“There is no work-life balance,” said Samantha Wills, point blank. And this was just one of the gems shared at last week’s Collective reader event, A New League, where 350 budding upstart bosses and entrepreneurial leaders celebrated a fresh wave of disruptors.
Under the sky-high arch windows at On Seven at David Jones’ Sydney CBD store, founder and Editor in Chief of The Collective, Lisa Messenger, kicked off the discussion with advice including, “Don’t get too attached to the outcome: be prepared to pivot, adapt and change with your audience,” and, “Business is a dance… there are more currency exchanges than dollars,” before the cover stars of Issue 25 leapt off the pages to stir things up.
Multi-disciplinary creatives Piotr Stopniak (of Toby and Pete) and Lukasz Karluk took the audience on a techy trip (admitting that when they didn’t have a clue, they turned to Google), before the magnificent bastard himself, Luc Wiesman of men’s lifestyle site D’Marge; leading lady of online beauty mag Gritty Pretty, Eleanor Pendleton; Alexandra Smart of fashion label Ginger & Smart and Skyscanner’s commercial director Asia Pacific, Paul Whiteway, stormed the stage as a panel led by our magnetic MC, Vivid Ideas festival curator Jess Scully.
“The honest answer is it was pretty bloody hard,” said Eleanor on securing advertisers, before confessing, “I thought I’d be eating tuna and rice for the rest of my life,” while Luc swore that, “Mistakes make good stories”. Alexandra said, “If we go to the Middle East we have to rethink the style and types of garments we put into collections,” while Paul agreed: “The more locally relevant you are, the more successful you’re going to be”.
Samantha Wills closed the show, with the jewellery designer and creative director asking, “Who are you? Keep your slashes to two,” and adding, “Sharing information is not about giving away your secrets. It’s about collaboration”.
Indeed, this inspiring morning couldn’t have happened without our sponsors AGSM at UNSW Business School and Skyscanner, the generosity of David Jones, Rheannon Lee Floral Designs, Yummia, Mount Franklin, Woofys Coffee Cart, Orchard Street, and the support of our beautiful readers. Thank you – and bring on the next event!