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Patagonia: NYC Opening

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Patagonia is one of our favourite brands for outdoor gear and cold water wetsuits. We love this company for their great quality, organic fabrics, recyclable fabrics and their focus on fair trade. Patagonia is very active in looking after the environment and aim to be as sustainable as possible. Their business book 'The Responsible Company' really challenged us in our outlook on being responsible with our actions. Visit Patagonia to view their high quality products and learn more about the company.  

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ROAR was lucky enough to be in New York the night Patagonia had their store opening and we decided to do a little write up on the event. With people lined up down the street and around the corner, we decided to skip the wait for a moment and have some famous NY pizza. We couldn't believe how many people were there to support the brand, it was great to see. Once we got back to the store and entered with no line up, it was awesome to see Chris Malloy there who is an ambassador for the brand, film maker and an amazing surfer. There was live music by Real Estate which provided a sweet vibe. They are an indie rock band from New Jersey if you want to check them out. The store looked great, with some fresh new surf influenced stock, such as hand planes, fins and a new range of wetsuits. They also had some sweet boards that looked super fun to ride. We spied a few goodies that are now on the wish list, maybe for christmas. We love this brand and it was a special treat to attend their store opening. Thanks Patagonia for a fun night in the city!

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Sharleen Agudelo: Avani Candles & Aromas

Sometimes you have to take risks to explore and realise your dreams. Sharleen has chosen to focus on her creative talents and use these to form her own business that is also eco friendly: Avani Candles & Aromas. Check out our interview with Sharleen to get some insights as to how she made this possible and what inspires her to be creative.

ROAR: What made you decide to start your own business with Avani Candles & Aromas? 

Sharleen: After working in administration/reception for 6 years and never enjoying it I can honestly say I was being eaten away from the inside out. I came to the point where (for my own sanity and peace!) I had to quit my job, although I had no direction as to where I was headed to next. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not cut out for sitting behind a computer all day and answering phone calls. I am wired in a totally different way! 

So when I started making candles and found something I could use my creative side in, I thought why not give a business a go and be my own boss! 

Running your own business from home, what more could you ask for! It's really the best decision I ever made.

ROAR: Who has inspired you to be creative in your life and how have they done this?

Sharleen: If I had to pick someone in my life that has influenced me somewhat creatively it would have to be my dad. He is a great musician and I've played bass guitar since I was 13 so I give that credit to him. He introduced us to playing an instrument early on in life and I'm so glad he did.

But I also branched out further into other types of creativity, even from an early age. I remember always being good at sketching/painting and crafty stuff in school and of course it's something I will always love. I really believe it's a gift and something you are born with because you can't teach someone how to be creative, it comes from within.

But I do draw a lot of inspiration from nature, travelling, cultures and music when it comes to my life in general. The earth is absolutely amazing, how can it not inspire us?!

ROAR: Making and designing candles is a very challenging and creative process.  How did you get into doing this?

Sharleen: After I quit my job at the end of 2012 I got into a couple of different hobbies that I'd never really had a go at before. I bought myself a candle making kit and enjoyed it so much I started buying more supplies. Then, before I knew it I had a business name registered and I was on my way.

But yes, it does have its challenges, ones that you don't realise unless you want to be able to sell a good quality product. I've had to do a lot of research and testing to come up with the products I sell and as frustrating as it's been at times it's also been fun and very worthwhile.

ROAR: How do you differentiate from other candle makers. What do you offer that is special to your customers? 

Sharleen: I pride myself in knowing I am selling candles that I have put a lot of time, care and effort into. Image is everything when it comes to your business, it should never be compromised. But most importantly you should never skimp on the quality of your supplies! If you want to be the best, you have to provide the best. And for that you will reap the rewards.

I make sure all my supplies are eco-friendly and that my waxes are cultivated on plantations which don't harm the environment or wildlife. That is exactly what Avani as a business stands for - taking care of the earth and its environment while being able to enjoy what it has given to us.

ROAR: What have been some of your favourite successes along this journey of being a small creative business owner?

Sharleen: My very first customer came along before I had even sold a candle! I had just finished a yoga class at a well known yoga studio in Newcastle when I got talking to a lady in the lift. Turns out she was the owner. Just a few days before I had thought of what a perfect place it would be to have soy jar candles and what I could do to introduce my candles to them. So, long story short, the lift ride with the owner was perfect timing. As nervous as I was to ask her how I could go about this, I had a feeling that I just had to do it. I almost chickened out but right at the last second as we were parting ways I turned around, got her attention again and told her about my candles and how I was in the process of starting my business. Turns out they had been searching for someone local to buy soy candles from and didn't have any luck! The next day I was back in there showing them samples of my fragrances and they put their first order in. I now do their re-fills and they love them.

Talk about listening to that voice inside! If I hadn't I would have missed out on a great opportunity. It  taught me that I should always take opportunities when they are presented because really, the worst thing they can say is no thanks but you just never know when the answer will be yes!

ROAR: What are some exciting things in the future for you and your business? 

