As a small brand with a local focus, Hills & West struggled to get media attention. Since joining Flaunter, they’ve scored coverage in some of Australia’s leading publications and have made connections that would have previously been near-impossible. We caught up with owner and founder Aisha Hillary-Morgan to chat starting a business, making connections and the total magic of chance encounters…
On starting a business Before starting Hills & West I was travelling the world working as a strategist for other brands. In my role, I was always searching for the perfect bag that was practical, stylish and adaptable enough to take me from the plane to the boardroom. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for I thought, why not do it myself?
Hills & West was the result of that thought bubble! We launched two years ago after connecting with talented artisans and specialists who help to create the best quality pieces with a unique twist. We always aim to create versatile, high-quality pieces with a minimal aesthetic that’s designed to fit seamlessly into any wardrobe. Each piece is locally handmade from premium materials and offers complete luxury at an attainable price.
On chance meetings As a self-funded start-up and relatively new to the PR side of the industry, any help was always welcomed. When I started Hills & West, I spent many months taking people for coffee and asking for any advice or tips. One day I was having coffee with Natalie from Bird & Knoll and she was telling me about a platform that helped connect you with media. As she was telling me how Flaunter worked Gaby actually sat down across from us and she introduced us. The rest is history!
On growing an emerging brand I knew from the outset that getting noticed by the media was essential to growing my brand. However I was new to the industry and my initial attempts at getting media attention were dismal! There were so many editors, with so little time and the market is flooded with accessories. It seemed like an uphill battle for a small local label like mine to get noticed. After meeting Gaby that fateful day, I decided to trial Flaunter. I uploaded my pics and made a few mood boards. In the first month our Morgan 3 in 1 Backpack was selected for a final edit spread in Collective Hub. I haven’t looked back since!
On winning coverage Since that first edit spread, we’ve been featured in “editor’s pick” features, bloggers top picks, street style shoots and fashion editorials in publications such as Collective Hub, The Sun Herald and Profile Magazine. Flaunter has put Hills & West in front of media that historically would be difficult to gain any awareness with.
On managing budgets Before finding Flaunter, I had previously looked for a similar service to help drive results. The only real options were working with a PR agency on a retainer or hiring someone to manage my PR and both of these were way beyond the budget of a start-up on a shoestring. Flaunter provided a solution that connected me with media and bloggers in an easy to manage and cost-effective solution. It also allows me to easily measure my return on investment and even adds value along the way!
On keeping up with the media Flaunter gets you in front of the media. It puts your brand where they’re looking and does so in a format that they want to engage with. But it also works the other way… It has a platform that shares media call outs which allows brands to respond directly to what the media are looking for. In a world where time is money, this is a godsend and is amazing at sharing opportunities that may otherwise have passed by unnoticed.
On going at your own pace As any business owner knows, sometimes your schedule gets totally crazy! What I love about Flaunter is that you’re completely in control. You can manage the platform how you like, adding collections as they come on or doing it all in one go. You can set up mood boards and create albums – the more effort you put in the more you’ll get out of it!
On Flaunter in three words Efficient, easy, innovative.
Find and follow Hills & West at @hillsandwest // hillsandwest.com
Inspired by the Hills & West experience? Put your brands where the media are looking with Flaunter.