Young self-starter now on the world stage
WOODFORD Island artist Grace Thorley proves that anyone with a knack for innovation can launch and grow a new business right here in the Clarence Valley - and without ever leaving home.
Since launching her brand Grace Thorley in 2017, the young creative has gained attention on a national and international scale.
"Business has been steadily growing," she said.
"Creating my business has been very challenging and none of this success has happened overnight, but all the hard work is starting to pay off."
Although only 19 when she launched, Ms Thorley had already recognised the power of marketing to sell her products.
This was achieved primarily using Instagram and Facebook. These platforms not only helped build a healthy online customer base but also a fan following that has cross-promoted her work to even larger online influencers.
"I have had big exposure from public figures on YouTube and Instagram," she said.
As a result, Ms Thorley's Instagram account has been boosted to "creator" status which is mainly reserved for high-profile influencers and celebrities.
However, Ms Thorley has maintained her brand visibility right here in the Clarence Valley through face-to-face marketing.
These have included networking at art gallery functions, offering her skills to local businesses (one of her latest projects was painting the menu boards at Brushgrove Pub) to selling her products at local markets.
"If you have something you're really passionate about, believe in and work hard for, I believe you can do it," she said.
"It has taken me years of work to get where I am now, but I am so proud to be where I am at my age.
"I am able to pursue my dream career while living in the most beautiful area in Australia."