Australian Small Business Champion Awards Finalists: Vine Street Digital & Gemma Renton
Vine Street Digital is excited to announce that we are finalists in the Marketing Services category of the Australian Small Business Champion Awards. This award organisation has spent over 20 years recognising the achievements of small businesses throughout the country. They help to highlight the roles of small businesses in our communities, creating employment opportunities and contributing to our economy.
The digital marketing industry is one that’s often known for overselling and under-delivering. Noticing the burnt-out staff, low productivity, and unhappy clients, and burning out herself, Gemma Renton knew something had to change. She created Vine Street Digital in 2015 as a way to combat these issues.
“It’s important that Vine Street Digital advocates for workplaces that prioritise employee mental health. I want to return to authenticity. I don’t want people to be afraid of the messy parts of themselves and their lives.” – Gemma, owner.
The business is founded on the principles of honesty, trust, and integrity. Rather than subscribing to traditional office life, Gemma chose to give herself and her employees the freedom and flexibility of a completely remote work environment. Staff can choose their location and their hours of work.
“Since working for Vine Street Digital, I feel a lot healthier and happier because I’m able to do the things I want – like going to gym or going out for lunch – while still being able to get all my work done.” – Lachlan, employee.
This opens the company up to employees from all walks of life. It creates a productive work environment and provides a remedy for the digital industry’s modern problems of burnout and high employee turnover. Vine Street Digital fosters an inclusive and accessible environment where staff can design their own lifestyle. Happy and productive staff lead to better results for their clients.
“We provide in-depth, rigorous analysis and improvement for our clients because we are a group of people who believe in transparent and authentic quality for everyone involved. Free from the pressures of inflexible schedules, long commutes, and unrealistic KPIs; our specialists and assistants can create their own work-life balance. This means that every time we sit down to work, we’re bringing the best of ourselves to what we do.” – Kristen, employee.
Vine Street Digital employees live (or have lived) anywhere from regional Victoria, to the Sunshine Coast, to the United Kingdom. Being able to take their work with them means that staff have the freedom to choose where they want to live. It’s also common for workers to visit their families on a more regular basis, working from their childhood homes in Cairns, Townsville, Gladstone, and Lismore.
“We contribute to many local communities, not just one. We have the option of employing people who don’t live in a major city, thus creating jobs where they may be limited options.” – Gemma, owner.
We envisage a world where no one has to sacrifice their careers for their desire to travel, have children, or live rurally. We also want to level the playing field in terms of gender, disability, and race. Staff with mental and/or physical disabilities have found working for Vine Street Digital to be accessible and comfortable.
“As a person with a physical disability, it’s impossible for me to work in a normal office environment. Both sitting and standing are painful for me. At Vine Street Digital, not only am I allowed to work lying down, I didn’t even have to ask.” – Rebecca, employee.
Our ambition is to ensure Vine Street Digital continues on this path and leads others by example. The Australian Small Business Champion Awards is a great platform to share this vision and promote change in the industry. Gemma herself is also a finalist in the Young Entrepreneur category (30 years and under).
Written by Chelsea Zanki
About Vine Street Digital:
Vine Street Digital is a digital advertising agency that focuses on PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing across multiple platforms including Google, Bing, Facebook, and more. Their management services include a thorough analysis of their clients’ business goals and metrics to help deliver their desired results. For further information, contact Vine Street Digital.