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Meet the Swanky Australia Team!

Meet the Shopify Plus experts based in our Toowoomba office. This is your trusty Swanky Australia team!

Written By
Han Dickson

Since the launch of Swanky Australia in November 2019, our Aussie team have been busy driving results for clients across the APAC region and beyond. Allow us to introduce you to our ecommerce experts down under!

Who are Swanky Australia?

In late 2019, our Swanky team decided to take their passion for helping clients to the other side of the globe. Their aim was to help Shopify continue to establish itself as the right solution for small, medium and large businesses across the APAC region; one of the fastest-growing markets in ecommerce. And so, Swanky Australia was born!

Swanky’s Aussie branch is led by Managing Director, Sean Clanchy, who has years of experience working in the world of ecommerce – and knows pretty much everything there is to know about Shopify.

Since Swanky Australia’s launch, Sean’s team has been rapidly growing, with every member of the team bringing a wealth of technical expertise to the table, united by their passion for helping clients thrive and scale.

Just like in our UK headquarters, our Aussie experts specialise in a variety of ecommerce services; from migrating your business to Shopify, refreshing your web design and perfecting your digital strategy, to helping you take your store international and even creating custom apps to suit your business’ unique needs.

Plus, in 2020, the team launched their ‘Ecom-as-a-Service’ offering – a contracted ecommerce team to provide instant capabilities and immediate revenue generation. The team can handle all of your acquisition and retention needs, while building systems and processes to build resilience into your business team. This is now the fastest-growing service that our Aussie team provides! So far, it’s helped businesses both survive the initial throws of Covid and begin to flourish in the (soon-to-be) post-Covid market.

Some of the exciting brands our Aussie team have already had the pleasure of working with include fast-growing subscription brand Whisky Loot, new jewellery kid on the block Medley (a sister brand of global jewellery retailer Michael Hill), made-to-order retailer Veneta Blinds, and local fashion retailer Goondiwindi Cotton.

Of course, all of Swanky Australia’s services are tailored to each brand’s unique goals and requirements, as our Aussie team are every bit as passionate as their UK counterparts about providing a personal service.

Based right next to Toowoomba’s international airport, they’ll even happily fly out and meet you for a face-to-face consultation – followed by multiple digital catchups day-to-day!

So, without further ado, let’s get to know them a little better:

Sean Clanchy: Managing Director

Born in: Brisbane, Australia

What do you do at Swanky? I’m the Managing Director of Swanky Australia.

What is your favourite part of the day? I do enjoy my morning coffee! But also enjoy getting home at the end of the day to my crazy pooch, Wendy! She loves a bit of fetch, an evening walk, and generally whatever I’m eating.

Why do you work at Swanky Australia? Because I love problem-solving and I like learning new things. Every client and every business we come across, even in the same industries, do things differently and have different challenges. I really enjoy digging into the nitty gritty of understanding those issues and helping address them.

Separately, managing the team here, while stressful at times, is really rewarding. Seeing my staff progress professionally and personally is probably my favourite part of the job.

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? Can I have two? I’m super proud of Goondiwindi Cotton and the work our team has done to pull them back to a success story after the challenges presented by Covid. Basically, they were a wholesale fashion brand with no D2C proposition. By taking them directly to consumers throughout the Covid pandemic, we still managed to sell their entire inventory profile and have now opened up an entirely new channel. This has improved their control in presenting their own brand, increased their margins, and driven up brand visibility such that wholesale sales have grown as well!

Secondly, Veneta Blinds. This website is … clever! My team leveraged a custom React application and custom API to solve one of the fundamental limitations of Shopify for made-to-order products (Shopify’s limit of 99 variants per product record). My team is so damn clever. Our solution allows Veneta to sell products with 744 billion variant options on a product type! With one of the most complex builds we’ve ever completed, our client’s response on launch day was … “Well, that was easier than we expected!”.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? Sky’s the limit. I joined as a part-time project manager in a business of four staff. We now have a team of 70, three offices and are still growing. If you come in, demonstrate aptitude and reliability, you really can build your own career. I have.

