A hive of success and support
Wild Honey Creative is living proof that special skills and services we might once have associated with our cities – such as graphic and digital design, innovation in marketing and brand storytelling – are thriving in regional areas. The Kyogle-based creative studio is a true Northern Rivers success story.
Wild Honey Creative was launched by founder and creative director Jasmine Phillips in 2017, and in the time since inception the company has gone from strength to strength in serving clients that are local, national and international.
“Most of our clients are creative entrepreneurs, community leaders, or health and wellness experts, but we also enjoy projects in tourism, hospitality and community development,” says Jasmine, who embarked on the business after a background in journalism, performance and art, and formal training in graphic design. “We also partner with local government organisations and community groups, as well as councils.”
Jasmine is joined at Wild Honey Creative by two permanent employees as well as a number of contractors. She has also been active in fostering connections among the local community: in 2020 she established The Business Hive in Kyogle, a co-working space where remote workers, business owners and creative entrepreneurs can convene and connect. Jasmine says that the Hive has seen “even heads of global companies working from a hot desk in our tiny country town.”
Wild Honey Creative moved out of Jasmine’s spare room to a studio space in the centre of Kyogle in 2020. Fortunately, the business was not as badly affected by the 2022 flooding event as many other small businesses in Kyogle and surrounds. However, she and her team have taken meaningful steps in helping the wider area to recover from this calamitous time.
“As many of our clients are located outside the Northern Rivers, we were somewhat cushioned from the economic impact,” says Jasmine. “It allowed us to help where we could, including getting our flood-affected clients set back up with basics like stationery they’d lost, and supporting local organisations in their flood relief efforts through marketing and web design.
“I think businesses that are able to work remotely and online have that advantage in this wild world. We definitely found that our clients that were able to pivot to online sales, home delivery and non-face-to-face services were able to ride it out better than others.”
Wild Honey’s achievements in its relatively short life are many. The company has won a slew of business awards, both local and regional, including the Business and Professional Services award at the Regional Level at the NSW Business Awards in 2021.
Wild Honey also places ethics at its heart. Jasmine says she aims to work with “clients who put people and the planet first, and are passionate about making the world a better place,” while the business is starting the process of obtaining B Corp certification, which measures and verifies a company’s positive social and environmental impact.
Alongside these successes, Wild Honey Creative has witnessed change, challenges and upheaval in recent years due to flood, fire and pandemic – and the human strength born of enduring those things. Both in her capacity as creative director of this burgeoning enterprise, and influential figure in the local community, Jasmine is in a unique position to observe what makes Kyogle and the Northern Rivers so good for small businesses – and how the area’s character and community is evolving.
“For me resilience is about acknowledging vulnerability. People in country areas are often brought up to be tough, and while that’s an admirable trait, it doesn’t allow space for the huge range of emotions that you can go through, both on a personal level and as a business. Life and business are one big rollercoaster of joyful highs and devastating lows. Resilience is just acknowledging that fact – that we’re all at different points of those bends and curves.
“I think when we’ve all had these shared experiences, we can all relate to each other on a more human level. For us it’s definitely about family, relationships and health first – whether that’s for our team or our clients – then business. We hope the disasters are done with, but we’ll be keeping the priorities and positive things that were forged during that time.”