How The Little Black Shack created the ultimate holiday escape

4 min read

Before the Little Black Shack became Australia’s go-to holiday rental destination, it was just an old and dilapidated refuge built by fishermen for their families. After first noticing it more than 30 years ago, once acquiring it, it took visionaries Jamie and his wife Ingrid Kwong, over 2 years to recreate and revive the space into the popular and cosy spot it is today.


It’s an ambition of ours to reduce our impact on the environment and live a more sustainable life. The Little Black Shack is our attempt to do just that. We loved the way the shack was built only with what the fishermen needed it to have and we didn’t see any need to change that.
— JAMIE KWONG, Owner, The Little Black Shack

When I sat down Jamie Kwong, good friend and owner of The Little Black Shack, it became even more apparent that building a world-class brand doesn’t happen overnight. As the founder and creative director of branding and design agency, Workshop, in Sydney, Jamie’s knowledge and experience with branding was an invaluable asset in the launch and promotion of the shack.


Here are Jamie’s top tips to creating the ultimate holiday escape:

1. Create a space that you’ll love

Passion outlives the trend of the day and for Jamie and Ingrid, The Little Black Shack was created around a core belief and sense of responsibility for the environment. Their commitment to environmental sustainability and consciousness was more than a concept, guiding decisions around building techniques, materials, furniture, flavour and style. 

“We love making the most of what we find around us – recycling, repurposing, making our own furniture and making a difference to the environment! The Little Black Shack is hand built for both our family and the environment. We’re just lucky others seem to like it too.” 

Although Jamie and Ingrid didn’t plan to turn the shack into a holiday rental, their passion for the environment has continued to attract visitors to their property who also respect and value the pair’s commitment to sustainability.


The shack was a great way to get that message out to more people. Besides, we were too busy to use it every weekend ourselves. We got lucky.


“Never design for someone else or simply to follow trends. Always create a space that you love to live in yourself. Make sure it’s a place you love to stay. That way, if the holiday rental side of things doesn’t work out as you planned, at least you’ll always enjoy using it. We know The Little Black Shack isn’t for everyone, so we don’t try and make it for everyone.”


2. Be authentic with your online marketing

With the rise of #sponsored posts from micro influencers and celebrities, sharing their authentic brand story and voice has been a critical pillar of The Little Black Shack’s success. From day one, Jamie and Ingrid’s unpretentious commitment to create an environmentally sustainable space has been visible across the brand’s story.  

“We don’t use money, tricks or gimmicks to build our following. We don’t simply post for ‘likes’ and we never post for the sake of it. We post when we have something relevant to say that we think people might want to hear. Our approach to Instagram is to be real and unless shot by someone else, all our images are taken by us on our phones to keep it as natural as possible.”


Anything we do needs to align with our purpose. And that is to positively influence the environment, one couple, one weekend at a time.
— JAMIE KWONG, Owner, The Little Black Shack


For the duo behind The Little Black Shack, all business and marketing decisions align with their purpose to positively influence the environment. Creating a brand with a ‘why’ is continually emphasised by authors like Simon Sinek, but finding purpose behind your brand should inform the big and small decisions.

“Not all PR is good PR. We have no desire to promote ourselves on a mass scale. We are constantly approached by ‘influencers’ and brands looking to stay for free or leverage the shack in exchange for posts. This is not what we’re about.”


At all times, posting meaningful and original content is part of Jamie and Ingrid’s responsibility and commitment to the audience that follow and invest in their brand.

“We love that you can connect with people all around the world who share common beliefs.  We feel a huge sense of responsibility to post meaningful content because we really appreciate the time people spend engaging with it. It allows us to spread our message and beliefs about caring for the environment and hopefully inspire others to do the same.”


Appreciate the authenticity at Jamie and Ingrid’s destination, book here.  

Photo credits:
Website www.lbrimble.com
Blog www.luisabrimble.com
Instagram @luisabrimble