The Start Up Files is a series that aims to find out where good ideas come from and how they happen. Each fortnight we chronicle the journey of someone who brought their idea to life through the Renew Adelaide program. In this article, we chat to Libby Parker about Expressions Media, a media organisation specialising in copywriting, publicity and education.
During a particularly busy day in her job as an English and Drama teacher, Libby Parker went on a walk to clear her head. While she was walking she spotted a nursing home.
“It was really beautiful. I thought that’d be a nice place to while away my days. And I thought if I was in there would I be happy with the choices I’ve made in life? The answer was no because I’d always wanted to become a journalist.”
The next day Libby handed in her resignation and applied to study a journalism degree. From there, she began freelancing in journalism while continuing to teach, later moving on to copywriting and publicity and running writing workshops with what came to be known as Expressions Media.
Libby had found the prospect of leasing a commercial property daunting until she started collaborating with a friend who had an office through the Renew Adelaide program.
“A friend of mine was running Yewth Mag from an old bank, and it was such a great space. I ran some workshops from there and I collaborated with them. I was teaching kids to be journalists and then we published the work in the magazine which was such a fantastic collaboration. I thought, this is great, I want to do more of these. So I started looking at Renew properties.”
Coincidentally, the space Expressions Media ended up in was also a former bank. Located on Hutt St, the space serves as a shared working space for Libby and a small community of like-minded people freelancing in media/publicity.
The space is a mix of large open space, perfect for running workshops and meetings, as well as small office spaces that are ideal for working individually. The bank vault is used as a recording studio for podcasts and band rehearsal room.
While everyone in the space works individually in similar fields, Libby says the environment is more supportive than competitive.
“We’re all working in different niches and we all work with different people. We refer constantly to eachother and we all get work through eachother so it’s actually an amazing network.”
“It’s also good because we’re all our own company, we all work independently, but we can meet in the lunch room and gossip about the day’s events. We’re not working together but we can still gather around the water cooler and problem solve and troubleshoot. And that’s the nice thing, we’re a nice community.”