Funny stories? Too many to dig into, but it has been said that web developers and free bars don’t go well together. A certain conference we went to in Singapore in 2019 may well have proven that!

How many countries have you travelled to? 17 (I think!)

Favourite hobby? I’m not particularly good at it, but I really enjoy camping and lure fishing – basically combining bush walking and fishing. When I spend so much time in front of a screen of one device or another, I really enjoy the chance to switch off.

 

Jess Paroz: Lead UX/UI Designer

Born in: Toowoomba, Australia

What do you do at Swanky? I’m the Lead UX/UI Designer (also known as DNS Wizard, Part Time PM, Casual Developer and allround Ms Fixit).

What is your favourite part of the day? 6pm Gym Time! Working out is a great way to destress after a busy day and reset my mind to tackle tomorrow.

Why do you work here? The opportunity to work with some really great brands and create some amazing designs. I get to immerse myself in the latest design trends and beautifully created websites that not only look amazing but convert as well!

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? I’m lucky to have worked with so many great clients but the project I am most proud of is Veneta Blinds and the complex problems we’ve had to solve as a team.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? Teamwork and problem-solving are the most highly valued skills at Swanky. We are here to solve problems for our clients that no one else can, and to do that we need highly skilled individuals to work together to produce the best outcome.

Funny stories? Most of my funny stories involve me being clumsy, running into something and hurting myself.

How many countries have you travelled to? 3: Japan, New Caledonia, Vanuatu.

Favourite hobby? Arts and crafts. Or being a Crazy Cat Lady …

 

Paul Davis: Digital Project Administrator

Born in: Darwin, NT, Australia

What do you do at Swanky? I’m a Digital Project Administrator, so my duties include all sorts of odd jobs, but mainly I focus on creating and editing data for Products, Customers, Orders, etc.

What is your favourite part of the day? Nothing is more satisfying than when you finally finish with a huge chunk of data and get to hit that “Import” button, especially if you’ve been working on it for a few days. Feels so good to be done with it!

Why do you work here? Figuring out solutions to technical problems is something that I really enjoy. With my focus on data, there are all sorts of problems that crop up, and I get plenty of opportunities to flex my problem-solving skills.

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? Probably all of the product data for Veneta Blinds. I had to write up a usage document for creating new products, so that the Veneta team would be able to make them as necessary, and the thing ended up being over 30 pages long! Writing it made me realise just how much work had gone into creating the products over the months that we built the site.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? The atmosphere in the office is really great! Everyone gets on really well, and there’s none of the office politics I hear about from people I know in other workplaces. It’s also really nice to have flexible working arrangements.

Funny stories? I can’t think of any funny stories, but there are plenty of fun and funny moments each day.

How many countries have you travelled to? Just two. I went to Singapore and Thailand in 2012, which was a lot of fun!

Favourite hobby? I play a lot of video games. I love anything that’s co-op that I can play with my friends, or any puzzle games that I can stretch my thinking skills with. My favourite game of all time is probably Portal 2 – it was the first game I ever bought as soon as it was released.

 

Oluwaleke Tade: Front End Developer

Born in: Lagos, Nigeria

What do you do at Swanky? I am a Front End Developer.

What is your favourite part of the day? The couple minutes or hours I can get just before standup by 9am because I can get tasks done and plan for the rest of the day with a fresh head.

Why do you work here? I enjoy being a part of anyone’s growth really, our clients and ourselves.

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? Meshki, because I learnt a lot just by getting our AB tests to render nicely, and By Invite Only because of the client’s personality.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? You’ll definitely impact businesses and solve unique problems!

Funny stories? More of a struggle than a story, I can’t grow my hair like I used to.

How many countries have you travelled to? 4: Scotland, England, Benin Republic and Australia.

