AFC MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
MEET | FLAUNTER
Gaby Howard, CEO & Founder of Flaunter
This week we caught up with AFC Member Gaby Howard, CEO and Founder of Flaunter, the Sydney based digital PR platform connecting brands with some of the best storytellers around the world...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY BACKGROUND AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO FASHION?
I decided at the end of year 12 that my future was in communications. Why not - I loved talking and going to parties ;) ?! Jokes aside, I started working full-time in PR while I was finishing my degree. Working at Maria Farmer Public Relations was an incredible experience. It was in that role that I fell in love with fashion and lifestyle PR. Not the parties - but communicating stories, building brands and profiles. And Maria always worked with the most amazing people.
In my mid twenties I shifted focus and worked at a not-for-profit for three years. In hindsight, it was effectively a startup and really pushed me to fill huge knowledge gaps. Our success was critical for the kids who benefited from our programs, so we were constantly learning and iterating. My job came with no instruction manual - and with the co-founders we achieved some really extraordinary things … largely through the power of storytelling.
Then came my own consultancy. Then came a PR startup.
Flaunter was born out of my own frustrations with old-school PR processes and difficulty in documenting my ROI as a publicist. I love working with fashion, interiors and beauty brands. And the scope of work is so much broader than in a traditional PR role. Everyday we’re working with brand owners, PR agencies, media, influencers, retailers, content creators, creatives, entrepreneurs, the tech community and the industry at large.
WHERE DOES FLAUNTER FIT IN?
Flaunter’s mission is to make it easier for brands to reach new audiences by connecting their content with the best storytellers around the world.
PR today should be smarter, not harder - but with social media, direct outreach, influencer engagement, events, content creation, media relations... PR professionals have more bases to cover than ever before.
At Flaunter we saw an opportunity to use technology to create a better, smarter way to execute on PR strategy, while more effectively measure impact. We offer image sharing, sample tracking, and reporting all in one tool.
WHO IS FLAUNTER FOR?
Like with many software platforms, Flaunter’s tech can have different applications and benefits for different customers.
Who are our customers? Small or emerging brands, Growth stage brands, Large or established brands, PR agencies, Distributors & Media (Journalists, stylists, bloggers, influencers & retailers).
We’ve become an essential PR tool in a variety of ways.
For small and growth brands who can’t afford to work with agencies yet - and are often one-person teams with a founder who is trying to do it all - we are a stepping stone. We provide the tools, education, connections and support so they they can do their own PR. These brands recognise that they have to be ‘on the radar’ in order to build brand recognition.
For larger brands (and distributors) with internal PR and marketing teams we act like an additional staff member, a PR assistant helping to save time across the daily flow of media requests, content sharing and tracking.
For agencies we become a platform that makes it easier to deliver better results for their clients.
For media we provide on-demand access to brand images and product.
WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT THE FASHION / TECH SPACE?
For me, the most exciting developments in the ‘fashion tech’ space are centred around the business of fashion:
- Retail and ecommerce innovation;
- The power of data; and
- Smart software.
I think in particular, the power of data really fascinates me. Of course, we collect tonnes of it every second of everyday, but it’s the application of that data that’s super interesting. And data is now so much easier to filter and consolidate into bite-sized chunks that there should be no business function that runs without it.
WHAT DOES 'AUSTRALIAN' FASHION MEAN TO YOU?
It’s funny - this is a question I have asked so many people on camera… and it’s a hard one for Australians to answer!
Beyond the cliches, my experience of Australian fashion is that it’s young, exciting, reflective of our warm and open culture. I think it’s been said before, while we once felt very far away (and less so now with technology) our distance is now one of our strongest assets. Our approach to life isn’t inherently steeped in long-standing traditions and that makes innovation easier.
I LOVE wearing Australian designers. I think my wardrobe is testament to that ;)
WHAT'S NEXT FOR FLAUNTER?
So many things!
This year will see Flaunter officially launch into international markets.
Our Digital Showroom tools will become even smarter - eventually replacing the need for the large, physical showrooms we see today.
And as technology improves our Image Tracking will grow to replace outdated media monitoring services.
We want Flaunter to be the global standard in PR tools. No biggie ;)
RECOMMEND 5! WHO/WHAT/WHERE ARE YOUR LOCAL TEXTILE & FASHION GO TO’S?
1. Clare Press’s Wardrobe Crisis podcast. Clare is a total eco warrior and I love the content she’s creating. It’s important listening for everyone working in the industry.
2. Business of Fashion. Ok, so not exactly local, but an incredible resource for the industry at large.
3. The Intersection, Paddington. I love the curation of Australian brands, and It’s a beautiful place to shop.
4. Mumbrella. I read it religiously to stay across the Australian media and PR landscape.
5. On instagram: Oracle Fox - I love Mandy’s feed. The Daily Edited - Alyce and Tania have an incredible startup journey behind them and I love following their updates. Pip Edwards - What she and Claire have accomplished with P.E Nation - 100%.