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How QuickBooks brings confidence and stability to Lionfish Collective
Starting a business

How QuickBooks brings confidence and stability to Lionfish Collective

Gabriela Andrade has always put her heart and soul into everything she does.

Born in Brazil, Gabi came to Australia when she was just 19 years old without speaking English. With a love of travel, she had just completed flight attendant training and was committed to staying until she could speak English fluently.

As with most things Gabi sets her mind to, she accomplished that and became an Australian citizen not long after.

In 2016, she started nursing school and in her last year of study, she tragically lost her biological father to suicide. That awakened a passion for mental health research, which she took into her nursing studies. She was driven by a desire to be there for people when they were at their darkest.

“I love exploring mental health and I learn so much by being there for others,” Gabi says. “Mental Health nursing is a great fit for me. If I can help just one person take a reflective breath through a moment of despair, that’s enough to make a world of difference.”

Throughout this time, Gabi’s love for travel never dwindled. After bumping into an old friend that works for Qantas, she decided to take a leap of faith and go for a job as an international flight attendant.

“There was no pressure for me because I was happy with my career at the time, but I knew I’d regret it if I didn't listen to my gut. Things went very smoothly and after a few interviews, I was hired.”

Four days before her ground school graduation, Gabi was stood down from Qantas due to the initial COVID-19 outbreak. Gabi was still employed by the company, while also working casually as a mental health nurse, although it opened up some time for her to pursue yet another dream of hers – opening her own business.

Lionfish Collective

The beginnings of Lionfish Collective

“I always knew I was going to be in a leadership role at my own business,” Gabi says. “I wanted to have a space where I could be creative with other people and bring a community together”.

Gabi was eager to channel her love of tattoos to build something powerful and unique for her community. She got in touch with Valter Parisi, an old friend who had previously run Sydney’s first tattoo and barber shop, before COVID-19 forced him to close his doors.

Spotting an opportunity, they joined forces to create Lionfish Collective.

“I’ve always loved tattoo art. My brother Gui is an amazing tattoo artist and my dear friend and business partner Valter, who gave me the opportunity to make this dream come true, was ready to start something new. So, we opened Lionfish Collective in the Northern Beaches.”

As a joint tattoo and barber shop, Lionfish Collective subverts the regular rough and intimidating image associated with tattoo shops, in favour of a wholesome and welcoming experience.

Alongside her business partner and team, Gabi faced a huge challenge in getting the business up and running during the pandemic. While she had a brilliant vision of what she wanted to accomplish, she had no accounting experience and found managing the financial side of the business quite challenging.

“I went from being a nurse and managing one assistant nurse from time to time, to managing an entire business and team. That was a big thing to take on. Even understanding GST was overwhelming. It was like learning a new language again.”

In the initial stages, Gabi used accounting software that wasn’t effectively helping her solve these challenges. She found it difficult to use and was relying on her accountant to help her manage simple tasks.

Grow Your Business with QuickBooks

A new era of financial confidence

In a stroke of luck, Gabi connected with a QuickBooks employee.

“We started talking about the challenges I was facing and how QuickBooks could make things easier for me. I was apprehensive but we started trialling it and that turned out to be the best thing I could have done.”

Shortly after, Gabi was a QuickBooks convert and Lionfish Collective was a featured location for a TV commercial.

“Everything was so genuine, personal and warm. The team was amazing, and I was really impressed with how it came together,” Gabi says.

As Gabi’s work with Qantas started to pick up following COVID-19-related lockdowns, QuickBooks became an incredibly important tool for operating her business whilst working two other jobs. As a cloud-based platform, it allows her to manage Lionfish Collective’s finances from anywhere in the world – giving her a complete view of payroll, tax, revenue and expenses.

“QuickBooks helps a lot. It doesn’t matter where I am, I can keep an eye on what’s going on. We’ve integrated it with the ATO, which makes my life so much easier. It gives me so much confidence that now when I am overseas I can actually take time to rest.”

A new era of financial confidence

With the platform’s intuitive payroll features, Gabi now has full confidence about when and how much to pay her staff. That’s been incredibly useful, especially as she manages a mix of employee contracts, and hours. 

She also has access to a wealth of data and insights on how much money she’s making and spending, displayed in an easy-to-understand format.

“QuickBooks is easy to manage. My previous solution was intimidating and time-consuming. With QuickBooks, tasks take me about half as long as they used to and the more I use it, the easier it gets.”

Every step of the way, QuickBooks has supported Gabi in getting a better understanding of the platform and its features. That’s built trust between the two teams, as Gabi knows she has back up whenever she has questions.

“The QuickBooks team treats me like a human being, not just a number. They’ve always been very open about getting in touch with them at any time, about anything they are able to help with. That’s something I didn’t have before, and it means I don’t need to lean on my accountant for day-to-day things.”

Gabi can now use her accountant’s time for more strategic, business-related initiatives, boosting the value she gets out of the relationship.

A vision for the future 

With the confidence that she can quickly and easily manage Lionfish Collective’s finances from anywhere, Gabi can now spend more time doing the things she loves – including growing her business.

After completing her Yoga Teacher Training last year, she is looking to incorporate body awareness practices for her staff and offer new, mindful experiences for customers, based on these learnings. She’s also exploring how to expand her business’s offerings by selling studio-made apparel.

Gabi is eager for QuickBooks to help support this vision for the future, incorporating her different business units as she grows.

“I recently recommended QuickBooks to a friend who was starting her own clothing label, because the relationship I’ve got with them is amazing,” Gabi says.

“The support QuickBooks has given me has been incredible. You want to feel supported when you’re opening a business because it can be very overwhelming. QuickBooks gives me that confidence.”


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