Our clients

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The Real Thiel

Client features

This creative group of people are pushing boundaries, trying new things and making the world a more beautiful and fun place to live. They are human beings who we love and respect, and who we can share a vision with.

We often meet people so immersed in their creative work that they struggle with the numbers side of things. In other cases they get it, but they are growing and want to outsource the financial work - they need help, education and an accessible accountant and advisor.


Read on as some of our amazing clients share their stories about what they do and how they came to be clients of The Real Thiel.

"I always struggled to separate business and personal expenses, and completely ignored tax, thinking it was this ‘monstrous task’. After realising tax had become a mental hurdle for me, Lauren helped me settle in and just get it done… finally!"

Blake Canham-Bennett

"I needed to have the bigger picture painted for me when it came to money. I needed awareness, direction and goals which Lauren has always provided. Now I’m on track and proud of myself. I’m aware of my business financially; why I charge what I do and how to maintain a successful business year in, year out"

Kat Schultz

"My former accountants gave little to no advice as to how to proceed beyond the ATO requirement. Lauren has made suggestions and offered solutions to processes that break them down into manageable steps that can be done over time, reducing the stress"

Brent Leideritz

"I had a tax account prior to The Real Thiel who I thought was decent, but there was no personal touch or hands on approach, and several things were missed as a result. Now I have a better grip on the administrative side, but also in creating strong budgets and strategies to maximise our income and minimise our expenditure"

Sari Ferreira
The Channel - Elite Training

"Lauren has helped me to move away from manually entered spreadsheets, personal bank accounts and anxiety, and not only assisted in setting up, but also trained me on how to maintain my Xero account, CRM software and business bank accounts. I'm now empowered and ready to take the next step in my business"

Camille Abbott
Wedding Celebrant

"I was looking for an account that I could trust and enjoy working with. I hadn't experienced this before working with The Real Thiel"

Kaity Griffin
Sunday Digital

"Working with incredible creatives is a true joy. When my artists work hard to create something new, and it's important to them that I love it - feels like a proud parent moment. They are constantly impressing me. I get to work with my friends which I never take for granted, my artists are some of the best people I know, and we've supported each other through good times and hard times"

Peta Spurling-Brown
Producer & Manager

Blake Canham-Bennett

Blakesby Hats

Blake Canham-Bennett has been making hats since 2012. He’s a traditional hatter (and not to be mistaken as a milliner!) who handcrafts high quality felt hats such as fedoras and vintage western styles (all unisex), as well as occasional feminine vintage styles.

Since establishing Blakesby Hats in 2015 and moving into his studio space at The Mill in 2019, Blake’s hats have crossed the globe, being worn in America, New Zealand, Switzerland, Siberia, Egypt, and many more places.

Blake’s greatest joys in his business is when he makes a hat that he’s truly proud of, and that the client loves just as much as him. He especially loves working with clients to come up with something truly unique, a hat which really shines and shows the potential of custom.

Blake’s bookkeeping wasn’t something he was very proud of a few years ago - he was having huge problems separating his business and personal accounts and hadn’t lodged a tax return in over two years. Blake put up a mental barrier where the task seemed insurmountable and the only viable option was to get some professional help.

“I always struggled to separate business and personal expenses, and completely ignored tax, thinking it was this ‘monstrous task’. After realising tax had become a mental hurdle for me, Lauren helped me settle in and just get it done… finally!” Blake Canham-Bennett

Like a lot of our clients before they come on board, the bookkeeping side of business was grim – but you should always remember this is where we shine and we can ABSOLUTELY get you BACK ON TRACK too!

The immediate future for Blakesby Hats is about growth - offering more accessories, doing trunk shows interstate and stocking/restocking stockists. Long-term, Blake dreams of opening his own store with a beautiful heritage façade and gets quite excited at the possibility of an elaborate display piece in the middle of the showroom like an old Model T Ford “it could be painted up to look like what grand-papa Blakesby used to deliver hats in. Really, what's even the point in having a physical store if it doesn't give people some kind of experience just by walking in!” We agree 100% and can’t wait to see his dreams come to fruition.

Facebook: Blakesby Hats

Instagram: Blakesby Hats

Camille Abbott


Camille Abbott has seen a lot of weddings in her 13 plus years as a celebrant and one thing almost all of them seemed to have in common was unnecessary stress. With that realisation Camille decided to pull together a dynamic team of professional Australian wedding suppliers to start Unbridely with a commitment to making the wedding planning process fun, simple and with a lot less stress.

