How did you came up with the 'Celebrate Australia' subscription box you may wonder.
Well, we all love being Aussies, right! That’s why, when Allan and I started brainstorming ideas and themes for our first-ever subscription box, we knew our first box had to be Australian and a celebration of what we love about Australia!
It just so happened that the launch month was going to be January and it fit perfectly with Australia Day. We both knew that we did not want to go with the Australian flag, as the flag has different meanings to different people. Not just the should we be a Commonwealth or a Republic debate, but also the Australia Day versus Invasion Day topic. At Read Art, we are all about valuing different views and opinions but the last thing we wanted was any controversy over our very first box!
So, we nutted out what we loved about Australia. It was easy but left us with a huge amount of options. We thought about the places we had lived throughout our lives; Western Sydney, the coastal beachside town of Forster and the rural town of Baralaba before finally settling back on the Gold Coast. From there, we picked out what we loved about each place: the river, the beach, the bush and finally the kangaroos that hop around our local parks.
We ruled out kangaroos as it was the obvious choice for an Australian theme and then ruled out the river and beaches as they are paintings, we have done several times already. We wanted something new and fresh so began thinking about the bush and our native flora. The flower I loved the most as a child was the Wattle. It may have had something to do with Wattle being my house team in school and maybe even the memories of making yellow pompoms out of crepe paper to cheer on friends at the athletics carnival, that got me thinking Wattle was the way to go!
Allan loved the thought of using gold and green -- Aussie colours -- so from there we put together our mood board and decided on the remaining colours. We knew we did not want more than 5 colours. So yellow (gold), green, black, white and blue became our colours!
Firstly, we both sketched a wattle design. We knew we wanted a still-life with a vase, so 10 minutes later we tabled the designs and chose bits and pieces from each design, picked the colours for each part of the image and then added it to Al’s paint list. Next, we knew we wanted a craft activity that would complement the canvas, so again we both did a quick sketch of what we thought it should look like. It had to incorporate black, white, green and yellow. Our designs were quite different but once we picked the wall hanger the hardest part was choosing the materials to make it out of. Lastly, we wanted to add a gift. Something practical that would not take a long time to make and something unique but still on the theme of flora; the flower press idea was born!
So now that we had our concept, theme and colours, we started making the items to decide if we were on the right track. Luckily, we both loved everything! We priced it, took photos, made instruction sheets, designed early-bird gifts, created marketing ads, made videos of the painting process, dealt with website issues and then, finally launched our subscription box!
To say it was easy would be a lie, there were many stressful moments; mainly IT issues. But would we do it all over again? In a heartbeat… which takes us straight into planning for February!