Let me introduce myself. First and foremost, I’m a mother to two little boys and a wife to a wonderfully supportive husband. I am also the Founder of The Perth Collective, a platform that educates, connects and promotes WA female-owned small businesses in creative industries.
I’ve always had a passion for marketing, but growing up in a country town limited my career path so I ended up in hairdressing at age 17. This took me on adventures travelling across the country, from working in Broome to styling celebrities on the exclusive Hayman Island, everyday was an adventure!
In 2006, I returned to Perth and bought my first business in partnership with my parents, a hair and beauty salon in Subiaco. I was aged just 23.
I loved being a small business owner but I struggled to connect with likeminded women, finding there was no network targeted to only creatives while they established and built their businesses. I attended small business and social media workshops, only to discover that the people hosting them had little to no social media following of their own or they were also start up businesses trying to teach me how to build my start up business - which didn’t really inspire confidence!
I learnt so many valuable lessons along the way. From managing 13 staff, to having days when not a single client came through my doors - with a $1000 per week Subiaco rent hovering over my head! - I learned that all businesses, even the small ones, are full of daily challenges.
On the week of Christmas in 2014, when my son was six months old, I sold the business with a heavy heart. After 8 years in operation, I felt I could no longer run the business to my fullest potential while I raised my children, and knew it was time to move on.
Within a few months, I fell into my next career path Private Small Business Consulting for the Creative Industry. A former client called and asked me to help her with marketing and building a business profile in Perth. By word of mouth, this suddenly snowballed into a new small business venture - and I realised I had found my true passion of helping women turn their hobbies into small businesses.
All those years of challenges, staff issues, occasional failures, great successes and experience, turned out to be the most valuable small business “unofficial” degree!
On May 13 2015, I thought of a simple idea: a free platform to promote WA female-owned small business. Two hours later, I launched The Perth Collective on Instagram and watched it grow at rapid speed. In the first week alone, TPC’s Instagram featured 123 Perth small businesses and amassed 2223 followers. That was just the beginning!
Seven weeks later, The Perth Collective launch in spectacular style at C Restaurant with 200 female small business owners from all over WA meeting and bonding over champagne and canapés, while taking in the beautiful Perth skyline. Two other events followed this: The Breakfast Session at Frasers of Kings Park, and then a Summer Long Table at The Cottesloe Beach Hotel in November.
2016, after 5 months maternity leave after the arrival of my second son, I return with new fearless ideas to build The Perth Collective brand and to continue to help grow and inspire WA female-owned businesses. In May we launched TPC Directory which has been hugely popular, with an average of 22,000 page views per month. August saw the launched of the first SALTED print magazine at our second Skyhigh event. The magazine featured over 100 local female owned businesses across 66 pages. SALTED Summer edition followed in November.
I also printed my first book in October “How To Influence Your Creative Market”….. 2016 was a big year!
Today TPC has grown to 65k+ social media followers, and in 2017 I launched the Event Management and PR division on The Perth Collective. Connecting the right Small Business with the right Brands and Influencers. In addition The Albany Collective ( @thealbanycollective ) and The Margaret River Collective ( @themargaretrivercollective ) launched.
I look forward to hearing from you,
October 2017 Speaking at "The Innovation Blueprint: Sustaining a Business in the Digital Era" at Curtin University
August 2017 PerthNow How to make your Instagram business a success watch the video HERE
March 2017 Broadsheet "From Hairdresser to Business Consultant: Nikki Milne" Read article HERE