A crafty coastal move to Wollongong

Phil O'Shea

Relocating to Wollongong has allowed entrepreneur Phil O'Shea to start his own business, cut his commute time and live a healthier lifestyle.

"I used to work in an office in the city, and when the office moved premises, my commute turned into an hour each way – or two, if there was an accident on the highway. Now that my commutes are shorter, I have more spare time in my day," Phil explains.

"I now run my own business, giving me more time and flexibility. As a result, I'm able to enjoy activities, go for a run in the sunshine – rather than by the light of blaring headlights."

Phil's business, Crafty Brew, sells craft beer online directly to customers, giving people the opportunity to try around 160 Australian craft beers without having to buy a whole case.

Phil O'Shea video thumb

"Being an internet business, we aren't constrained by location, so we can service customers in Sydney and interstate with reasonable shipping rates, while being based in the Illawarra," Phil said.

While still living in Sydney, Phil started to formulate his business plan for starting Crafty Brew. However, after spending a considerable amount of time researching the benefits and disadvantages of establishing his business in Sydney, he quickly realised this was unrealistic.

Looking outside of the Sydney CBD, Phil found Wollongong could offer him a more nurturing environment to start a business, with lower office space costs and access to high speed internet services through the National Broadband Network.

"I really drilled down to the physical costs of operating a business and found that it would be a lot cheaper to establish and grow down in Wollongong," said Phil.

The savings Phil has been able to make through locating his business in Wollongong, both in time and money, are allowing him to grow his business through other avenues.

"Since moving to Wollongong I've started brewing my own beer with my dad. He and I have started making plans to manufacture this on a commercial scale.

"Wollongong Council has been really helpful in working with me to get all of my paperwork together and streamlining the licensing application process with the state and federal governments," said Phil.

While some of Phil's friends were initially hesitant about his move, they've now come around to the idea and really see the benefits it has provided.

"My family and friends have been really supportive, they can see that I've been able to get out of the Monday-to-Friday, nine to five cycle – I'm growing my future, taking control of my lifestyle and my working arrangements.

"I've also found living in a place like Wollongong is far more relaxed, but I haven't been denied access to anything I used to have in Sydney. I can still get a good cup of coffee – that's number one," Phil added.

To find out more about Phil's business Crafty Brew visit www.craftybrew.com.au