Favourite hobby? Playing football.

 

Niki Patel: Junior Front End Developer

Born in: Ahmedabad, India

What do you do at Swanky? I am a Junior Front End Developer.

What is your favourite part of the day? The entire day is my favourite, especially in the evening when I finalise all my tasks for the day.

Why do you work here? After working as a Front End Developer for Shopify agencies, I found that Swanky is the best place to learn more about ecommerce and improve my development skills.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? In just a short period of time, it was clear to me that Swanky’s team environment is friendly and supportive.

Funny stories? In India, I used to go out with my friends on bikes. One day, a friend needed to fill his fuel tank. We were in a hurry, so after filling up he just drove off and accidentally left me at the petrol station! After a few minutes he realised his mistake and quickly came back to pick me up. That moment was a bit embarrassing, but still whenever we met we laughed a lot!

How many countries have you travelled to? 3: India, Australia and Singapore.

Favourite hobby? I enjoy playing badminton, watching comedy shows, listening to music, and cooking as well.

 

Kate Phillips: Ecommerce Manager

Born in: Brisbane, Australia

What do you do at Swanky? I head up the eCom-as-a-Service team.

What is your favourite part of the day? It depends on the day. I think I most consistently enjoy the fleeting moments when I get to start and finish a task undisturbed. But I also love throwing around creative ideas to solve problems with clients too!

Why do you work here? I actually know Sean, the Director of Swanky Australia, really well (he’s my little brother). I already worked within the industry, although in a slightly less fast-paced segment. I listened to all the exciting projects he was working on constantly. When he asked if I would be interested in joining the team I jumped at the opportunity. This is the only role that I have ever had where I learn and do something different every single day!

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? This changes every day. I think at the moment I am really proud of the work that we have been doing with NuroKor. They are an EMS device business out of the UK. They have used multiple different ad agencies and partners over the years (some who are specialists within their industry), but recently they have chosen to work solely with Swanky as the work that we deliver is of a consistently high standard and we are driven by data!

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? Your days will be long and full and your brain will find places to store information you never imagined existed! Whether you are looking to work for Swanky, or a potential client looking to work with Swanky, we are a whole bunch of people with really diverse backgrounds and strengths that operate as a team to achieve some really amazing outcomes. We have a really strong culture around learning and sharing knowledge and ideas, where even the smallest of chats have you learning something new, and generally something pretty cool!

Funny stories? Hmm, I think I mentioned above that the boss is my brother … I have many, but am allowed to share none. I may have some hilarious photos however that are fair game …

How many countries have you travelled to? Eight I think. But I’m not actually 100% sure.

Favourite hobby? Reading – if you figure out a way to monetise it, let me know!

 

Esha Avinashbhai Shah: Junior Front End Developer

Born in: India

What do you do at Swanky? I work as a Junior Front End Developer in the eCom-as-a-Service team.

What is your favourite part of the day? The morning, just before lunch. Usually I am more energetic, excited and fresh, and in the standup meetings I get to know about my whole day’s tasks.

Why do you work here? I love facing new challenges and tasks across different projects each and every day.

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? All of the projects are special but my favourite is the one with jewellery brand Medley.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? The most important thing is that it doesn’t feel like a job, I enjoy my role and love the working environment with all my colleagues.

How many countries have you travelled to? 4: India, Singapore, Bangkok and Australia.

Favourite hobby? Cooking, particularly trying out new dishes.

 

Namira Putri: Digital Project Manager Assistant

Born in: Jember, Indonesia

What do you do at Swanky? I am the Digital Project Manager Assistant for Swanky Australia. I assist the team with data migration, digital project tasks, setting up themes and integrating apps.

What is your favourite part of the day? My favourite part of the day would be getting my morning coffee, and lunchtime because I love food!

Why do you work here? One of my professional values is to bring a greater good to the community or simply to others. I believe assisting our clients to reach their full ecommerce potential does this and I am very passionate about my work.