Getting a tax debt most years and moving in to full time celebrancy, Camille’s business had outgrown her version of ‘accounting practices’ (a spreadsheet and personal bank account!?!?!) and it was time to level up. Tax time was making her  feel physically ill and she was avoiding responsibilities because it was all too hard. A trusted friend and wedding vendor had met Lauren at a business retreat in the winter and when spring came around she looked calmer and more in control. I asked what her secret was - and it was The Real Thiel.

As Camille’s business grew she found herself with a system that made her not only anxious, but was getting her into tax debt. After getting that hot-tip from her friend, Camille decided it was time to take action. The Real Thiel helped Camille sort out her bank accounts, the flow of money, make sure everything is recorded and reconciled, and to actually be ahead of tax time!

“Before Lauren I'd only ever worked with an accountant at tax time. They would sigh a lot at the state of my records, but not assist in helping me do anything better. With Lauren’s help I’ve learned it’s not as scary as you think - I promise!  She's not there to make you feel guilty, she is genuinely there to help you, and the rewards - not just monetarily, but also the pride - are more than worth the effort and investment.” Camille Abbott


We also feel an immense sense of pride when we see our clients learning how to make the most of their books. If you’re thinking about getting on top of your finances then contact us now, because here at The Real Thiel we are on a mission to Educate, Empower and Motivate you too!

Kat Schultz

Katherine Schultz Photography

Kat was fresh out of school and on her way to becoming a lawyer. Her passion for photography started out as a hobby, but if you’ve seen her work, you’ll understand why she quickly became popular and how the demand for her work was enough to change the direction of her original career path. While Kat’s legal studies make sure she has tight contracts and a good business structure in place, she reached out for help with accounting.

“I photograph newborns, families & weddings in a way that illuminates connection. My photography is all about preserving people genuinely and the love that exists within and between them”.

Katherine Schultz Photography

From day one we got her all set up in Xero, got her bank accounts streamlined and set up good processes for management. Over time, as the business grew, we were pleased to provide tax planning, and help her to restructure the business, register for GST, and now act as her weekly bookkeeper.

Kat runs workshops for other photographers and she explains that when you either run out of time for things, don't like doing certain things in your business, or simply don't have the skill sets for them – you should “invest in help” and outsource! I outsource my marketing; Kat outsources her accounting.

We’ve actually learned a couple of other things from Kat. First was on the design, look and feel of everything in the customer experience. Kat nails her socials, website, thank you cards, gifts etc. Everything is consistent and aesthetically pleasing. Second is the ‘eat the frog first’ approach to work, which means getting that big/unpleasant job out of the way first thing in the morning and not procrastinating. And by the way, we’re always here to help if that big/unpleasant job happens to be bookkeeping! Nowadays Kat runs one of the cleanest, most organised books you have ever seen and we are so proud of her.


The Real Thiel

Our client are as diverse as our skillset - copywriters, comedians and content creators, performing artists, photographers and videographers, visual artists, venue managers, web developers and arts administrators in all stages of their career, all over the world.

Brent Leideritz


Brent Leideritz is an independent artist and graphic designer with a photographic art practice that originated on film in the 1990s and transitioned through to the digital present. Brent was in a situation we see all the time with artists, his priorities were on creativity and not bookkeeping – classic artist! When Brent came to The Real Thiel there were lodgements overdue and piles of receipts.

“Previous experiences of accountants had left me in a hole that I was struggling to get back out of so I was on the lookout for an accountant that understood the arts, could help set up processes that made sense to non-finance-industry minds, and who cared about more than just money”.


Brent needed structure, deadlines, and accountability, so we made a pact - I would take the time to step him through everything and not leave him in the lurch, and he would be open to change and promise to keep his books tidy once we got them all sorted. It took a few months, but we are so proud to see Brent now managing his own Xero file, keeping all of the receipts, keeping on top of invoice payments, working toward financial freedom, and lodging everything on time - sometimes early even!

Brent is another great example of a creative client that’s taken action and gained control, not only over their financial records, but are now in a position to make insightful predictions because they’ve reached out for help and stayed the course.  


