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From passion projects to a thriving business: small business tips from Cardigang

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Starting a small business from scratch requires a number of skills, arguably some of the most important include resilience, optimism, and passion. Cat Bloxsom and Morgan Collins encompass these qualities. During Melbourne’s lockdown in 2020, the duo were on the hunt to keep calm and carry on and discovered the art of knitting. Three years later what started as a hobby transformed into a business. Cardigang is now a successful small business that helps others experience the excitement and reward of knitting and crocheting their own fluffy creations.

Cat and Morgan bootstrapped the business to get it up and running. Due to limited funds, the pair had to be creative with various elements during the start-up process including branding.

“When it came to the fundamentals of ‘branding’ Cardigang, our main considerations were to be radically different from others in the same category, and create an ‘anti-craft, craft brand.’ says, Cat.

The duo were confident in shaping their brand strategy and had an idea of how they wanted their brand to look, sound and feel. With an incredible network of talented friends – they began to bring their vision to life with amazing photographs which helped establish their distinctive aesthetic, logo, and trendy bold brand identity.

“Bringing a passion project to life is always a journey, and consists of ups and downs, but with the right attitude and drive – it is all worth it in the end”, adds Morgan.

Recent research from Vista has also found that 2 in 5 SMBs (41%) began their passion project which then turned into a mainstay commercial business, similar to the essence of Cardigang. A further 16% of female business owners started their business as a side hustle as well showcasing 45% of female SMB owners have a positive outlook ahead to the new financial year.

“Passion is what gets us up in the morning. The community we’ve fostered through our customer base has seen us connect with so many likeminded people”, says Morgan.

Cardigang recently had the opportunity to pop-up at The Finders Keepers Autumn Winter markets, showcasing their business to hundreds of Sydneysiders.

2023 was the 15th year of The Finders Keepers markets, this year held in The Hordern Pavilion. The markets which took place last month showcased a range of different vendors - from ceramics to art, fashion to food, Finders Keepers market events are a celebration of creativity, slow-made and conscious shopping from local makers and designers.

Cat and Morgan have shared some small business tips to inspire and help other individuals that are looking to start their own small business.

  • Make sure to narrow down your ideas of your brand assets in order to streamline your distinctive brand identity.

  • Understand your target audience and what resonates well with them – this will help craft your messaging, visuals, and your overall brand experience.

  • Stay true to your authentic self as it’s easy to get caught up with trying to imitate and replicate what other successful brands look and feel like. Authenticity builds trust.

  • The key to creating a strong brand identity lies in showcasing your unique qualities and values.

  • Remember your brand / business is not just about a logo and colour scheme – it is about creating an emotional connection with your audience and keeping them engaged.


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