Sharleen: Eventually, my aim will be to focus mainly on supplying to day spas, hotels/resorts and yoga studios etc. Hopefully this is a niche that hasn't been tapped into too much yet, as it seems candles are more of an arts/crafts market type of product. So all going to plan I will get some good clients and that will mean large, regular orders. But of course, I will keep making them available to the general public because there is just so much you can do with candles. Home decor, weddings, baby showers, and any special occasion... there is a lot of room to expand and grow. So who knows where it can take me! All I know is I'm keeping an open mind and I am ready to enjoy the ride.


Thank you for sharing your passionate life with us Sharleen, we are so excited for you and wish you all the best with your business.

Check out Avani Candles & Aromas and get your hands on some of these beautiful products through the links below.

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Aaron & Ben: Stupid Krap Art Business

Ben Frost from Stupid Krap.

Stupid Krap takes a fresh and innovative angle on selling and promoting limited edition prints from some of the best emerging and established artists locally and internationally.  Check out our interview with the lads who founded and run this exciting and inspiring company.

Aaron Craig from Stupid Krap.

Aaron Craig (AUS) 

Aaron Craig (AUS) 

ROAR: How did Stupid Krap start and what is its purpose?

Aaron: Australian pop artist, Ben Frost, founded Stupid Krap back in 2005 as a way of selling and promoting urban and street art independently from the conservative gallery system. Our goal is to create another platform to present promising, fast-rising and established artist’s original work to the world. We are interested in providing limited edition, highly collectible artwork to collectors in both Australia and internationally, and also offering a user-friendly and less confronting way of discovering artists and buying art outside of the traditional gallery system.

 ROAR: Who are the main people involved in this company and what is their background in the art industry?

Aaron: The team at Stupid Krap is super small. There's Ben Frost, myself, and a silent partner. 

Ben is an Australian painter who has been making art in a range of genres for the last 15 years throughout the world. His work can be pretty confronting and innovative and is often branded ‘controversial’ for his graphic social commentary of consumerism and advertising.

I am a graphic designer with a background in fine art and photography. I have been creating art for years but have never really taken it too seriously other then exhibiting in the odd group show. I studied fine art in Newcastle and graphic design in Brisbane.

Our silent partner is also a graphic designer and handles most of our web-based stuff.

ROAR: What are some highlights and achievements of Stupid Krap so far?

Aaron: Before my involvement in Stupid Krap, Ben curated 'Paste-Modernism', which was the largest 'paste-up' exhibition in Australia. It featured 50 artists and filled over 150 square metres of wall space on Cockatoo Island. SK also curated notable exhibitions and installations at the MCA Sydney, MTV Gallery, Splendour In The Grass and Playground Weekender to name a few.

Currently we are about to host the Australian premiere of global graffiti documentary, Bomb It 2, at the State Library of QLDthis Friday. We have a new print exhibition in Brisbane opening in a few weeks titled 'Breaking The Seal', and we have also just opened up submissions to the first Red Book Art Prize. It is a bespoke hard cover art book we are releasing in conjunction with Blurb Books and the Analogue/Digital Creative Conferences. People can get more details and submit their work via this page: http://www.analoguedigital.com.au/stupid-krap-red-book-art-prize-proudly-supported-blurb 

ROAR: How can people be a part of your exciting company if they want to purchase art, go to events or if they are an artist themselves?

Aaron: Original and/or limited edition artwork is available for purchase through our site (www.stupidkrap.com), we release new artwork weekly. To stay up to date with events we are hosting and new releases, jump on our mailing list.

Our door is always open to artists sending in their work for us to check out, in fact its one of the great parts of the job, being in touch with so many talented people. I'd obviously recommend any aspiring artists also enter their work into the Red Book Art Prize.

 

ASKEW MSK (NZ)  For sale on Stupid Krap   

ASKEW MSK (NZ)

For sale on Stupid Krap

 

BEN FROST (AUS)   For sale on Stupid Krap   

BEN FROST (AUS) 

For sale on Stupid Krap

 

NUMSKULL (AUS)   For sale on Stupid Krap   

NUMSKULL (AUS) 

For sale on Stupid Krap

 

BEASTMAN (AUS)   For sale on Stupid Krap   

BEASTMAN (AUS) 

For sale on Stupid Krap

 

BEC WINNEL (AUS)

For sale on Stupid Krap

Thanks guys for taking the time to share your passions and offering an alternative and fresh way to share and promote art.  For people who want to keep following Stupid Krap or aspire to get their own art on the site click on the link below.

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Adam & Matt: East End Surf and Skate

What a day! Surfed Fraser park, watched Joel Parkinson (current world champion)
Surfing at Merewether which was so good to see live. Then we met Adam and Matt Andrews who have started an alternative surf and skate business in Newcastle which provides a great alternative for the huge hungry corporate surf brands.  You can't help but be overwhelmed with the extensive range they have for sale. We spent the afternoon skateboarding, drinking, chilling out at the front of their rad store. It has a huge range of alternative skateboards, awesome and good prices surfboards as well as quality clothing. They also support the local young talented surfers and skaters. It's just around the corner of the local backpackers so they do a lot of surf lessons too. The feeling of hanging out the front of a sweet surf shop reminded me of the movie Lords of Dogtown. Go say hi to the boys and check out their gear whenever your in Newcatsle next.  DO YOUR SELF A FAVOUR AND CHECK THEIR WEBSITE OUT BELOW!!

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