ABOUT NIKKI MILNE DIRECTOR OF THE PERTH COLLECTIVE PR
I’ve always had a passion for marketing, but growing up in a country town limited my career path somewhat, so I ended up in hairdressing at age 17. This took me on adventures travelling across the country - from working in Broome to styling celebrities on the exclusive Hayman Island, every day was an adventure!
In 2006 I returned to Perth, and in partnership with my parents I bought my first business, a hair and beauty salon in Subiaco. I was aged just 23. I loved being a small business owner but I struggled to connect with like-minded women, finding there was no network targeted exclusively to creatives while they established and built their businesses. I attended small business and social media workshops, only to discover that the people hosting them had little to no social media following of their own, or they were also start-up businesses trying to teach me how to build my start-up business - which didn’t really inspire confidence!
I learnt so many valuable lessons along the way. From managing 13 staff, to having days when not a single client came through my doors - with a $1000-per- week Subiaco rent hovering over my head! - I learnt that all businesses, even the small ones, are full of daily challenges. The week before Christmas in 2014, when my eldest son was six months old, I sold the salon business with a heavy heart after receiving an offer I couldn't refuse. After eight years in operation, I felt I could no longer run the business to my fullest potential while I raised my young children, and I knew it was time to move on. Within a few months, I fell into my next career path - private small business consulting for the creative industry - after a former client called and asked me to help her with marketing and building a business profile in Perth.
Thanks to word of mouth, this suddenly snowballed into a new small business venture - and I realised I had found my true passion in helping people turn their hobbies into small businesses. All those years of challenges, staff issues, occasional failures, great successes and experience, turned out to be the most valuable 'unofficial degree' in small business!
On May 13, 2015, I conceived a simple idea: a free platform to promote WA female-owned small businesses. Two hours later, I launched The Perth Collective on Instagram and watched it grow at rapid speed. In the first week alone, TPC’s Instagram featured 123 Perth small businesses and amassed 2223 followers. That was just the beginning! Seven weeks later, The Perth Collective launched in spectacular style at C Restaurant, with 200 female small business owners from all over WA meeting and bonding over champagne and canapés while taking in the beautiful Perth skyline. Two other events followed this: The Breakfast Session at Fraser's of Kings Park, and then a Summer Long Table at The Cottesloe Beach Hotel in November.
After 5 months' maternity leave following the arrival of my second son, I returned in 2016 with brand new fearless ideas to build The Perth Collective brand and to continue to help grow and inspire WA female-owned businesses.
In May 2016 we launched TPC Directory, which features small businesses of note across WA and has been hugely popular, with an average of 22,000 page views per month. August 2016 saw the launch of the first SALTED print magazine at our second Skyhigh event. The print magazine featured over 100 local female-owned businesses across 66 pages. SALTED Summer edition followed in November. I also printed my first book in October, How To Influence Your Creative Market ... 2016 was a big year!
2017 saw the launch of the Event Management and PR division of The Perth Collective. My focus: connecting the right small businesses with the right brands and influencers. I also had the opportunity to work with brands like Diesel Motors, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Moët & Chandon, and to create media events in beautiful venues like Print Hall and unique events spaces like a luxury boat and aviation hanger.
In 2019 our PR Brand Portfolio has grown to include Stirling Capital, The King Street Precinct and we continue to work with Mercedes-Benz in WA.
We continue to disrupt, evolve and grow. We welcome your brand to take the journey with us!