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Transformer Hub helps new consultancy take flight

March 10, 2020

Helene Norman and Daniel Harkin from Red Flamingo Studios, working out of the Bond Transformer Hub

A new one-stop-shop creative studio based out of Bond University is on a mission to help local start-ups and empower women in business.

Former Bond student Helene Norman is managing director at Red Flamingo Studios, operating from the university’s Transformer entrepreneurship hub.

She describes Red Flamingo Studios as a creative studio specialising in film and photography, but also doing everything from marketing strategies to content creation.

Norman, who also works at the university as a research assistant, said Red Flamingo Studios began as a pathway for students to gain experience and help other start-ups.

“The goal in the beginning was to show that students are not just students, they are professionals too, that’s always been the goal.

“We want to grow our business and help as many start-ups as possible. For us also, we want to help more students to get some experience and get a job.”

Red Flamingo Studios currently has four team members – videographer Daniel Harkin, graphic designer and assistant manager Joey Wang, and photographer Nancy Cao, alongside Norman.

Norman sees one of the organisation’s strengths as being the ability to provide a complete business solution for start-ups, which are often operating under financial constraints.

“For a lot of start-ups that don’t have big budgets, they might spend money on a digital marketer, strategy, content, and a photographer. It builds up, so we want to be that one-stop shop.”

In particular, Norman is passionate about the importance of marketing for start-ups.

“It really breaks my heart to see start-ups fail, and one major part of that is marketing, they fail to market themselves properly or they don’t have the budget to spend on marketing. That’s why I got into marketing, because it’s such a big part of a business, it’s not everything, but it’s a major part.”

Over the coming year, Red Flamingo Studios plans to focus on the Gold Coast and Brisbane markets, with a particular emphasis on providing video content.

“I just see that film content, it’s growing. As a business you pretty much need to have good videos and photos to stand out, it’s such a competitive market these days, you really need to step up your game with the visual content,” Norman said.

Another focus for the organisation is supporting women in business, both through providing employment opportunities and working with female-led organisations.

“When it comes to supporting women in business, I’m a real advocate for that, and I know it can be really hard, so I try to take on as many females as I can, as well as supporting women in business. The last three clients we’ve had at Red Flamingo are 100 per cent female corporations. I think it’s really important with the ‘sisterhood’ that we help each other out,” Norman said.

Norman is confident the Gold Coast will prove to be a natural fit for Red Flamingo Studios.

“The Gold Coast is the mecca of start-ups, you’re coming across new start-ups all the time.”