“My home to your home”. What a beautiful Spanish expression to remind us that life is better when you share, especially when you share your passion. Working in a small business has provided us with the opportunity to meet some incredibly passionate and innovative people from all walks of life. We’ve been blessed to learn about such an incredible breadth of industries, and invited to share in ideas, successes, and achievements of many businesses and organisations within our city of Perth. Just as in life, sometimes it can be challenging to realise just how much you have in small business. The daily routine of juggling cash flows, working late, of dealing with failing technologies, and a growing list of responsibilities can be a distraction from the truly blessed environment we get to work in every day. Although we are definitely guilty of forgetting this and on more than one occasion have called for a reality check, we have been committed throughout the years to sharing our passion with others in a different position to us.

Since the 90s JAZ has worked with some incredible charities and start-up companies, providing our services in whichever way we could to assist a deserving cause. Starting a business is a huge commitment and incurs significant costs (we know, we’ve been there!) Whether it’s being able to design a logo for a start-up with limited resources, or a charitable NGO who can offer no payment other than the power of friendship and community, these deeds have always paid off and in fact have encouraged us to produce some of our best work.

When it comes to working with charities, we definitely do not discriminate and are proud to have been involved with sporting clubs, indigenous organisations, mental heath, arts and culture, community events and youth services.  It’s been amazing to see how many of the charities we’ve been involved with have led to greater networking opportunities and new clients, who share with us the fire in our bellies and passion for giving back. When reflecting on works done for communities, the rewards really begin to resonate. Through giving back, not only have we been able to participate in some incredibly meaningful works, we’ve also had the opportunity to meet some of our core clientele. The Perth business scene is small and familiar. For those of us who’ve been around the block once or twice, we’ve come to learn that the more selfless you are with your time and energy (no matter how big or small you are) the more your name is celebrated and shared amongst a growing network of people and industry leaders. This notion has taught us how be resourceful and compassionate, and reinforced that more often than not, we will learn invaluable lessons.

A new year invites new opportunities for us to give back, so here’s what’s on the card for us in 2017: for a number of years JAZ has been involved in supporting the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture, Australia’s third richest portraiture prizes and the first of its kind in WA. Held in the heart of Perth’s cultural hub, the event proudly showcases and promotes some of Australia’s most talented artists, and encourages community involvement by offering a ‘People’s Choice’ Award, as well as art classes, education, and sponsorship. Run by a Not-for-Profit, throughout the past few years the Black Swan has also shown an introduction of subsidiary prizes in youth and heritage, providing an opportunity to showcase an incredible and diverse exhibition right here in our own backyard.

It comes as no surprise that the team at JAZ are true lovers of art, and being involved with the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture lights up our creative souls, and gets those sparks flying in our boutique studio. We are proud to be continual sponsors of the Black Swan, and look forward to watching this event grow from strength to strength.

This year, JAZ will also continue to support and assist with design and marketing materials for Bluebird Mental Health. Previously called GenWhy, Bluebird is a local charity that provides a support network for adults over 25 who are suffering from anxiety and depression. The organisation offers regular wellness workshops, coffee catch ups, and monthly psychologist-led peer support meetings.

At the end of 2015, our General Manager Zoe joined the Bluebird Board, and signed us up to help give the organisation a fresh new look. Run by a volunteer Board of corporate professionals across a range of industries, the team are dedicated to closing the gap in regards to awareness and acceptance of mental health. Throughout the year we look forward to keeping our finger on the pulse, and hope to see progress in this expanding societal need.

2017 is shaping up to be an unforgettable year for JAZ, and we feel so blessed to share it with our exceptional clients and friends. Bring on new challenges, new adventures and new work. There is nothing we can’t conquer when we work together!