the conference was to inspire and educate the community, with a focus on building a sustainable future through creative business.
Beyond the rich content presented on stage, BrisStyle operations manager Belinda Harris filled the day with other delightful touches, such as live music over lunch, breakaway crafting projects, allergen friendly eats, and an Instagram feature wall to capture memories. An extra special highlight was watching artist local Chris Riley craft an original painting from scratch throughout the day, the finished piece was awarded to the lucky-door-prize recipient!
Crowd favourite and absolute delight Kirsten Devitt from prolific label Each To Own opened the day and warmed up the already beaming audience ahead of first speaker Beci Orpin. Needing no introduction, Beci Orpin has been working in a creative capacity for over 25 years, with projects spanning the fashion, food, advertising and publishing industries. Hearing Beci’s origin story had the entire room begging for more, her passion for what she does is truly infectious.
As if Beci’s story and inspiring visuals weren’t enough, attendees got to enjoy talented illustrator and animator Jimmy Patch scribing each of the presentations and discussions throughout the day, which may or may not have made us a little nervous!
Kirsten then welcomed four sustainability experts to the stage for Crafting Sustainably – Crafting without a negative environmental impact. The engaging panel discussion featured opinions from Kelley Sheenan, Jane Milburn, Bec Lewis and Kate Jefferay.
Fuelled mostly by excitement with a dash of nerves, Angela and I then presented on a topic we both hold quite dear, building your community with exceptional customer service. We focused on developing a target market, and why this is so integral to your business. Using a customer persona framework, we uncovered how this resource can inform other business activities such as developing key messages for cohesive communications. Oh, and we made sure we kept it fun and engaging too!
After the presentation we loved hearing from the audience for a rich Q&A session, covering a range of questions including social media strategy, dealing with negative comments, designing products for target market, and what is the biggest mistake we see in business. You guessed it, it’s makers not paying themselves in their pricing strategy. If you caught the presentation and your question wasn’t answered, get in touch!
After lunch, our bellies were full but our minds were still hungry for more. The next session focused on Creating Your Community and Finding Your Tribe, once again lead by Kirsten and featured Maryann Talia Pau, Julie Hillier, Nikki Shepard, and BrisStyle’s own Belinda Harris. Perhaps it was the heartwarming topic or our need for some hope right now but there were no shortage of tears in the room during this session.
Last, but certainly not least, the adorably bright-eyed Alice Veivers of Alice Nightingale took to the stage with her charming yet no-bullshit attitude to business. Having gone into business at only 16 years of age, this entrepreneur is wise beyond her years. Kirsten joined Alice for a joyous round of Q&A to close out the day, with many of us hoping a casting director was in the room to pick them up for a TV series. Does this mean it’s really over?!
BrisStyle Create + Connect conference was a much needed day of inspiration during a time that has been tough for so many. We would like to say a huge congratulations and massive thanks to Belinda for selflessly organising and hosting an event of this size and scale and, of course, to her extended team of helpers and members who made us feel so welcome.
We would also like to send out a huge thanks to all of those who attended the conference and shared their support with us on the day, or online. To be received with such warmth and support from our community means so very much to us, and reinforces to us that we are on the right track with our mission; to support the maker community of Australia.