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FIELDTESTED | DANIELLE LEWIS, FOUNDER OF BRISBANE THREADS AND SCRUNCH.CO

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Danielle is the founder of eco-magazine Brisbane Threads and most recently, fashion technology platform scrunch.co. She has a huge heart for helping creatives flourish that is matched only by her drive and brains for honest business. She shares with us her journey as an entrepreneur at the intersection of fashion and tech.

You’re clearly an energetic and innovative entrepreneur. Tell us about your journey through your ventures so far and what you seek to change in the world.

Thank you! It’s been an unbelievable journey so far. When I was younger, I was all about ticking boxes… do well in school, go to uni, find a career… then I stumbled across the book, ‘The Four Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferris and I credit reading that to my HUGE mindset change. Reading that book made me realise that you didn’t have to fit into a system, and that changing the world on your terms, was possible. Of course, that didn’t stop me holding down a career in enterprise sales for Australia’s largest telecommunications company, but I started exploring entrepreneurship and set out to find my passion.

I started blogging at Brisbane Threads and after amassing quite a following in Brisbane, I decided to turn it into a business. That continues today and we see month on month growth in subscribers and traffic so we’re obviously doing something right! The vision for Brisbane Threads is to support local businesses, to give them a platform to reach the broader community in the hope that we can contribute to making their business a sustainable venture.

Through that business I met my current partner and business partner and we started a new venture - scrunch.co. The challenge they face is the dance between creativity and commerce. So we developed a software platform with the intention of looking after the business side, so they could get back to the creative. 

And it is through that business that I believe we can really do something to make an impact on the world. I passionately believe that the world is a better place when creatives are set up to flourish.

Today, scrunch is a marketing analytics software that enables a fashion brand, retailer or agency to measure the ROI on their PR, Marketing and Advertising. We do this by connecting digital mentions (like social, blogs and ads) through to the product sale. 

You studied fashion but are involved in it in an indirect way - did you ever want to be a fashion designer?

I did! I studied Fashion Design at QUT in Brisbane and actually ran a small label for a short time from high-school through to the end of uni. I sold to my friends, wholesaled to some local boutiques and through an online store (so perhaps I was always an entrepreneur and didn’t even know it). And it was through that experience I realised that I wasn’t passionate about it! I was just doing it because I was good at it…. but I am grateful for the learning experience, because that has given me a foundation to understand the industry and what designers and creatives are up against. In fact, that was one of the things that inspired me to start Brisbane Threads. When I left uni I felt like there was nothing in place to prepare me for the outside world, and that any success would rely on money and contacts. So I set out to create a platform where we could profile and promote emerging designers (we run a series on the fashion graduates each year) as a little push to get their name out there. 

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Brisbane Threads is all about positive media. What place do you think that has in the current media landscape, and how does it relate to scrunch.co?

Choosing to focus on positive media was a really important decision for me as a business owner because I personally believe you attract what you put out, and I only want amazing positive things for my business. There are enough people in the world spreading negativity, I don’t want to be one of them. And that relates to scrunch.co in the way we choose to run our business. But sort of doesn’t relate to it as a product as scrunch is a platform that brings in ANY mention of brand online, good or bad, so that the brand can get a full view of what is being said about them online so they can take the appropriate action. 

What is the biggest lesson you wish you knew when you started your first business?

Start yesterday. Talk to people before you are ready. Help as many people as you can. Don’t give up - Just keep going. That’s 4 things, but they are all equally important!! 

Tell us what’s the first thing you do in the morning on a good day, and on a bad day.

Eat breakfast! I literally can’t think without food, so the ritual of preparing a health breakfast and easing into the day sets me up with the energy I need to have a productive day. 

Top 3 Travel essentials?

Aesop Amazing Face Cleanser (yes, that’s actually what it’s called!). A neck pillow (essential for long flights!). And a pair of sneakers, I love to walk and explore new places, so comfy shoes are a MUST! 

In your opinion, is conscious consumerism and ethical fashion a trend or will it ever become mainstream?

I don’t know if it will become mainstream, but I believe it will compete at that level. That being said, I feel like there is a long way to go. It will rely on the passion of people just like YOU at Matter continuing to fight for the cause, create awareness and show future generations that they too have a choice. A choice in the both their purchases and the businesses they choose to start. 

What are the values that form your inner compass?

You always have the choice to do the right thing. Act from a place of love. Laugh and dance at any opportunity you can. 

Danielle Lewis wears many hats, and is currently the founder and editor of Brisbane Threads as well as scrunch.co, an intelligent fashion platform with the goal of empowering creative enterprise.

We are inspired by Danielle’s ambition, creativity and collaborative attitude, and are proud to have her as Fieldtester, a group a group of inspiring friends that regularly test MATTER products in their workplace and travels to help us improve durability and design. Danielle wears The Classic Wideleg + Leharia Charcoal, Size 1.

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