5 Minutes with… Fraser Callaway
Hi Fraser, can you tell us a little bit about who you are, what your background is, and how you first got started in the industry.
I was born and raised in Christchurch and moved to Wellington to study design at Massey University. While at uni I always had creative side hustles, which is a tell-tale of my entrepreneurial nature. After graduating, the side hustles got a little more ‘serious’. A tiny wee design business and a cardboard desk company were established. Both run out of a shoebox on Wellington’s Cuba Street with an earthquake rating my mother can never know.
From our shoebox we set our sights on building a cardboard empire and positively changing the world through great design. Fast forward one year… the ambitious vision was starting to take shape. We had done some great work and although we didn’t have a cardboard empire—the hard graft and lofty goals got us noticed.
A gentleman by the name of Geoff Cranko, the group managing partner at Strategy Creative, reached out. A series of unfortunate events had culminated in Strategy Wellington needing some fresh thinking and leadership. Geoff asked us what we would do if we owned an agency. Our response of ‘boldly reimagine everything’ must have struck a chord as he threw us the keys, signed us up as partners and said, “Let’s see it”.
Three years later we are still challenging the notion and have completely turned the company around. To say that it has been a roller coaster is an understatement. The good thing about roller coasters is that even if you are scared shitless they are still fun.
What project, personal or professional, are you most proud of and why?
That is a tough question. Our team has done a lot of brilliant work that I am hugely proud to have played a part in. I guess it would have to be building the Strategy Wellington business, team and culture itself. It is pretty rare to have a highly capable team that have such respect and admiration for each other and, at the same time, are such good friends.
What excites you the most about what you do?
The power of design to positively change the world.
Where do you find inspiration?
Can you give us a sneak peak into your creative / design process ahead of the Adobe Creative Jam?
People ignore design that ignores people. Stand for something but never stand still. Design value not posters.
And finally, where to next for you, Fraser? What does the rest of 2017 hold?
I know I can speak for the others when I say that we get out of bed to do work that truly matters. We love the big hairy, more often than not scary, societal challenges. These are the projects that genuinely push New Zealand forwards and we aren’t afraid to jump face first into them. So in summary, I am excited about more of that. Even more so, we see this as just the beginning…
To hear more from Fraser and to find out all about the Adobe Creative Jam in Wellington click here.
Tickets are FREE but numbers are strictly limited so book yours asap!
Pay-and-display parking at entry A from Wallace Street, or at 60 Tasman Street.