Canberra Lifestyle

From Little Things, Big Things Grow – Bandit Design

If you haven’t already heard of this team, trust us take a peak on their socials and see the enviable brands they are helping create. Mikeila is one of us Canberra girls and boy does her and her team get aesthetic and what is needed to create something iconic.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the industry/field?

I’m Mikeila – I am the owner and creative director of Bandit, a design studio based in Sydney. 

We create killer brands, websites and packaging. We’re a small but mighty team made up of five amazing women. Our daily jam is working alongside our clients to understand who they are, what they want to achieve and creating brands that connect them to their audience, stand them apart from their competitors and help them to achieve their big business goals.

I was born and raised in Canberra, studying Graphic Design and Website Design & Development at the University of Canberra. From here I grew an undying passion for design. 

I freelanced on the side of my full-time jobs for a solid four years before starting Bandit when I was 24 years old, with not much of an idea of what I was getting myself into. While my path to starting a business was quite planned, the journey has been real – a lot of fun, a little bit bumpy and one that I’m super proud of. 

Can you walk us through the background of where the passion comes from?

Growing up, my mum was very creative and artistic, she would let us play with paint, pom poms, feathers, glitter, clay, plaster – all the things. As a kid, I used to make outfits out of cardboard (high-heels included) and wear them around the house! I was obsessed with creating things from nothing and I suppose I never really grew out of it. I still love to do anything with my hands and get messy, but these days that creativity is mostly channeled through the screen for our clients. 

My passion for branding and business came during uni on a trip to Florence to study at the Design Institute with two of my best friends. Diving into the world of business and design I learned pretty quickly that behind every great business is strong branding. It was the reason why I chose the brands I wore, where I went out, what I spent my money on, and still the reason I’ll buy anything with amazing packaging! It’s so exciting and powerful to be able to design something that makes people feel a certain way and is geared toward a specific outcome, and then watching that play out in the real world.

What was the most challenging aspect you’ve faced so far?

The challenges of running a business come hard and fast, when you’re least expecting it! 

One of the most challenging aspects has been learning to wear all the different hats that come with business ownership – hats I honestly had no idea how to wear or that I would ever need to. As the business grows, more and more hats and challenges appear, but luckily I am now surrounded by an all-star team of people who can help. 

And what’s been the most amazing experience?

The most amazing experience has been building a team and culture I’m really proud of.

Going against the typical agency culture, our mission is to ‘create killer design and have a good time while doing it’, and I can genuinely say that we live out this mission each and every day. Of course, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, challenges arise, but we approach these from a place of kindness and empathy and building a workplace culture where this is the norm is something to be proud of in my eyes! 

What’s the biggest piece of advice you have for someone looking to chase their dreams/passion or try something new?

I can 100% guarantee you won’t regret it. It might seem scary and risky, and it is both of those things, but the biggest risk of all is not trying and staying where you are. Life is too short not to honour yourself and give it a red-hot crack.

What does an ideal day look like to you?

A sunny day spent by the beach with good company and a good book. 

What keeps you Zen/Happy?

A clean house. Whenever I feel out of whack, I clean our whole house out Marie-Kondo style, much to my boyfriend’s dismay. 

Quick Questions

Coffee/Tea: Coffee

Morning/ Night: Morning

What’s on your bedside table:

  • A massive Rose Quartz Crystal
  • Venustus Sacred Space spray
  • Aesop Hydrating spray
  • Slip Scrunchie
  • A book I’m currently reading
  • Notebook and pen

Book you are currently reading:

‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle and ‘Gold to Dust’ by Samantha Wills

Favourite Flowers: Beautiful greenery

5 items you can’t leave home without:

  1. Phone
  2. Chapstick
  3. Airpods
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Comb

Signature Scent: Gypsy Water – Byredo

Hit up the team below to talk dreamy aesthetic and beyond kick arse branding

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