If you haven't already heard of Smack Bang itself, we can assure you that you've scrolled past some of their work on the gram. With clients like Peony Swimwear and PE nation at the tip of the iceberg.. creating brands with impact is what they do, and they do it well.
We were lucky enough to ask Tess about her creative journey and hear how her humble beginnings has led her to where she is now, with two successful businesses, a growing family and a passion for purpose and creating lasting positive change.
Q1: Hi Tess, welcome to the Woman Of Series! Can you tell us what it is you create?
I create cult brands and the creative that supports their mission alongside my team at Smack Bang.
Q2: How did you break into the industry? And how do you continue to create a point of difference?
I started small, hustled hard and worked with an unwavering vision. Design and ‘brand’ has always been my greatest love and, I think, has come naturally to me. Even as a teen, I had an innate love and deep curiosity for the intersection where brands meet their consumers through creative output.
From extremely humble beginnings, Smack Bang experienced exponential (and sometimes nerve-wracking) growth. Within three years I had a team of 9 and a rather exciting client waitlist.
Our point of difference has always been our ability to craft memorable brands that spark engagement and connection with their end consumers for longevity and solid market footing.
Q3: Can you give us a snapshot of your creative process?
I’m most creative and ‘in flow’ when my days have rhythm and space for me. With a young family and two businesses on the go, it’s important, and yet very rare for me to have time to myself. However, I do find that when my ‘cup is full’, I’m better able to produce creative that’s both authentic and purposeful.
My creative process is messy and experimental, fuelled by excitement and research and best supported with peace, quiet, solitude and sunshine.
Q4: We’re noticing more and more brands and businesses creating intentionally. Do you believe it is important to have a message behind what you do, and if so, what is this to you?
Absolutely. I don’t believe you can have a business unless you have a purpose or message. The Smack Bang purpose has always been to worship unconventional ideas that create true, lasting positive change.
Q5: What has been the biggest lesson in your journey so far?
In Life — Fulfilment, family and appreciating good fortune is paramount.
In Business — That momentum is the greatest asset you can have. Building upon your wins as fast as you can gets you where you want to be.
Q6: What have you found is important in life and business to you? Have your priorities shifted over time?
Absolutely. I’ve always believed that our lives are our own greatest masterpieces and that it's up to us to constantly tweak and refine the role we play in them. My priorities were quietly and gradually shifting and evolving for years. And then I had my daughter in 2018 and they dramatically transformed with a rather loud thud and abrupt bang.
All of a sudden I became a fierce mother with a desire to create a beautiful, but purposeful life for my family – One that allowed us the freedom to spend our days as we wish and the opportunity to set a great example for Dylan. My only quest now is carving out a life that allows Dylan to experience and appreciate the beauty, richness and wonderment that comes with our privileged life. I’m finding that business is one of the greatest vehicles to do so.
Q7: With this in mind, what is your big hope and dream for your work?
To bring to life brands that make true, lasting change to our world, whilst remaining true to my own sense of integrity and prioritising mine and my family’s well being above all.
Q8: What are your top 3 superpowers?
Impatience. Heart. Vision.
Q9: We’re all about women inspiring women. Who inspires you?
I have so many great women in my life whom I consider to be great for many and varying reasons. Women I find most inspiring are uniquely true to themselves, seeking lives they love with tenacity, vision and authenticity.
Q10: What advice would you impart on the next generation of women, and women in business?
Find your greater purpose by recognising your passions, privilege and prowess. Stand up for what you believe in, celebrate your virtues and stay in your lane.