I first met Thea, the owner of Fleurieu Creations, an Australian-based personalised gifts co., through The Collab Hub. She joined as a member, right at the very beginning of her business journey, long before she had a beautiful website or professional brand images (even before she had a business Instagram!)
Now, Fleurieu Creations is a bon-a-fide business, with a backlog of orders and stunningly curated Instagram feed filled with a mix of delicately hand-crafted gifts and delighted customers.
One of the things that Thea has used to build her business from the ground up is collaborations, especially for creating her content.
Thea recently organised a collaboration photoshoot to help launcher her new line of kids pyjamas and the images are breath-taking!
I had to ask her if she'd share with everyone exactly how she pulled it together and what the benefits of this kind of content collabs are.
Hi Thea! Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your business?
Hi, I’m Thea (fun fact: it’s pronounced as Tia)
I am the creator/owner of Fleurieu Creations where I make a range of personalised items and gifts, mainly for babies and children but also some things for the mum’s, as well.
My most popular range is my Christmas collection of Santa sacks, stockings, timber boxes and more.
How did you come to start this business and when did you first launch?
I had always been a creative person and often had a designated “craft room” as I would often have a few projects on the go and the dining room table just didn’t suffice.
After having my son I found a need to create even more and was always asking friends what I could make for them next.
This lead them to encourage me to start a Facebook page to open up to others that didn’t know me personally, so I started my Facebook page in January 2019 (but didn’t share it until February).
It took me a few months to get up some courage but in September I attended my first market and it was far better than I ever expected. That saw me quitting my part time job that I was so badly wanting to get out of and the rest is history now!
How did you get introduced to the idea of collaborating with other businesses and what made you decide you needed to do it?
Coming across The collab hub had me intrigued!
I was hesitant at first as I was still juggling this business plus working part time on top of my role as a mother but the more I saw the power of collaboration and the connections that others were making I knew I had to give it a go.
After all what did I have to lose? Hopefully my job so my business could become my new job and I would be a lot happier 😂🙌
You recently organised a content creation collaboration, can you tell us about how it came about and what it involved?
I had been planning some kids pjs to match the adult range I already had. I wanted to launch them as a pre-order which is something that I’d never done before.
But with high hopes for the range to be popular and (if I’m honest) not having the funds myself to outlay what I needed to order a decent quantity in each size and colour I knew I’d need to put myself out there and find some others that were willing to help make this possible.
I reached out to some lovely ladies I had already met and they were more than happy to help thankfully. I then reached out to some others which was our first time connecting but they too were happy to get on board my crazy ideas.
To achieve this I needed not only my pjs to be here but someone who I could personalise them for. So I arranged a local make up artist who has two daughters to model for me, then a photographer who had recently done some family photos for me.
I wanted the space to be a certain look and without all the pressure to madly clean my house so I then reached out to a local shop owner that I’m often buying gifts from and asked to use her loft above which she rents out on Airbnb.
That was all of the main components done but to give it more value I then added in a few extra things that we could use then as well as props for other photos in the future. Those items were slippers, hand stamped jewellery, a mug.
How many collaboration partners were there and what type of businesses were they?
There were 7 businesses involved including myself.
Photographer - Simply Wild Photography
Make up artist - k.m beauty
Airbnb - Sage Loft @ Aldinga, South Australia
Handmade mug - Mud and knots
Slippers - Emu Australia
Jewellery - With Love Honey
Personalised products - Fleurieu Creations (me)
How did you find all of the collab partners?
I knew of a lot of them by being a customer of theirs previously. I think that really helped to have their trust, straight away, as you can often be approached for free things and it’s hard to know if the intentions are genuine.
The others have followed me on Instagram so I just reached out and luckily they were onboard!
What kind of benefits did each collab partner receive from the collaboration?
It was different for each person.
The minimum benefit was exposure by being tagged in the photos on social media by the other accounts to get in front of a wider audience.
What do you love about collaborating?
Oh that’s a hard question, I could bang on all day about so many different things! I think each time you collaborate you will get something different from it.
This time, in particular, I got my main goal of some beautiful photos to use for my launch which has been going really well so far. On top of that I gained more followers after the shares of the other accounts and some of the new followers have already made purchases.
I have the start of some of some really great relationships and see myself most definitely working with all of them in future if they are happy to.
The benefits aren’t always instant but are definitely worth it and I feel like are longer lasting than most other methods.
What advice would you give to someone who hasn't felt confident enough to organise a collab yet?
Just go for it! It’s easy to find a reason to hold back but if you’re passionate about something the hard yards are most definitely worth it when you’re at the finish line. Warning - you may get addicted to them though.
The relationships you can take away from them are like no other. One thing I do think is really important is wording when asking for things. At the end of the day you’re asking people to do you a favour (even if there is a benefit for them in it too) so making sure you’re polite and not coming across as expecting them to join in but rather outlining that as much as you’re approaching them for you and your agenda, you are also wanting them to get something from it!
We are in this together not all for ourselves ✌️
Thea, thank you so much! Your energy and enthusiasm is so infectious I want to go and do a photoshoot right now!
I love seeing businesses working together like this to create amazing things they just can't do all by themselves. I know I see my business network as a team, you know? My question is always what can we do to help each other reach our goals?