Stef Driscoll, Nat Dorotic and Jo Betz all share something in common: they are creatives with a good dose of entrepreneurial spirit and business nous. So when the three joined forces to create an online hub out of Geelong for Victoria's best and most unique wedding vendors, you can imagine the result is something very special.
I remember coming across Ivory Tribe on Instagram a year or so ago, just before the ladies launched their website. The beautiful lifestyle images of weddings coupled with local places and people had me sucked in, and it has been exciting to see the Ivory Tribe grow to now have a website rich in clever, creative vendors and an Instagram following of 25k.
With Stef's skills in photography, and Nat and Jo's background in writing (along with Jo keeping herself busy as a wedding celebrant - a.k.a 'love story designer') the three have skills to complement each other, along with a tonne of love for the wedding industry.
Stef, Nat and Jo have been kind enough to share some of their biggest learnings from their first year in business, along with some tips to growing your Instagram community. Take a read!
Tell us how and why Ivory Tribe started?
It began with champagne and ended in a trio of ladies deciding they wanted to celebrate the fabulous brides and grooms, suppliers and landscapes the incredible state of Victoria has to offer. We set out to build an online haven where brides and grooms could find their ultimate Tribe of suppliers, while at the same time celebrating the talent behind the scenes that bring these wedding days to life.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Not to be disheartened when people don't see your vision. Not everyone will get what you're trying to do and that's ok, you're probably on different paths.
And what about your most exciting moment?
We have had quite a few pinch yourself moments, but for us the best times are having proud brides tell us how many of our Tribe they have booked for their wedding day - it is the ultimate compliment and we will never get sick of hearing it.
Tell us how marketing has played a part in your business?
It's all very well to create something beautiful but we work very hard behind the scenes trying to find clever and creative ways to expand our reach even further. The more exposure we receive, the better the spotlight is on our Tribe of amazing suppliers. So marketing is a huge part of what we do, whether it be via social media, collaborations with like-minded brands or simply getting out and talking to people about what we do. It's a constant work in progress.
What marketing has worked really well for your business?
Obviously social media has played a large role in marketing Ivory Tribe. We attained 20k of followers in one year and we continue to grow. One of our favourite marketing campaigns was running a bridal shower giveaway for twenty girls at a luxurious French inspired chateau via Instagram. We loved the entries we received and the actual day itself was a huge amount of fun. We can't wait to share with our followers our yet to be launched bridal shower giveaway for 2016.
Can you tell us how you built your brilliant Instagram community?
Honestly, it was not luck, it was a lot of hard work. We are lucky to have three people behind our account so it means we can really engage with our audience. We always try to respond to comments and help out where we can as we really believe that we are creating a community, and in order to do this you need to participate in it and be authentic.
And any marketing that just hasn't reaped the rewards?
We have been fairly lucky that at this point we haven't experienced anything that had not worked - though we're not silly enough to think that we never will. Our philosophy is that it's better to work on one concept and do it well, than work on multiple concepts and do them half halfheartedly.
Anything exciting in store for Ivory Tribe in the near future?
We have a lot of exciting projects in the pipeline that we are always working really hard on behind the scenes....definitely watch this space!
A HUGE thank you to these three women for sharing these insights into their business. Keep scrolling to see some stunning wedding images and of course, the links that will keep you up to date with Ivory Tribe: