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Deborah Bauer

Urban Metal Founder Deborah Bauer

Urban Metal

Deb Bauer is the founder of Urban Metal, a Brisbane-based business that designs and supplies decorative metal screens. The screens are used for building facades, feature walls, privacy screens, outdoor areas and pergola screens, and are beautiful, unique and often custom designed.

As a designer with over 20 years’ experience and a passion for art, architecture and creativity, in all its forms, Deb’s mission for Urban Metal is to enhance experience through design, elevating spaces to bring people together. For Deb, it’s all about connection.

 

Why did you start your business?

I started my business back in 2008 when I saw a gap in the market for custom-designed architectural screens. At the time, this product was only just starting to gain popularity which enabled us to find our feet at our own pace while we worked out who and what we wanted the brand to be.

Where in Queensland are you located?

Brisbane, on the beautiful bayside. Brisbane is a hive of activity for small businesses and I personally love the vibrant and energised business community. There is something on offer for everyone.  Living by the bay also means it’s incredibly easy to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Early mornings exercising along the waterfront or taking a local Pilates class all within 5 minutes from the studio. We also have perfect weather which means that you’ll often find me working outdoors rather than inside the studio.

Tell us about a recent success, win or challenge you overcame in your business.

We are beyond excited to announce that we are now an international brand! Urban Metal designs are now being used for projects across the USA.

What are you especially proud of?

International expansion is not for the faint-hearted. As someone who is ‘risk adverse’, branching out internationally has been well outside my comfort zone on almost every level. It is a very long and complicated process, especially for a niche product. Patience is power!

What are you most excited about in the next 12 months?

Urban Metal Deborah Bauer And Kylie Hill
Urban Metal Founder Deb Bauer with Indigenous artist Kylie Hill

Aside from continuing to expand internationally, I am most excited about the domestic market. We are well known for doing things a little differently and the next 12 months will certainly continue on this trend. We have been working hard behind the scenes and 2022 should see the announcement of some very exciting collaborations.

Earlier this year we also launched our first Indigenous Designed Collection and personally for me, this collection has been a journey of immense learning and joy. Through various collaborations I have formed new friendships and never have I felt more connected to my design work and on a much deeper level. I feel very privileged to be trusted to provide a platform for these emerging artists to tell their stories in a new medium.

What resources have helped you along your business journey?

I am a big believer in continuous learning and the power of surrounding yourself with the right people. I have attended many of the Female Founders online workshops and webinars. I have also completed the Spark Female Founders Program with a fabulous group of like-minded women and guided by the brilliant and always supportive Danielle Lewis. I have also completed the Female Founders Advisory Board Program, delivered through the Advisory Board Centre. I have joined the ACE network and enjoy their regular offerings. Last but not least, I was fortunate enough to work with Lewe Atkinson in the Female Founders Mentor Match program. His mentorship, connections and advice have been an absolute game-changer for me personally.

How has the Advance Queensland Female Founders Impact Program helped you?

The Female Founders Impact Program has been the best investment of time I could have made for my business. The Impact Innovation team are an incredibly knowledgeable team of educators and supporters who bring vibrant energy to all they do. Working with Lewe and his introduction to systems thinking has given me so much clarity and reassurance around the direction and trajectory of the business. I am now far more comfortable stretching myself to greater goals and achieving successes that I could only have dreamt of in the past.  I am incredibly grateful to be a part of this community.

Website: https://urbanmetal.com.au/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deborah-bauer-1885a188/