Interview with Kraken Kreative founder: Sion Gruffydd
For our new factory we teamed up with Wollongong based creative studio, Kraken Kreative. Founder Sion Gruffydd shares what its like to be a business owner and the quality that goes into every aspect of what he does. Founded in 2010, Kraken Creative have found great success in bringing business' creative ideas to life. We enlisted Sion's help to transform our factory into a fun workspace for our staff, and boost our merchandise game with an original illustration showcasing the original founder of Buckaroo, Ken Van Der Water.
\SION GRUFFYDD, OWNER OF KRAKEN KREATIVE
What is the most rewarding part of creating your own brand? What has been the most challenging?
Although the work is very rewarding and seeing our work around a lot gives me a good feeling, getting to work with the other local business owners has something special about it in Wollongong, it’s like a little community supporting each other. I’ve also got a great team working at the studio making it a lot more enjoyable to go to work. I’ve wanted to work for myself for as long as I can remember, so to be able to do this and provide for my family at the same time is probably the most rewarding of all.
As for the Challenges, they’re there every day, and although some are more stressful than others, I think I’ve learnt to deal with them quite well and have realised there would be no point in business without them. If I’m not being challenged, I think I’d get bored pretty quickly.
What do your kids think of your work? Do they get involved?
My son Cai who’s 4 loves it, always comes to visit when I’m painting a mural and will usually grab a brush and have a go himself. It was pretty funny to watch him spray paint the Win Entertainment Centre at 2yrs old. He always recognises and points out the murals when we drive past. That’s a very rewarding part of it.
Offering a range of services including graphic design, illustration, T-shirt screen printing, sign writing and murals. What is your favourite part of the work you do?
It would have to be the big murals and signage work. It’s really hard work mentally and physically and usually they take quite a long time when you add in the design process, so when those projects come to an end it’s pretty satisfying to sit back and see the final piece.
“If something feels right in your gut you have to go for it, even if it's risky."
What is the most unique thing you have been asked to work on and did you take it on?
I try to make all my work unique to the brand I’m working on, but if I had to pick one, maybe Coal Coast Brewing Co. I was very excited to be chosen to design these beers and the challenge was that the words 'Coal Coast’ gets used a lot in the area, so I put a lot into making sure these were very unique to the name 'Coal Coast’.
Being a business owner is not an easy journey, if you could travel back to when you first started, what lessons would you want to share with your young self?
Always go with your gut feeling. There was a lot of times I had to make pretty big decisions like taking on my first staff member, or moving to better premises and I put them off because of the risk. But now I’ve learnt, that if something feels right in your gut you have to go for it, even if it's risky.
Your work doing murals can find you in some different places, has any of your work been dangerous?
I’m going to say ’No’ for legal reasons haha! What I do can definitely can be dangerous, if you don’t put the correct measures in place, but like the gut feeling again, if something feels off, just double check to make sure it's safe.
Something we have in common as a brand is priding ourselves in the quality of our work. How important is this to you and how do you make it a priority?
It’s very important, but at the same time it's not something I have to keep track of, it's build into me by watching my dad work. I was raised on ‘If you're going to do something, do it well’, from keeping my things clean and tidy, taking my time to do something well and to appreciate the process of creating something.