Tech + Femme: Origins
Recently Saint Helena, an Australian women's swimsuit and apparel label, interviewed Temme CEO Sybil Steele. We wanted to share some of the best parts of the interview with you, as it highlights the core values of Temme and why we began this journey. They say to "never forget why you started" and speaking to others about our mission and the reasons behind it, is that perfect reminder.
Sybil, we’re so intrigued by your latest venture Temme Media - could you please tell us in your own words why it was born and what you're out to achieve with it?
When I moved to New York from Byron almost two years ago, I thought I would continue to pursue fashion photography but I decided very quickly I didn’t want to be a photographer. I realised my skill set was better suited to making things happen in production, for women and with community from the global network I had built up over the last 10 years. I actually LOVE producing.
From another point of view, I have girls who are entering their teenage years and watch me very closely. What I pay attention to, what I do, how I act. I guess staring at screens of beautiful women for hours day after day in edits and as the core of my work didn’t really resonate for me anymore.
In the end, my passion for women’s rights, safety, and community won out over photography. The ‘US’ is very focused on ‘STEM’ for girls and because we had some 360/VR capabilities in house under our production belts, I began to think about the future of women and how we have to make positive content for young girls. They will be the consumers of Virtual and Augmented Reality more so than my age group. The challenge was to figure out how can we help ensure their future in technology is heading in the right direction. These technologies are overwhelmingly male dominated and content is made by, and created for, dudes.
Thus, the idea for Temme Media was born.
Virtual Reality seems to be talked about a lot lately, but we haven’t seen much really hit the mainstream (here in Australia anyway) - can you tell us more about what got you so focused on it and now as a platform for your business?
TechCrunch predicts VR/AR to be a $150 Billion industry by 2020 with Augmented in the lead. You can tell by the announcements from Facebook's F8 conference last week and the potential of Apple releasing ‘something big’ that it’s on the brink of exploding and changing every single industry. It’s really no different than the Internet in the way that we will communicate. The forms might change over the next decade, including the names, but it is the start of something even if VR/AR don’t stay within these current definitions.
I also think some of us fear technology to some extent. There are pros and cons of each new development and it’s not going to go away, it’s only going to exponentially increase. There is a saying, “It’s not technology that’s the problem, it’s man that’s the problem”.
I can either go out and protest these weird nerdy headsets that turn people into zombies (unless it goes social which it will) or I can figure out how to produce worthy content for women and hope the headsets dissipate (which they will). And to ease some worries, real life is still better than these tech realities and real life in its core existence and real human interaction is not going anywhere. I think. For now, until Elon Musk turns us into half robots in a few years :).
VR has the capacity to take you to other places. Whether it’s travel, education, lifestyle, art, it can transport you. AR (Augmented Reality) has the capacity to offer more layers onto your reality and utility.
As a platform for my new business, Temme is two parts- a creative/production studio that works with companies in the verticals of ‘fashion’, ‘travel’, ‘art + culture’, ‘social impact’, and ‘health + beauty’.
We help brands navigate these technologies by creating and applying the content to their businesses, campaigns and initiatives. We simplify and break down the process for them from creative to distribution. It’s confusing and overwhelming for brands when they are so busy on current initiatives to think of the future and complex tech coming down the line. Also how do they get it out there once they’ve made the decision to invest into the content? We’ve done all this legwork and extracted the best of what they need to know, how to do it and why.
The second part and bigger, more long-term goal of our mission pertains to your next question about the focus on women.
Temme focuses on women - this is totally cool - what do you want to communicate overall both professionally and/or personally in your vision with TM?
@temmemedia is a digital platform and tech stack (all in progress and launching later this year). We call it a Media Revolution for the Future Feminine. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not all business and technology, there is the integration from studio commissions of travel, fashion, art, culture and all of it is infused with a strong modern female sensibility, career and technology. We are actually out to make it smart, aesthetically pleasing and simplified. Accessibility with a strong female voice creating and curating what we’d like to see. So I guess imagine bringing a magazine to life.
Women are 80% of online consumers and who is doing their marketing? Who is making the content for them that emphasizes the stuff they really want to see?
Within the framework of these technologies and where they came from - gaming - we don’t want to shoot people or be blown up, but I would like to pick my next holiday destination, have a cool experience in music or sit at a roundtable of power women. Really I’d also like to spy on your living room and how you decorated and be in your next campaign in the Maldives with you. I want my content simple, smart and beautiful and I want it to improve my life, not make me feel unsafe and confused.
Our main goal is not only carve out this space for women with these emerging technologies to view, create, participate in, but for them to have a strong voice and decision making process in how this is all going to go down.
See the full interview here.