Our Focus: to inspire women who are passionate about their business, but are overwhelmed with how to position, promote and brand themselves effectively.
Our Mission: to empower women to reach the stars and fulfil their entrepreneurial dreams.
Hi. I’m Lütfiye and I am the Founder and Creative Director of Astara Creative.
I love all things marketing. I am a branding fiend and I love playing with words! My happy place is brainstorming for new strategies or studying the world of luxury branding and how they evolve over time. I spend a lot of my “spare time” researching the history of luxury brands we have all grown to know and love. I am fascinated by how brands emerge. Consumer psychology is my “thing”.
Do I love shopping? Naturally! I am a woman after all. However, I am not a blind shopper. I see through the BS and I know what I like and what I don’t like, regardless of the label. Above all, I know how a brand should make its consumer feel and I won’t settle for anything less!
I believe a big part of the shopping experience is the stories the brands are telling us. It’s how they make us feel. I guess that’s where my passion for virtual merchandising comes in. It makes window shopping for those of us living on a budget, exciting. It’s definitely a shopping experience when a window grabs the attention of the foot traffic. (Remember that for your retail business!)
As a little girl, I always dreamed of working in advertising and to become an author. In fact, growing up I spent many hours typing up books on Mum’s old typewriter. I was always great with creative writing and English was where my strengths were in school. My works were often published by the schools I attended, both in internal yearbooks and external publications.
I loved watching Bewitched. I would often watch Darren in awe as he created and presented advertising campaigns. I would think to myself “that’s what I want to do when I grow up!”
But families can have their own views and suggestions when we are young, can’t they? They mean well. I was “nudged” towards the sciences. Hmmm… yeah, ok.. let’s stick to the word “nudged” and pretend it was subtle. 😉
After completing two science degrees, a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Victoria University and a Graduate Diploma in Science-Psychology at Melbourne University, I spent many years feeling lost in
the wrong field. I loved psychology, but jobs in the sciences can be very limited and demanding for a mother of two, who believes in a good work-life balance.
Then 2013 happened. It was a terrible year for us as a family. Literally overnight, my husband had lost his balance and all spatial perception, leaving him unable to move without assistance. Drs couldn’t diagnose him (they never did, although fortunately he was able to regain his independence after 9 months).
The uncertainty of our future meant it was time for me to find another path. I had been helping friends with the marketing of their businesses for years and I found myself thinking back to marketing more and more. One night, I found myself looking at marketing jobs and the next morning, I was enrolled in a Bachelor of Business Marketing degree at Swinburne University. I am THAT person, the one who needs to have professional qualifications to say I can do something, which is crazy, especially given all the experience and my extensive background in psychology.
I finally adjusted my sails and pursued a creative career in marketing. I loved studying marketing and learning about the marketing fundamentals. I was fascinated by branding and the psychology of consumer behaviour, which clearly came naturally to me. I loved looking at what other brands have done right and wrong over the years. I was in my element. I was also recognised for being at the top of my classes and presented with an Academic Achievement Award and then an Academic Excellence Award from the university- which kind of confirmed my abilities and settled my self doubt.
I had finally found MY THING!
As I studied, I worked in an office where it dawned on me that I didn’t want to be an employee anymore. I wanted to be my own boss and I wanted to help other women follow their own entrepreneurial dreams towards an independent life.
I am proud to say I created and built up my business while studying, because it’s never too soon and it’s never too late. Although it’s only been a year since graduation, I am so proud of how far Astara Creative has come and all the opportunities and recognition we have had in such a short time. Not only is my goal to help other women to build their own businesses, but also to facilitate flexible employment opportunities for women within Astara Creative itself.
I don’t pretend to know everything, but I love learning and sharing my knowledge. I am so excited to watch Astara Creative continuing to flourish, while helping other business women bloom in their own goals. My inbox is always open to women in business (except if you are trying to sell me MLM or financial advice etc.. )
I look forward to sharing my passion for marketing with you for many years to come.