AN INTERVIEW WITH TESS ROBINSON
Have you met Tess Robinson?
You may know her from the oh-so-amazing Sydney design studio Smack Bang Designs. Tess Robinson lives and breaths creativity, simplicity and the spirit of adventure. Today she’s introducing her brand new biz-baby First Flight Studio, how the idea first came about and how it can help business owners establish a successful digital presence.
I chose to enter this field of work because…
Because I have a passion for helping entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life.
If I could give one piece of advice to my 18-year-old self, it would be….
Stop worrying what people think of you. One day you’ll realise that the only person who’s opinion you need to worry about is your own. Work on that relationship first.
My greatest achievement has been…
Building a life that is both fulfilling, challenging, satisfying and all at once
I try to relax by…
Enjoying the simple things. My downtime is usually spent on the yoga mat, walking the dog, drinking chai in the backyard, cooking new things or, when I’m lucky, holidaying to far-away places.
I can’t live without…
My creativity. I wouldn’t feel human if I didn’t have my creativity to take me to all the amazing places my brain goes.
I really wish I had…
An extra few hours in the day.
The greatest lesson I have learnt is….
That everything is fleeting. All we have is this moment.
If I had one super power, it would be….
It sounds cliche and a little bit too ‘Miss Universe’… But peace. I wish I could click my fingers and create world peace.
If I could invite four people to a dinner party, they’d be…
Stevie Nicks, Steve Jobs, David Attenborough and Obama – because these peeps inspire the pants off me everyday.
In a sentence, tell us what First Flight is?
First Flight is a website template hub. We sell limited edition, beautifully designed website templates that are carefully crafted, fully customisable and truly easy to use.
Who is First Flight targeted at?
First Flight is for business owners that don’t do boring. It’s for design-minded individuals ready to kickstart their craft, jazz up their online and showcase their awesome-sauce to world. It’s for the brands with big dreams and killer ideas, who want to stand out but don’t want to invest a whole heap of time and energy into building a custom site. Who appreciate good design but may be restricted by budget or time.
Tell us about the concept and how it can help business owners establish a digital presence?
This service was created to give businesses and entrepreneurs an opportunity to get their brands online with a professional and aesthetically killer presence through bespoke layouts and custom typography. The templates are affordable, limited edition and all designed in house. The functionality of First Flight not only allows customers to create a site specifically tailored to their brand but gives them the option to purchase a template and implement themselves or have the First Flight crew talk them through the process in a face to face workshop.
When did the idea for First Flight come about? Tell us how it was born..
The idea for First Flight was born from 5 years of listening to Smack Bang clients and their start-up struggles. From then, it was really about coming up with a solution to best service this market. My 2016 new year’s resolution was to learn to chill out in business a little more and stop biting off more than I could chew. And well, the rest is history!
Murphy’s Law. It’s interesting how the minute you create space in your mind, your creativity just comes streaming through and good ideas tend to flow!
Is First Flight going to run as an entirely different business, or an extension offering of your other business, Smack Bang Designs?
First Flight will run as an entirely separate business to Smack Bang, although the teams will share a studio and of course, the Smack Bang design gurus will craft the templates. It’s important to me to establish this brand as its own entity.
What makes a good website?
Good design and good content. Anything interactive, and of course, amazing user experience. Simplicity and a clean, modern aesthetic are big right now. Bold, large images, simple typography and minimal colour (unless in the photos). Also super flat, graphic sites are making a comeback. Imagery is key in a lot of cases, string images have the ability to bring a lot of life and another dimension to a site.
How to choose the right platform?
We live in a world where people click, tweet, post and share every second of every day. Having an online presence is SO accessible these days, quite literally at your fingertips! We’re lucky, digital platforms allow brands to have a direct connection with their customer and in turn enable customers to stay connected with their favourite brands or people are doing. I’m a big believer in picking a platform that feels right for you. We personally love WordPress as it is seriously easy to use and allows for an impressive front-end design.
With a few businesses on the go, what do you do to unwind and maintain that elusive work-life balance?
I do my best to find balance through living life with a spirit of adventure – treating every moment as a discovery and making sure to constantly enjoy the journey with myself and with my loved ones. I unwind by regular hangs with my love and my beautiful girlfriends, beach walks with my Kelpie, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, downward dogging my way through a yoga class, drinking copious amounts of chai, regularly going plant shopping and styling then restyling my home. I also try and make time for little camping adventures away – I find they are the perfect way to reconnect and recharge. It really is the simple things!
What is the key piece of advice you would offer to another business owner wanting to grow their brand?
Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Just do what feels right for you, listen to your gut, surround yourself with amazing people and make sure you know WHY you’re doing this. Your ‘why’ will fill you up and drag you out of bed on the toughest of days.
Where can we see more of First Flight?
Online at www.firstflightstudio.com or follow us @firstflightstudio