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? I haven’t been at Swanky long enough to choose a favourite project or client, but probably in a year when I have adequate knowledge and experience I’ll know.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? Swanky is a great place if you want to elevate your skills and knowledge in the ecommerce industry. No matter what your role is, you’ll tap into some knowledge in other specialties such as IT, Marketing, Management and Business Operations. Also, if you’re one of those people who need a dose of coffee in the morning, you’ll fit in very well.

Funny stories? I came to the interview an hour early because I was too scared that I would be late. When I arrived, I just sat outside the building for 45 minutes and read my interview scripts.

How many countries have you travelled to? 5: Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Portugal, and Spain.

Favourite hobby? Cooking and travelling.

 

Sujan Parajuli: Paid Media Specialist

Born in: Kathmandu, Nepal

What do you do at Swanky? Paid Media Specialist – I’m the inhouse ad man.

What is your favourite part of the day? Mornings are my favourite – I am more focused/energised during this part of the day.

Why do you work here? Because I get to manage multiple client accounts, plus my colleagues are all pretty cool!

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? My favourite is NuroKor, but I’m most proud of By Invite Only.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? Stop thinking and apply!

Funny stories? That one time when I hit Casey on the arm with the Throw Throw Burrito, and it left a bruise the shape of the burrito – that was pretty funny.

How many countries have you travelled to? Three, plus my home country.

Favourite hobby? Riding motorbikes on trails, although I haven’t done that in a while.

 

Laura Brennan: Office Manager

Born in: Kingaroy, QLD, Australia

What do you do at Swanky? I am the Office Manager.

What is your favourite part of the day? My favourite part of the day is in the morning when everyone arrives: saying hello, catching up and getting stuck into the day.

Why do you work here? Because I love what I do! I love being organised and helping others!

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? My clients are my team. So I am most proud of being able to help out wherever and whenever I can to make the team’s day as easy as possible!

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? Do it! Especially if you have a passion for ecommerce and being creative! We have such a fantastic, diverse team. We all get along incredibly well, no day is the same and there is a great team vibe when you walk into the office.

Funny stories? Oh gosh, too many to pinpoint one. Some may also not be appropriate to repeat!

How many countries have you travelled to? Six, mostly in Europe.

Favourite hobby? I love shopping! But I am a real family person and spending time with my kids and partner is what fills my cup.

 

Karla Obst: Office Manager / PM Assistant

Born in: Toowoomba, Australia

What do you do at Swanky? I’m the Swanky Australia Office Manager/PM Assistant.

What is your favourite part of the day? Sunrise. I love the peace and stillness of that time of the morning.

Why do you work here? It’s an amazing opportunity to be a part of a fun team of creatives who support and encourage each other every day.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? Do it – whether it be as a client or as an employee, you won’t regret being a part of the Swanky team.

Funny stories? None that I’m willing to admit to! I’m sure my kids could tell you a few about me.

How many countries have you travelled to? I have never left Australia! We did however, when my kids were younger, sell our house and travel all over Australia for a couple of years. There is not much of our country I haven’t seen.

Favourite hobby? Yoga and dance. I also love a good book.

 

Kate Radley: Digital Designer

Born in: East Coast NSW, Australia.

What do you do at Swanky? Make things! I am a digital designer, so anything from designing websites to content creation and animation.

What is your favourite part of the day? The coffee run! It’s nice to chat to everyone and break up the day a bit.

Why do you work here? Because everyone is super nice and the broad range of work and creative freedom is great.

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? Can’t pick favourites.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? Number one, I hope you like coffee. Number two, how do you feel about Nerf Wars?

Funny stories? Have you met Sean Clanchy?

How many countries have you travelled to? Two! (Thanks, Covid)

Favourite hobby? Hiking and music photography.

 

Massimiliano (Max) Gino Matacchioni: Project Manager

Born in: Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia.

