Ever wanted to build your own app? Jessica Wilson did just that. She’s the CEO and founder of Stashd, a fashion app with a simple swipe-yes-or-no design.
“I booked a one-way ticket to Silicon Valley when I was 21,” Jessica says. “I stayed in a hostel, ate two-minute noodles, and went to multiple networking events. I left my ego back in Australia, and decided, ‘Right, I’m here to learn’. And then, with what I learned, I went back to Australia and started Stashd.”
She learned a lot! In 2016, Jessica competed on The Next Unicorn – a Chinese reality TV show about finding the next big tech startup. She used the publicity from her big moment to make Stashd popular with Chinese millennials and opened it up to a whole new market.
Jessica did all this without any background in tech. “I didn’t know how to code,” she says. “But I didn’t find it that daunting because I knew it was about networking and figuring out a strategy from there.”
In the future, we won’t just have smartphones, but smart clothing too. Tara Morelos is the founder of ARTeConnect, a startup that runs workshops for people to make their own technologically enhanced clothing – ‘Fashtech.’
“We use proximity sensors, motion sensors, heat sensing… all that kind of thing,” says Tara. “We’re making garments that are responsive to the environment and can even give you environmental readings like air quality.”
A facial recognition garment at work. Img: ARTeConnect.
But it’s not all about the gadgets and sensors – Fashtech is an artistic process as well. “Art and technology are really similar, that’s why they go so well together. It’s all about experimentation and happy accidents,” says Tara.
ARTeConnect programs aren’t just for show, either. They’re looking to prototype some of the garments and go to market in the future. Plus, it’s also an educational tool. “We can learn about science and the environment through the lens of fashion!” says Tara.
– Cherese Sonkkila
“I didn’t know how to code, but I didn’t find it that daunting because I knew it was about networking and figuring out a strategy from there.”
– Jessica Wilson, founder of Stashd (below)
Start your career here
CS+creative industries JOBS
Website art director: AU$51K–$99K / NZ$43K–$96K
Animator: AU$39K–$82K / NZ$38K–$138K
Product designer: AU$44K–$101K / NZ$40K–$98K
Video game programmer:
AU$35K–$76K / NZ$53K–$66K
*Source: salaries according
Author: Cherese Sonkkila
Cherese is a researcher and science communicator based in Melbourne, Australia. She is passionate about ecology and social science and loves getting out into the field.