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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Sharni Honor


Director of The Porch Sessions, Sharni Honor is trying to find innovative ways to help the South Australian music industry thrive.

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Honor founded music event business, The Porch Sessions, in 2013.

Built around the concept of a travelling backyard music festival, The Porch Sessions runs gigs in venues across South Australia, from trams to show halls to backyards.

Honor said since its inception the business had become a nationwide platform for musicians and industry creatives to grow and flourish.

As well as her role as “governor” and director of Porch Session, in 2015 Honor held the first Porchland Festival – a porch session “on steroids”.

She has since joined forces with South Australian-based music manager Little Acorn, and Honor said together the pair had grown the event to almost five times its initial capacity.

To accommodate its growth, Porchland has moved from a 400-person-capacity venue in Hahndorf to a 2000-capacity venue in Willunga.

While the initiative has won a number of South Australian Music Awards, including the 2017 South Australian Best Festival, Honor said her most significant career achievement to date was the nomination for the 2018 National Live Music Award.

This is presented to an individual or organisation who has made a difference in the music scene.

On top of her roles with Porchland and The Porch Session, Honor is co-chief of multipurpose space Summertown Studio.

Summertown Studio is in a warehouse space in Somerton Park and was created as a co-working environment with shop font, series of creative studios, coffee and wine.

Honor said she was passionate about all aspects of South Australian music, art and culture and she hoped to continue creating experiences and platforms for talented locals.

In June, Honor was named in InDaily’s 40 Under 40, which recognises the best and brightest young business people in South Australia.

What is the single most important lesson you have learnt in your business career so far?

Be bold, and the mighty forces will come. I saw that in a little nice book somewhere on the road, and have never forgotten it. I think anyone that takes a risk and starts a new and unusual business, needs to have a little element of trust in the big old universe.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

Community. We are so lucky here, to be surrounded by an incredible, loyal and positive community. South Australians act like a beautiful big family, supporting homegrown ideas and talent and taking pride in the things we do and create here.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

I think there are things we can always do better. In smaller places, there’s a stronger element of competition, of small pond syndrome with room for only one big fish. This mentality is gradually changing. Over time people are beginning to realise the more fish the better in the same game. But this could be happening at a faster rate.

Do you see your future in South Australia? 

Absolutely. I adore this state and everything it represents: the culture, the lifestyle, and a place to create, grow and sustain creative business. Everything I plan to do in the future ties back strongly to South Australia as my home, and the home of my business, and now multiple businesses.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

Support them. Incentivise them. Celebrate them. Remove the hoops and the red tape to allow great ideas to happen. It’s with a few, very simple steps, that young leaders, entrepreneurs and creatives will continue to stay, and create longevity in business within the state.

To see the full list of 40 winners go here.

InDaily is profiling each of the winners – go here to read more.

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