What do you do at Swanky? I’m a Project Manager.

What is your favourite part of the day? First thing in the morning just after I wake up. I love sleeping.

Why do you work here? I’ve only been here for one week as I write this, but I would say the comradery.

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? Don’t have one yet.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? Do it, there’s a great work environment.

Funny stories? Errr …can’t think of anything appropriate!

How many countries have you travelled to? Japan, Thailand, Russia, Italy and New Caledonia.

Favourite hobby? Video gaming.

 

Yoko Tomishima: UX/UI Designer

Born in: Japan

What do you do at Swanky? I’m a UX/UI designer.

What is your favourite part of the day? Morning. I feel refreshed and more productive!

Why do you work here? I was looking for the next challenge and opportunity to work in the exciting field of ecommerce. It’s a growing area with so much potential and Swanky was right at the forefront.

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? Goondiwindi Cotton. It was my first redesign work at Swanky and they have grown a lot since then.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? Swanky is an energetic and diverse team where everyone brings unique perspectives and experiences, which I think is awesome! There’s a really friendly and supportive environment and lots of things to learn every day.

Funny stories? I had a cat that liked humans but didn’t like other cats. One day I bought a hair band with cat ears and showed up in front of him. He thought I was a big cat and hissed and attacked me for the first time …

How many countries have you travelled to? 14. Europe is next on my list.

Favourite hobby? Cooking and eating.

 

Casey Dixon-Scherf: Ecommerce Assistant

Born in: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia

What do you do at Swanky? I’m the Ecommerce Assistant within the eComm-as-a-Service team.

What is your favourite part of the day? I enjoy different parts of my day. I get to be across a variety of tasks and projects, which keeps things interesting!

Why do you work here? It’s a fun place to work! I love what I do, I’m always learning new things, and the team are very supportive!

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? We are currently doing an insights piece for a client which has been a lot of fun.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? If you like to work on exciting projects and have a good time, then join us!

Funny stories? Not a funny story, but there is always something funny happening while playing Throw Throw Burrito. We are (I am) a little competitive!

How many countries have you travelled to? 11.

Favourite hobby? I have recently learnt how to do embroidery! (I’m not very good…yet!)

 

Oscar Thomas: Business Operations Assistant / Project Manager

Born in: Christchurch, New Zealand

What do you do at Swanky? I am the Business Operations Assistant for Swanky Australia. I assist the Managing Director with daily business operations and am currently working as a Project Manager within the New Builds team.

What is your favourite part of the day? Usually the start of the day, as I’ll have a to-do list ready from the day before, and I can start crossing off tasks as I get through them before midday.

Why do you work here? Because I have a strong passion for ecommerce and business, and I enjoy helping others grow their businesses.

What is your favourite project or the client you are most proud of? My primary client at the moment is Silk Oil of Morocco, a Brisbane-based beauty and cosmetics business. I am proud of the transition to Shopify we have been able to provide. Their positive feedback lets my team and I know that we are delivering what we promised.

What would you say to someone thinking about working with Swanky? Do it. If you have an interest or passion in ecommerce, then it’s a no brainer.

How many countries have you travelled to? I’ve been to roughly 12 countries including Europe, USA, Asia and a few tropical islands.

Favourite hobby? I have a big passion for football (soccer). I’ve played every year since I was five. I’ve played at a representative level and for a US University for a few months.

 

You’ll find our Aussie team at their super-swanky office in central Toowoomba. (Image credit: Kate Phillips, WiseOwl Photography.)

Could Swanky Australia help transform your ecommerce store?

If you’re a business looking for help with your store design, Shopify Plus migration or digital strategy, we’d love to hear from you! We’re passionate about helping ambitious, high-growth brands unlock their potential and achieve their ecommerce dreams.

Please do get in touch with one of our friendly ecommerce experts at Swanky Australia if you’d like to find out more.

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