Challenge Finalist 2017

May 25, 2017

Creatively Squared QUT bluebox Challenge Finalist 2017

Creating engaging, beautiful visual content can be time consuming and challenging for companies. Creatively Squared is a new startup that matches the brands with the right creative talent to produce eye catching images at scale.

Creatively Squared not only connects brands with the right creatives to produce incredible visual content, they also run weekly creative challenges aimed at engaging and supporting their global creative community.

Q&A with Creatively Squared founders Ruth Stephensen and Scott Thomas

Who is Creatively Squared?

Ruth Stephensen, co-founder of Creatively Squared and QUT Masters of Creative Advertising graduate, was looking for a creative outlet. She teamed up with Scott Thomas, who has experience in business strategy and innovation, together they have turned a thriving creative community into a solution for a problem many businesses face.

“It all began when I started entering creative competitions and challenges on Instagram and I realised that none were really hitting the mark, so I came up with my own” Ruth said.

“Creatively Squared first launched as a creative hub on Instagram, in April last year. Since then we have run a creative competition every week where we develop a theme in collaboration with a brand sponsor and invite our community to create an image inspired by that concept. We usually get a couple hundred entries each week and the quality of the creative work is just outstanding! The community is really engaged and supportive of each other, we love seeing people’s skills develop week after week.”

Through the weekly challenge entrants, Creatively Squared has developed a talent pool that they match with clients looking for creative visual content for their products or services.

What is Creatively Squared?

Creatively Squared is a platform to connect businesses that need creative, engaging imagery with talented content creators.

Biggest challenge with starting up Creatively Squared

Scott mentions the challenge is ensuring the art and science of matching-up is correct.

“The biggest challenge is identifying which creative stylists will provide the best results for each client. The thing that attracted me to what Ruth is doing with the community-turned-into-a-business is there is this group of really talented creatives creating amazing value and businesses that need help with creating content, so the opportunity is there to build something that helps both”

Greatest success to date

This is Ruth’s first startup but it is her drive that has been key to her success. She has built a social community of 12,000 creatives, which she can now connect to employers and enjoys every moment she spends on supporting the creative community.

On her greatest success Ruth says, “We love when we hear from customers that are blown away at the high-quality of the content! We are now seeing repeat customers and to us that means we are doing something right. In addition, we had the pleasure of working with a few big brands that are stocked in national supermarkets. The fact that we can deliver to that level is showing us that we have something special,” Ruth said.

Scott added, it was also the new way of working and how others are able to enjoy their work was also a success for Creatively Squared.

“For me it’s not just building a viable business, but seeing the stylists that are able to earn a living in a flexible manner doing what they love. So it’s not only the clients that are happy but it's also the people doing the work that are happy. Enabling that is really satisfying,” Scott said.

What would it meant to you win the QUT bluebox Challenge?

“It would be fantastic for a number of reasons, the mentoring and the network it brings are incredibly helpful. When you are startup publicity is great to create awareness about what we’re doing” Scott said.

Ruth added, “It would be great to think that I did my Masters in Creative Advertising here at QUT, and although I discovered that I didn’t want to work in an agency, it is an industry that I am passionate about and it was QUT that was the key to this application that started my startup journey; that I did this degree and now built my business from it.”

The crowd vote for the QUT bluebox Challenge is now OPEN! Vote for Creatively Squared here!

Find out more

On the QUT bluebox challenge

Ruth mentioned that she has learned a lot from the QUT bluebox challenge and picked up some new skills along the way.

“It's been an interesting learning curve. We decided that we were going to make our 30 Second Pitch video ourselves from scratch, so we taught ourselvesAdobe Premiere Pro and After Effects so that we could create each scene. I was hoping it would only take us a few hours but it took me three hours to make three seconds!” Ruth laughs, “So I was actually pretty chuffed with the result considering the learning curve that we faced.”

Advice to applicants next year?

I definitely encourage anyone that's even remotely interested to apply, there are some great prizes and the mentoring can really help you start your business on the right path.

For more information

Contact: Liliana Campos


Phone: +61 7 3138 9413