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As a prologue to Talks, we chat with Short Talk founder, Jessica Head, for some context on her brand and word gifting business.


Talks: Conversations on connection.

For creatives, doers, dreamers, friends, lovers and more.

We ask five big questions and dive into the ‘why, how and when’.

No small talk, just real conversation – an insight into the layers and impact of connection in our lives and how we each experience it in the most beautifully unique and often, unexpected moments.

To kick off, we chat to the founder of Short Talk and take a look at the foundations of the brand and understand how it came to be.

Jess' mum's old treasure box with moments kept including love letters, old medals, a telegram and family polaroids.
Jess bringing the sparkle on set thanks to Mo and Shelley.

Let’s start with the name - Why ‘Short Talk’?

It’s a punchy play on words - NO small talk.

I can't tell you the amount of times I put a card back because it doesn't quite say what I want it to, or it says way too much (eg. Hallmark vibes). I really struggled to find something in-between that was also high quality, with thoughtful design aesthetic and just felt special.

I set out to create a purpose-led gifting category (word gifting) that was connection-centric at heart with a ‘say more with less’ approach. Essentially, all about the words but less of them, words that matter. No small talk, just Short Talk.

Jess on set at Collingwood House.
Soul mates beside an old polaroid of Jess's parents kissing at age 17.

What inspired you to start the business?

Words (writing and reading them) and thoughtful business are my twin passions...

I’ve always loved giving and receiving beautiful cards. I have collected them since I was little and still keep the special ones in an old shoebox amongst other treasures. When I give a card, it’s intentional.

I think we were taught to “open the card first” for good reason – our words are gifts too and perhaps the most meaningful part of the exchange. This belief led me to the notion of ‘word gifting’ as a category I wanted to explore and expand upon – starting with greeting cards.

As an avid card lover and collector, I was finding it hard to source cards that not only captured what I wanted to say, but also looked and felt good. Every card in Woollies is $6.99, flimsy and very Hallmark. And, at the other end of the market is cards with stunning illustration and detail retailing upwards of $10. I wanted to tap into the middle - beautiful and premium yet still accessible. I saw the gap and so, Short Talk was born.

All of the talent featured Jess' friends and family.
STAR on set (Jess' spoodle)

How does Short Talk foster connection for you?

Short Talk was borne from my nostalgia for the written word. I used to write and read relentlessly as a child. But more than just writing, I would make cards, write poems and pen love letters to all my friends and family - I even joined a penpal club! I loved the idea of sharing stories and moments and capturing them in writing.

Today, I feel we have come so far away from the art of writing as connection and while it's not going to be for everyone, I think there are a lot of us who share this nostalgia and treasure the beauty in connection through writing and gifting by hand.

More than just nostalgia, Short Talk also connects me with likeminded people and creatives. I wanted every touchpoint to feel authentic and special. For example, I used my friends and family for the campaign shoot because I wanted that connection to be, and feel, real. This means the content serves as not only brand content, but special, personal memories too.

An old family photo album of moments that matter belonging to Jess' late nan.
Jess' late nan's wedding cake, circa 1940s

What has been your biggest learning so far?

All of it! If I had to pick one, it would be to work with people and business who share Care Factor. I really believe I have magnetised an army of creative and business-savvy humans because they share the same level of passion, integrity and care that I do for this business and industry. Everyone I have worked with from Shelley Horan (photographer), to Sonnet Studios (Brand & Creative), Bien Studio (Web) to my local Melbourne printers and suppliers have been a literal dream to collaborate with. The connections I have made are a real testament to the heart of what this brand sets out to do – foster meaningful connection in moments that matter.

After launch, what's next?

Distribution will be my focus while working to expand the brand offering starting with additional product categories that combine two things – words and gifting.

I also have lots of fun things in the pipeline such as events, collaborations and an extension of the ‘Talks’ arm of the business – stay tuned and subscribe : )

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