It’s funny how something that initially seemed so insignificant can turn into something so rad. Like an innocent chat between co-workers that ends in two big moves and a pretty amazing side-hustle.
Cue us: Lacey and Hayley. Former marketing coworkers, current BFFs (Best Friends Forever) and, now, business partners, who bonded over our love for fashion, artists, cool Instagrammers, new designers and rad things that we’ve seen out in the wide world.
We love our jobs, but the more we chatted, the more we realized that there was a huge unicorn lurking behind us – a super fun one-horned rainbow pony that was getting ready to break through.
We can’t pinpoint exactly when our business, Rad + Co was born, but it was somewhere between nailing (separate) new jobs for us both; Lacey enrolling in a graphic design course and Hayley moving to the big city. On the outside, that might seem like a crazy time to start a new business, but in reality, our timing was perfect. The new starts had released so much creative energy that we’d had bottled up, that we jumped right in and built something in two months after we’d previously spoken about it for a whole year.
It wasn’t solely about unleashing our creativity. We wanted to create something different for Gippsland – fun fashion pieces that are really easy to wear, but that add real punch to an outfit. Accessories that empower you to add your personality to outfits. That’s why we chose to create pins and patches. With the items in our collection influenced a lot by our childhoods in the 80s and 90s. As well as by food…as you may’ve already realised!
Our pins and patches can be added to what you already have — shirts, jackets, hats, even shoes! And they can totally transform your outfit. Like a fried egg on a plain white t-shirt – that’s your outfit heading to a level-up!
Rad + Co is our ‘side hustle’ and it’s a super fun project. It’s the second job that never feels like a work because you’re so passionate to see it succeed. It’s the project that you invest a lot of time in. You’re sitting there working away into the AM hours of the morning and then you jump into bed ready to face a new day with a little cheeky grin, feeling a little more fulfilled every day.
For now, Rad + Co is our side project, not our main job, but we have much bigger plans with the overall goal of working side-by-side, every day with many giggles, unicorn references, confetti, coffee and doughnuts!
Our hot tips for starting a side-hustle are:
• Do it with your best mate! Why? We say why not?! You already know each other really well and it’s likely that you’ll have different strengths that can be complementary, so teach each other along the way and be better together!
• Grab some coffee, scented paper, fancy pens and write a plan describing how, what, who and when. Make sure you insert a quote to remind you that about 92% of people don’t achieve their goals because they don’t plan on how they’re going to achieve them. The key is being specific – what is your goal? How will you achieve the goal? Who will complete which tasks, and when? Set up ‘to-do’ lists and get to work (then text each other many emojis when you have ticked those tasks off).
• Brand your side-hustle. Your brand is more than a name and a logo; it’s your identity; who you are and how others perceive you. Invest a lot of time and dollars into your brand. There are so many businesses that can help you get this right and help you stand out in a sea of entrepreneurs.
• Get social. You don’t have to be on every social media platform, just pick a couple, create accounts and start posting and interacting authentically with your followers.
• Find totally rad people like you, whether locally or on social media, then give ‘em a ‘like’ and a follow or hit them up with a DM (direct message). Chances are you’ll find people just like you. These kind of people are pure gold. They’ve been where you are and will have tips to help you out and, usually, they won’t mind sharing these tips with you for free! We’ve made some really good friends in this way. In fact, many committed to stocking our pins and patches before our products were even made (a shout out to the Yinnar General Store for being so rad!)
• Collaborate. Find other rad people: you like them, they like you, so why don’t you collaborate on a project together? The work is shared, you’ll be combining two rad businesses and your customers will love you for it!
• Now here comes the boring stuff. You want people to take you seriously and do the right thing, so apply for an ABN (Australian Business Number), business name, GST (Goods & Services Tax) and a bank account; whatever is applicable for your side-hustle. The ATO (Australian Taxation Office), ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) and your bank of choice can all assist you with this process.
• Never stop learning or looking for ways to improve and get better.
• Celebrate the wins, no matter how small they are. Encourage each other through the challenges. It’s also okay to take a break too! The beauty of the side-hustle is you get back what you put in. So get out there and have a go. Always have fun, ‘cause if you’re not having fun, then why are you doing it?