For the last few months, in addition to my client work, I have been working with my collaboration partners, Renee and Jacob Russo, to deliver financial training to local business owners. (Psst the next one is on this Wednesday, all about Cash)

Renee and Jacob run Hypmotive Hub (and their scrumptious dogs Angus and Juno). The Hub is a platform which consists of a brick and mortar shop, studio space, and an online shop. The brick and mortar shop is in Marrickville, in Sydney’s Inner West.

Today,  I asked Renee and Jacob a few questions about their business.


BB: What type of product or service to you deliver?

HH: We are a retailer and experience provider, specialising in unique design and services in home, interiors, fashion, jewellery and lifestyle categories.

All of the items, art and services we have on our platform are by local artists, designers, makers and brands.

For the creative community, we are a service provider. You can read more of our services via the creators hub.


BB: What is your goal?

HH: Our goal is to provide a unique shopping and experience space, and to provide customers with the ability to shop meaningful, inspired items and art into their world, made and designed by local artists and brands.

BB: What help did you seek while setting up your business eg accountants, business consultants, government?

HH: Having come from a decade of corporate retail experience working across various roles, I had fortunately acquired a lot of the required skill-sets to build the structure and foundation of the business and ongoing management of it. The three key third parties we involved right from the beginning was our lawyer to ensure we had our bases covered with all legalities, such as terms and conditions across our vertical arms of the business and commercial lease; website & brand design developers and our accountant to help us set up our invoicing and sales processing right from the start, as we currently operate a mixed model which include membership, consignment and wholesale agreements.


BB: Were there any barriers to entry? Eg licenses, asset purchases, franchise agreements?

HH: We haven’t had any barriers to entry or that have stopped us from moving forward (touch wood!). There have been many challenges along the way, but no barriers.


BB: What was the biggest risk you faced and how did you mitigate it?

HH: The biggest risk we have faced is the initial decision and action to transition the idea we had into reality and commit 100% to building this business from the ground up.

We assessed the risk and we had tested the model in the market – all collated data, skill assessment, market review and trends, our financials and timing was all pointing to a YES! The time is now! So we took the plunge — but this risk hasn’t mitigated yet!!!


BB: What do you see as the biggest reward/upside of your business so far?

HH: That people love the space we have created in Marrickville and that we are now servicing over 40 local creatives who are part of this platform, with that number steadily growing. People also love the website and are eagerly waiting all of the items to be launched online!


BB: Are there any restrictions on your business eg seasonal, capacity constraints?

HH: Unlike fast moving consumer goods, a lot of local makers are producing small batch / small quantity runs of items and therefore the lead time to replenish in store stock can be a longer turn around which means we need to plan a lot further out.

Additionally, some original art and unique items are an acquired taste and the price points can be quite high, however we balance this by also accommodating lower priced items and art, that still have edge and a great story, in order to provide for all discerning customers. There is something for everyone at Hypmotive.


BB: Who are your competitors?

HH: There are some “like” business models in Sydney who are providing affordable retail space to support local makers, we don’t see these businesses as competitors as I feel like we’re on the same wave length, in our values and what we promote and support.


BB: What factors did you take into consideration when you priced your products?

HH: Cost of doing business ie. our operating costs and overheads.

The stage we are at – ie. launch phase / brand building phase

Market landscape, what other businesses in our field are charging and where we see ourselves being positioned.

We build in quarterly reviews to see how we are tracking and what we need to modify to ensure the price mix is good for who we service and good for our business.


BB: How have you got your message out? Eg referral, advertising, networking?

HH: We have now been in trade for 5 months and a lot of marketing and advertising has been via our Hypmotive digital platform, Website, Facebook, Instagram and a little bit on Linked in.  Having a bricks and mortar shop front has really helped to grow by word of mouth, having a tangible product to share with people and the local community. We started to ramp up above the line advertising in local publications around the 4 month mark and will continue to have ATL in a selected number of print media until December.


Thanks Renee and Jacob!


Visit their bricks and mortar shop at 155 Marrickville Road Marrickville.

Or follow them online: Instagram, Facebook, Website 


Better yet, combine the two and come to the next Workshop at Hypmotive Hub on WEDNESDAY 16 AUGUST AT 6PM. Tickets available here.