Long Story Short - Our Steps to Success

Have you ever wondered how Long Story Short first came into existence? 


Check out these fun facts about what it was like in the early days of our company.. 

Did you know:

  • Long Story Short began with just one product in our range and one small printer under Cynthia’s staircase
  • When we made our first sale, I was pregnant with my first child and moving house. Cynthia had two children and one on the way
  • Before LSS, I was traveling interstate as a Pharmacy Representative with a passion for making candles, and Cynthia was a budding graphic designer running her own solo freelance company
  • I had never even operated a printing machine before, let alone run a printing business!

Fast forward five years, and we have:

  • Two fully fledged printing studios in Sydney 
  • A design studio in Melbourne
  • Several state of the art, large-scale printers
  • A full service design and print team, consisting of our permanent team as well as several freelancers
  • A suite of more than 300 branding, design and print products
  • Customers in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US

I still cannot believe it! Even seeing this written on the page makes me pinch myself!

We are SO proud of our journey, and absolutely over the moon with how far we have come. Based on our humble beginnings, we never expected to be where we are now in such a short period of time.

Don’t get me wrong, our journey has come with many ups and downs. There have been countless moments of uncertainty, feelings of doubt - wondering if we were doing the right thing! On top of that, both Cynthia and I were Mums of toddlers, trying to juggle parenthood (and all of its learning curves) plus start AND run a brand new business - a business that neither of us had ever had experience in before.

Yet we persisted and we are so happy we did!

Here are some insights into how LSS started and helped us get to where we are today.

We began with a vision

Before Long Story Short was conceived, Cynthia and I knew what we wanted for our business. 

And we stayed focused on this.

It was fairly simple - we identified the gap in the market that was missing a design and print service that could do short label runs.

We then looked at how we could create a service that would:

  • Help make our customers’ lives easier
  • Be an enjoyable experience for us and our customers
  • Have room for growth

We remained staunchly committed to our vision, and we attribute our success to this!

We started small and worked our way up

As mentioned earlier, we started with one product in our suite of offerings. We wanted to ease into it, and ensure that we gave ourselves space to learn about running a business, and also to do our job well. When you start small, you are more likely to succeed. You can still have a big vision, and just take little steps to get there!

Fun Fact: we aren’t alone in this approach! Did you know that Richard Branson started the Virgin brand with a student magazine?


We were prepared to make mistakes

Neither Cynthia or I had EVER run a design and print service before. We were seriously starting from SCRATCH. This meant understanding the different business structures, tax options, financial process, marketing strategies, legal details, and making decisions. We needed to acknowledge that we would be learning a lot as we went.

We accepted early on that we would make errors, that we wouldn’t get this perfect the first time around, and to not be afraid of the process. We read a lot, attended business courses and sought professional advice. No matter if we did the wrong thing, or made a less-than-favourable decision, we tried, tried and tried again! 

Every day we are learning something new. And to be fully transparent we still make errors here and there! Yet we understand that it is part of the journey, and we always do our best to learn from the blips.

We knew our strengths as professionals

I knew that I had a natural penchant for running a business. I enjoyed wearing different hats and getting into the nitty gritty of operations - numbers, stock, processes, and more. I am the left-brainer of the couple!

Cynthia instead has an incredible talent for bringing brand and design visions to life - her creativity and attention to detail is amazing! She is, therefore, the right-brained beauty!

We are both still evolving in our crafts, yet we believe in ourselves and our natural abilities. 

We believed in Long Story Short’s point of difference

We knew from the beginning that we weren’t going to be everything to everyone. Yet we also knew that what we could be was amazing to those that needed us!

We chose to focus on what we could do well. We set up our business up to be 100% online, so that we could manage our lives and our families and have some element of flexibility. We are a client-led business, taking our customers’ visions and bringing them to life. We focus on quality vinyls, low minimums, and more.

This may not suit every customers’ needs, and that’s ok. We know what we are good at and how we are different, and we don’t try to be anyone else but ourselves.