You can come stand under our Stellar Umbrella ella ella eh eh eh…


I love a throwback, especially when it comes to song lyrics (most of which I always get wrong…or shall we say I use poetic license?). I remember singing along to Rhi Rhi when this song came out and thinking what a lovely thought it was to invite people to stand under your umbrella instead of getting drenched by rain (literally and metaphorically speaking).

I am typing this from 35 000 feet in the air. Nothing quite like a 20-hour flight to get one in reflection mode. This year has been an exciting one for our growing business and one in which we have seen the tiny seed of a dream we’ve had for a while taking root.

Both Jason and I have worked in various parts of the creative industry and something that we have found is that there is a scarcity mentality in much of our local creative industry. Yes, realities are very much there, but throughout history creatives and inventors, artists and writers, musicians and architects have innovated and caused humanity to rise above the challenges.

Imagine if we had not evolved past those rather large hairpieces of the French court (fun fact: that’s why the door frames of that time period were so high – well, at least in fancy buildings be-cause only fancy people could afford that kind of weave). Or what if I wasn’t able to get oversees on an aeroplane but still had to take a ship? Thankfully, we moved past all that (20 hours is long enough thank you!) I believe there is a new opportunity for creative evolution: collaboration.

This is not a new idea and we’ve seen many collaborations in the creative arts and the advent of what’s become known as the ‘gig economy’ is gaining traction all over the world. In this fast pace and evolving world, I think it’s easy to forget why we do things and why they matter. It’s easy to exploit people without meaning to and the pressure to ‘get ahead’ can take its toll.

That’s why we started The Stellar Umbrella, our collaborative wing that’s part of our business strategy. We chose the name because, let’s be honest, we love things that rhyme (being musos and all) but also because we know how hard it is to start a new venture and to feel all alone. Now we get to shine together (thanks Rhi Rhi)! The Stellar Umbrella allows us to collaborate with other small businesses and freelancers and create an environment where others who have started their journeys in their own

ventures don’t have to figure it all out on their own.

At face value this may seem purely like an outsourcing model (very much along the lines of the gig economy) but the way we approach things is different, and has to do with cultivating a culture that says ‘if you win, we all win’. There is more than enough to go around and we want to be generative in our approach to creative work rather than protective and stingy.

We currently have two other businesses under The Stellar Umbrella

– ‘Coolios Creative Consultancy’ and ‘narrative’ which offer design and writing services respectively. Our agreements range from time and resources exchanged to sharing ideas and pitching for work together. Our aim through-out is to value one another and pay each other well, otherwise, how trust be generated and genuine collaboration occur when you exploit the very people you’re wanting to build with?

We make use of both Coolio’s and narrative’s services in our work with clients. This enables us to increase our capacity and get more creative brains working on projects, thereby creating great products that our clients love and growing our brand.

We try to be generous with our time and resources within the safety of good boundaries. These boundaries include well worded and thought out contracts (yes, you should be signing contracts with people, even when you like them or they’re your friends…keep it professional) and making time for regular communication. It’s important to value each other’s time and to communicate expectations upfront.

There is still so much to learn about creating an economy of collaboration and we hope to one day have a ‘blueprint’ that we can share with others. Our dream is to see our creative industry and economy become healthier and wealthier in the long run.

As always, thank you for stopping by!

Chat soon,