Do your best business with Pin Payments + Creative Catch Up with Life Apparel

Meet the Australian payment platform designed for small businesses like us, Pin Payments! As part of our small biz toolkit, we use Pin Payments as our gateway of choice to accept card payments online and at the markets. They help us do our best business, taking the tricky stuff out of accepting payments, leaving us more time to connect, inspire and empower our creative community. 

Pin Payments is an Australian-operated business founded in 2011 by Grant Bissett and Dominic Pym. As Australia’s first all-in-one multi-currency payment system, it allows small businesses to receive and settle funds in foreign currencies. From solo entrepreneurs to businesses with global ambitions, Pin Payments supports over 12,000 small businesses in Australia and New Zealand, including Pet Rescue, Finders Keepers, Fig & Bloom and Life Apparel.

Pin Payments head of Marketing Yasinta Widjojo told us that businesses can be their “best” and stand out by being “authentic and understanding their customers and mission”. She also shared their top tips for small businesses to optimize their goals. Thank you, Yasinta! 

Tips for small businesses to optimize their goals:

  1. Talk to your customers to ensure your business aligns with their needs. Your customers’ preferences have likely changed with so many changes in the last couple of years. 
  2. Scale as you grow and optimise your spending and resources accordingly. Many solutions allow you to test and scale your business as you grow.
  3. Spend time on the “plumbing”, the “infrastructure” that helps keep your business running smoothly in the background like your payments, processes or operations. Once you get your business’s background humming, it’ll leave you time to build and scale easily. 

In getting to know more about Pin Payments, we were connected with Gold Coast/Yugembeh-based clothing brand Life Apparel, another small business using Pin Payments and doing their “best” business by supporting, celebrating and sharing the stories of First Nations artists. To connect and inspire, we share our Creative Catch-Up with them below. 

Creative Catch Up with Life Apparel

What do you do, and how did you get started?

Life Apparel is a collective of artists, storytellers, creatives, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and allies. We were born in Naarm (Melbourne) in late 2014. Life Apparel is a messenger and vessel that links First Nations artists, their art, stories and knowledge to broader society through wearable art and ethical and accessible fashion items while creating economic opportunities for collaborating artists.

Back in those days, Indigenous design remained widely unacknowledged by mainstream fashion. Since then, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists have chosen to work with Life Apparel. Thousands of customers have decided to support our artists and their collections and started a critical dialogue in their own community.

What’s most important to the creative community you support?

With our devoted purpose to unite people, we strive to amplify voices, advance social change and spark important conversations through fashion. As an Australian-led boutique label and proud allies, Life Apparel nurtures supportive, empowering and inclusive environments for everyone. We make meaningful apparel and encourage everyone to wear and show their values.

What keeps you motivated?

Back in 2014, we dreamed of creating a movement where everyday people could appreciate and promote authentic Indigenous art through fashion in a way that’s never been seen before. Our customers appreciate what we do; such reviews and positive feedback are what keep us motivated to do better every day.

What got you through the last two years as small business owners?

When the pandemic hit, although we lost some business through our wholesale channel but making our retail side stronger and restructuring our operation helped us to go through the first months of lockdown. Later on, we focused on new collections and products and established new connections with other Australian-based manufacturing partners. A more local approach has helped ease the stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on global supply chains.

How have you scaled and grown the business?

To scale sustainably, we needed a business plan. It helps us understand our business with a forecast for the future outlining our approach to growth. Scaling up also means a higher sales volume, and our supply chain needs to be equipped to handle that.

As we grew, we needed more hands on deck. Hiring a task-oriented employee who acts as a planner can do wonders for the business’s long-term success. Luckily, Life Apparel’s small but efficient team works amazingly together. Lastly, we have streamlined and automated our business operation as much as possible: getting things done faster and more efficiently at scale has made things better.

What are your hopes for the future of Life Apparel?

Life Apparel is committed to being an integral part of a better fashion future. This starts with improving sustainability performance within our own backyard and supply chain and demonstrating the resilience of the sustainable business. We continue our journey to develop, design and manufacture eco-conscious apparel, embracing fundamental sustainable practices and advancing the protection of our country and our planet.

Our main purpose remains our core reason for being: to support, celebrate and share the rich stories of First Nations artists. By amplifying our collaborating artists’ voices, we facilitate progress towards a more equal and honest society. Our call to action is awareness.

Want more? Check out our Business Savvy Tips Edition 5: Online Payments with Pin Payments

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