You heard right. We’re expanding our wings and opening an office in the USA.
When? Early 2020.
Why? Because we love a new challenge.
Where? Starting in Austin, Texas.
Who’s leading this new chapter? Natalie (yep, me!).
So why Texas?
That’s the question on everyone’s lips. My shortlist included LA, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and New York, but Austin won at the end of the day. Here’s why.
1. Its teeming with new opportunities
Austin is the USA’s fastest growing city. Its population is currently just over 2 million. This is a 2.5% jump from 2017 and an astounding 26.3% jump since 2010. Approximately 170 people move there each day – eager, excited, and looking to build new connections. With open hearts and open minds, the potential to collaborate with (and learn from!) others is infinite.
2. It’s built on technology and innovation
At Avion, we love writing for digital – so Austin will make us feel right at home. Known as “Silicon Hills”, there’s Apple, Atlassian, Dell, Facebook and IBM – just to name a few. The city is also renowned for its fast-moving start-ups, venture capitalists, visionaries, and those that just love working in tech. This helps give Austin a real buzz that’s comparable to bigger cities.
3. The creative scene is amazing
Austin is famous for its annual festivals, in particular South by Southwest (SXSW). In 2018, SXSW alone contributed $350.6 billion to Austin’s economy. There’s no shortage of opportunities for those who work in creative industries. PR and marketing agencies, campaign managers, experience designers, graphic artists, stage crew… You name it. Anyone with the right work ethic and talent can get in on the action.
4. It’s the most liveable city in America
Austin has just been named America’s most liveable city for a third year in a row. You get all the benefits of wide-open spaces, parks, rivers, great weather, culture and tons of nightlife without the hefty price tag. Housing is actually affordable. Plus, Austin is often called the country’s live music capital; it has more live music venues per capita than anywhere else. There’s always something to do.
5. There’s zero income tax
Setting up in LA might sound glamourous, but that’s until you look at your pay cheque. California charges a whopping 12.3% income tax (the highest state income tax in the country), meaning there’ll be less profit in our pockets at the end of a project. In saying that, Avion is still interested in working with clients in other states – we’re just starting out in Texas as its more financially viable. Then we’ll grow from there.
But who’ll be in charge of the Melbourne office?
I’ll be flying between Austin and Melbourne a lot next year. So, Avion is thrilled to announce that Shaun Thaddeus will be joining the team as General Manager next month. Shaun has extraordinary agency experience; he was Brand Manager at McCann Worldgroup in Malaysia before he started his own company, KLIQ Interactive. At KLIQ, he managed an impressive portfolio of clients including Nestle and Oreo.
Don’t forget about my superstars
While we’re excited to see the positive impact that Shaun will create, we can’t ignore the amazing strength of Avion’s existing team. I want to thank them for stepping up over the years. They’ve supported my vision every step of the way – and even nurtured the business while I was away for three months earlier this year. Without them, I wouldn’t be in a position to pursue such opportunities overseas. For that, I’m extremely grateful.
Do you have friends in the USA I should meet?
The Avion team is pumped to be expanding in 2020. If you’re friends with someone in the USA that I should meet, please let me know. I’ll be there making new contacts for three weeks in September/October.
‘Til next time,
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