The Young Ones – Katarine Matic & Petrea Dickinson

Meet Katarina Matic and Petrea Dickinson. Co-founders of The Young Ones Magazine, a new magazine devoted to emerging creative talent on the Melbourne design scene. This is their entrepreneurial story.

Where did you get the idea for your business?

We came up with the idea for The Young Ones Magazine whilst studying the RMIT Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design. We’d both settled upon graphic design as a second career of sorts, having previously worked in unrelated sectors (politics and commercial law are about as far away as you can get from creative industry). As such, we approached our studies with the kind of gusto typically exhibited by ‘mature-age’ students, although we hate that term!

We were curious about the graphic design industry that we were entering. In particular, we were intrigued as to how we could achieve ‘success’ in this field. It seemed like the conventional career path of studying and then heading straight into the industry was no longer a viable option; jobs were few and far between, and many design graduates were settling on unpaid internships just to get a foot in the door. There was a real disconnect between the passion for design and the professional reality. This led us to founding The Young Ones Magazine.

How did you get your business started?

The ‘let’s go for it’ moment for The Young Ones Magazine came at a design conference: a very apt place to have a moment of clarity! We were itching to do something. After all, we weren’t used to having so much free time like we did at university. And hearing other creatives talk about how a non-conventional career path allowed them to balance their passion for design with a sustainable career really hit home. We felt like we were being pushed along the conventional career model as the ‘end goal’, but there was really no tangible resource available for students like us hoping to veer off course. We wanted to change that, and we thought that if we were desperate for this information, maybe others were, too. Many meetings, planning sessions and emails later, here we are!

What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?

With Issue One of The Young Ones Magazine, we had the luxury of still being students and therefore having lots of time to dedicate to production. This was definitely not the case with Issue Two: we’re working full time and time is precious. We’ve had to reassess our processes, our goals and our time management. In short, we’ve had to start operating like a business: budgets, sales forecasts, pricing, production costs and future planning have all been part of that. There have been some hard but necessary lessons to learn.

We have also learnt that we can’t do everything ourselves. So, for Issue Two, we bit the bullet and called in our friend and colleague, designer and fellow RMIT graduate, Laura McLean, for some extra muscle. Having another person there to assist us with a growing number of queries, sales and events have really given us all some breathing room to give proper attention to editorial and design.

How important for you has it been to have a mentor?

We don’t have an ‘official’ mentor as yet, but we’re currently in the process of accessing mentoring through the RMIT New Enterprise Investment Fund (NEIF).

What are your top three tips for starting a business?

  1. Do what you are passionate about and take risks! Almost anyone who has done anything even vaguely remarkable has taken a massive risk in doing so. No risk, no reward.
  2. If you don’t know how to do something, ask someone who does. If we cannot do something ourselves, we are not shy in turning to the best in the business to help us out; they help get us over the line each and every time.
  3. Be positive! Great things don’t happen overnight.

Katarina Matic and Petrea Dickinson are both graduates of the RMIT Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design (2014).

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