Social net to spruik our creative natives

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser

When the Albany Collective launches next Wednesday, it will become the first directory of its kind in the Great Southern and will bring a game-changing tool to local business owners.

The directory will provide a platform for business owners to gain marketing advice, attend workshops, and most importantly connect with like-minded creatives they otherwise might not have met.

Founder Nikki Milne is taking the success of her original The Perth Collective south to the area she grew up in. She said people would discover the talent in her hometown in the way that her Perth branch has done.

“The Perth Collective was created out of a frustration,” she said.

“I had that I knew so many amazing creative, talented females, yet no one else knew about them so I created an Instagram account to showcase and expose them, which in turn helped their businesses bloom.

“By launching The Albany Collective Directory, which will cover the entire Great Southern, I can provide them with a platform to be discovered and education to help grow their businesses.”

Unlike the Perth Collective which focuses on promoting only female-owned businesses, Ms Milne said both male and female creatives in the region would be exposed to her social following.

“As the Great Southern is a smaller, niche demographic, I thought why not celebrate and bring awareness to all Great Southern creatives,” she said.

“Helping grow the creative small business community in this area is very close to my heart after growing up in Albany and majority of my family still living there,

“I think through awareness I can help shine a light on the local community.

“I can introduce my Perth Collective following to them which brings wonderful exposure plus promote the Great Southern as an amazing place to holiday.”

Industries that predominantly feature will be artists, designers, weddings and events, food, retail, craft makers, creators and also unique accommodation.

Already trying to inspire, Ms Milne held two social media workshops in Albany, and one in Kojonup.

“I love that Kojonup expressed an interest in holding a workshop and Hannah at Hire In Style pulled it all together for me which was such a brilliant day for the local small business community.”

Since April, Ms Milne has made social media accounts for The Albany Collective which along with The Perth Collective, is a good indicator.

“It is simple concept of creating one platform to celebrate, encourage and support WA entrepreneurship in Creative Industries,” she said.

“It took off at lighting speed and now, just two years later, it has a social media following of 60,000-plus followers across WA.”

She said the love for the cause came from seeing the light on someone’s face when they were empowered after developing ideas at her workshops or by one feature on her Instagram account.

“The free shout-outs on the social media accounts can make an average business weeks take a jump and it’s a privilege to do what I do.”

The website launches next Wednesday, July 26, at thealbany collective.com.au.

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