Woman in Innovation: Sancho Murphy
"Innovation is important because it can be a catalyst for positive change and growth."

Each Wednesday we interview women in our community about innovation and what drives them to make a difference in their industries everyday!

What are you working on?
Well, last year happened in a way that resulted in me dropping 2 jobs. So, I’m focusing all my energy on Sancho’s Dirty Laundry and settling into my new digs in Braddon. The last couple of years I neglected the shop a little and it became a demanding juggling act with my time.

I’m working on expanding the stock range, really getting stuck into making more t-shirts/products and collaborating with designers on limited releases particular to Dirty Laundry. I’ve been itching to do this for a while but a chunk of my time was spent facilitating things for other people. This is the first version where my shop has been in a location that is 100% on my own terms – not shared or relegated to a pop-up space. That equates to 100% creative freedom – which is overwhelming!

Rent for commercial property is the highest it’s been in Canberra, yet sales in retail are probably the lowest – that can be challenging, so I’m working on also developing my custom screen-printing side hu$tle and using the shop as like, a ‘display office’.

Hmmm, and maybe work on semi-regular exhibitions or events – at my own pace and timing that works with my collaborators, so we’re not forced to compromise on the original vision or have the pressure of unrealistic deadlines.

I’ve met some good people with great ideas that will see something awesome happen before the end of the year, but I’m gonna be sly and keep that quiet for now, it’s just so rad and will allow me to have the capacity to make/design more! ☺

Why is innovation important to you?
Innovation is important because it can be a catalyst for positive change and growth. Rethinking how we live and work. It’s like, acknowledging a problem but then also presenting a constructive solution. It’s about using new and current resources in innovative ways and doing something better then what’s already being done.

It can drive healthy competition and help counter the homogeny and propel creative diversity and opportunities.

What drives you to make a difference?
I’ve worked in retail and marketing most of my life – particular to music and design, from the inside-out it’s made me realise how business can be such a money grab, mass consumerism can be pretty wasteful and the commodification of the creative industry can result in the perversion of an art form or movement – it’s whack! So I guess what started as creating the opportunity for me to be able to do things in a way that suited me has now evolved into creating a socially conscious business that celebrates individuality, creativity and an ethical supply chain. Which is great!

Being ethical about business drives me, I’m here for a good time, not a long time. I believe we can choose to make (in any combination really) easy money, lots of money, dirty money or good money. From experience/observation, some choices require that you take more then you give. I like making good, balanced money in that I ensure my job is soul filling – I want to go to work, transactions are genuine, everyone involved gets a good deal and my business is sustainable without getting too greedy. I’m just trying to do me.

I’ve been pretty lucky to be able to create my little bubble and meet people along the way who vibe with that and become part of the shop from artists/designers I collaborate with, my regular customers, friends and family, to independent labels I stock or musicians who play events/launches. I just want everyone to get paid what they’re owed – there’s nothing good about feeling like you’re work is worthless in any industry or feeling ripped off, we’ve all been there!

Do you have any advice for getting more women into the innovation ecosystem?
Not one person knows all the answers, but from my experience, women think differently. Don’t be afraid to actively talk to other women about challenges and asking advice, also collaborate if you can, working with other driven women can be empowering and a good skill-swap. Connecting with mentors can be a confidence boost and sometimes simply actioning things instead of being consumed by self-doubt can lead to more. It’ll help you find ‘your people’.

Allow yourself to make mistakes while you navigate out of your comfort zone and being committed to learning and not perfection will make you realise the more difficult the challenge, the more rewarding it is!

And the golden rule, get everything in writing and read it 3 times over! There are some shady peeps out there tryna put their hands in your pockets.

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