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Marianne Sea, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Up-and-Comer

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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. This year’s batch of nominees was extensive and impressive. So much so that we believe several young talents who didn’t snag 30under30 top honors still deserve your attention and recognition. We’re calling them our Up-and-Comers. More.

Marianne Sea, NSW

Name: Marianne Sea
Age: 24
Gender: Female
State: NSW

Young Republic, the creation of 24-year-old Marianne Sea, is an online marketplace dedicated to emerging, independent Australian designers. The site offers one-stop shopping for men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, accessories, housewares and art.

Sea, who owns the business with partners, was a senior website designer and developer who saw first-hand how expensive and difficult it could be for many emerging designers to have their websites built. That obstacle, along with a passion toward helping young entrepreneurs succeed, led to the creation of Young Republic.

Young Republic was featured among Anthill’s Smart 100 and nominated for a Sydney Business Award.

Social media, and especially Facebook, was the main way Sea spread the word about Young Republic. She found that the Australian designer community is a tight-knit group. Once the word got out, it spread quickly. Only two months after launch of the site (which is currently in its beta stage), there are more than 200 designers represented on it. “And this number is growing quickly,” she says.

“We have built our strong following among designers by being a very supportive, down-to-earth and personable company that designers are happy to approach,” Sea says. “In turn, they open up and provide support and encouragement.”

Sea says the business started up with no money. The website, logo and branding was developed in-house. Instead of outsourcing, Young Republicans built relationships and partnerships with people who “are able to help us on our journey while we help them on theirs.”

A good example: Sea was contacted by a public relations specialist with a proposal of rates for her services. Sea told her Young Republic couldn’t afford her, then explained the site’s vision. As a result, the PR expert joined Young Republic as its creative and marketing director.

“We have been very fortunate to have had so many people contacting us because they love our vision and business model and want to know how they can be involved, too,” Sea says.

Anthill asks: Marianne Sea, what’s your superpower?

“I have been very fortunate that I’m extremely multi-talented and able to do well in a variety of roles and responsibilities, and able to pick them up very quickly.”

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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.

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