• Monique Ryan-Musacchio

The Power of Communal-Collaboration over Competition

Almost two years ago; I was plugged into a video conference with our then PR team; who questioned me with “Tell us about your most successful #collaboration to date”. Through my businesses Coastal Drift & Malawi Cane, we'd #partnered with #stores, #stylists and #designers on various projects; all generally entailed an aspect of contra-stock from us; with the major draw card being driving #awareness of everyone involved. Some were average, some were a raving success, and some belly-flopped from the 10m board; but we learnt and grew from each and applied these learnings to our next.

Shoot forward another six months to May 2018; to a day when you find yourself having a genuine #lightbulbmoment . I knew I had met and worked with an insanely awesome bunch of #talented and like-minded business friends throughout the #Sydney #interiors and #homewares world. We all had one thing in common; we were working in our #smallbusiness silos (generally a home office or studio or independent store), and only coming together for small aspects of our careers; such as photo shoots, giveaways, workshops, sharing containers.

The lightbulb; why don’t we all come together under one roof; each run our existing business, but be able to share our wins/loses, coach each other from any independent learnings we make; take advantage of shared resources; and share our foot-traffic to help build eachother’s businesses.

Fast-forward to October 2018; and we were handed the keys for our new shared #showroom and #warehouse; paint brushes in hand and fit-out began.

On 1 November 2018; Lifestyle Collective – Northern Beaches, opened its doors with a ripper of a launch party; that saw our individual communities come together as one and support all of us in our true collaborative collective.

So one year on; how do I reflect…

It’s been an incredible and unforgettable year – moments of pride, being damn scared, climbing previously thought impossible goals, sadness and joy within our now larger “family-unit”, and also un-ending support from eachother. We’ve seen some of our businesses flourish and others not.

However the nugget I will take away from this year is…

The power of communal-collaboration is IMMENSE! The moment you connect and share, instead of compare, is truly when you blossom as a business.

Perhaps it's about time I call my old PR team with the answer to their question!

Author: Monique Ryan-Musacchio, Founder of Lifestyle Collective - Northern Beaches; Founder & Director of Coastal Drift Interiors; Founder & Director of Malawi Cane

If you are a small Lifestyle business in Sydney and keen to join our Collective showroom and warehouse space then please contact Monique on

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