A short snippet from the interview:
There’s a new breed of agency on the horizon and two female founders are at the forefront of this change. Introducing Storyfolk, a purpose-driven design agency partnering with like-minded brands who want to make an impact. That’s not to say the Melbourne-based studio aren’t delivering commercial results (they most certainly are!); it simply means there’s a bigger thought behind the work. Mavens caught up with the founders to find out more.
Sarah Gross and Cass Mackenzie. You both have the kind of commercial experience that would make a larger agency lucky to have you. Why did you choose to start your own purpose-driven design agency?
SG: laughs thank you. I started in the industry as a photographer and writer before studying graphic design. Working across various creative mediums (photography, writing, graphic design, fashion design, brand development, campaign ideation, packaging) was a double-edged sword to some degree. On the one hand, I loved the diversity, but I also felt somewhat trapped when I was in a specialist role working on a small slice of the pie, so to speak. I like to understand the “why” of a project, so seeing it through from start-to-finish suits me. This led me to freelance, which led me to work on a range of fantastic projects, including collaborations with Cass, which allowed us to go “all in” and open Storyfolk, a purpose-driven design agency.
Another reason we went into business for ourselves is because of the lack of representation of women in leadership roles within the design, advertising, and creative industry. Women hold only 5-11% of creative director positions, with only 0.1% of creative agencies female-owned. 0.1%. Hopefully, we can inspire the next generation of creative gals to pursue their dreams in the industry by breaking down some barriers and showcasing the possibilities of a purpose-driven design agency.
CM: The idea started as a seed back when I studied in 2011 – a loose future goal. I said to myself in 7 to 10 years time after graduating, I would start a studio that I could call my own. 9 years on and I am lucky to share that dream with Sarah. Having spent the years prior to launching Storyfolk working for large agencies in Australia and overseas, leading the design teams and collecting a diverse skill set from studio to studio, I found myself feeling like it was time. I needed more, and I had a real desire to create a women-founded purpose-driven design agency!
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Storyfolk is a Melbourne-based design and branding studio. Storyfolk blurs the line between strategic thinking and thoughtful design to create memorable moments between brands and their audience. Storyfolk are a nimble agency who pride themselves on building exceptional relationships with their clients to produce exceptional work. Reach out to us here.