Sari Ferreira

The Channel - Elite Training

When I’m not balancing those books you can find me cutting up dance floors all over town, so working with client and kindred spirit Sari Ferreira feels like it’s just meant to be. Director/choreographer at The Channel – Elite Training, Sari loves to watch her students grow - seeing young artists evolve and connect to their deepest creative calling.

A common theme with a lot of our clients when we first meet them is trying to find a balance between the work/creative/fun part with the admin/books/boring part. In Sari’s case we’ve also taken on a coaching role, helping her navigate, and ultimately control, her bookkeeping (click HERE to see more of our services).


“I had a tax account prior to The Real Thiel who I thought was decent, but there was no personal touch or hands on approach, and several things were missed as a result. Now I have a better grip on the administrative side, but also in creating strong budgets and strategies to maximise our income and minimise our expenditure”.

Some of Sari’s business highlights include Booking 5 music festivals with my students, opening TCHQ, receiving constant positive feedback regarding our students and their work ethic, as well as the vibe of our space, and surviving COVID-19!

The future for The Channel – Elite will involve launching the Channel Company (contemporary / commercial dance company) as well as a heavier push into training adults rather than under 12s, so they can begin preparations to have their own full-time dance course – and we’ll be dancing alongside them!


Image supplied by Sari Ferreira 

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Kaity Griffin

Sunday Digital

After her maternity leave Kaity made the risky decision to go out on her own and start Sunday Digital leaving her well-paying job behind. It took only six months before she earned enough to realise that she’d made the right decision.

Kaity Griffin works with businesses and teaches people how to use Google Ads profitably. She gets a massive kick out of teaching students how to get better results than their ad agency, without them having to pay expensive management fees. 

Despite her achievements, Kaity was feeling lost and not in control of her business finances and not being empowered on how to make smart financial decisions. Her previous financial consultants were letting her down by simply going through the motions and weren’t helping Kaity make creative decisions about the direction of her business, such as building a bigger presence on social media.


“I was looking for an account that I could trust and enjoy working with. I hadn't experienced this before working with The Real Thiel”.

Since becoming a client Kaity is now feeling “totally empowered and invigorated - It's actually exciting for me, rather than daunting! I love the freedom that comes with knowing my financial state, and having someone there to hold my hand if I need any help”.

Kaity is currently working towards streamlining her business, consolidating systems and training her new employee even further so that she has more time for content creation and the training side of her business. Kaity’s goal is to be “the one stop shop for all Google Ads training for small businesses and digital marketers that want to upskill” and we absolutely LOVE helping her get there!


Image supplied by Kaity Griffin

Peta Spurling-Brown

Producer & Manager at Hey Boss

Producing shows that satisfy her need to bring to life new and exciting works, while also bringing in revenue for her business Hey Boss, is how Peta Spurling-Brown has made a name for herself on the festival circuit. In our current climate Peta’s view that “almost every season comes at a financial risk” rings especially true.

Read on to find out why Peta continues to take such risks, but also how she came to be a client of The Real Thiel.

And Peta certainly has worked with some amazing talent such as Damian Callinan (The Merger, Skithouse), and Double Denim, whose work closely aligns with Hey Bosses core principles of providing “work that has broad accessibility (it has to be entertaining first), and strong sociological themes (it has to make people think)”.

We can also credit Peta for bringing ‘Fleabag’ (the theatre show behind the incredibly popular TV show of the same name) to our local stages. The stage show is written by the TV shows star and writer, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who also wrote and produced ‘Killing Eve’ – talk about a Midas touch!

Just as important to Peta, is the internal culture of Hey Boss. Peta has created a family of sorts; a close-knit group of artists from across the world that work hard, support each other, and sometimes even collaborate. However, during her five years in business Peta has been through four accountants and found balancing the financial side of things to be “very stressful… I've never had a clear idea of how much money I actually had at any one time which has had me in a constant state of simmering terror”.

Nowadays it’s a different story,

“Lauren was just so approachable and would take the time to explain things to me and suggest ways things could be streamlined. Previously it felt like a necessary evil that I would avoid engaging in where possible. With Lauren I feel excited about learning and improving upon the foundation I have. She's proactive in a way my previous accountants weren't, which means I never get behind even when I'm under the pump with festival work”.

It’s amazing to see Peta enjoying the financial side of her business and having more time to focus on her Hey Boss goals of balancing bigger names that bring in sales with fostering new talent, which is why we here at the Real Thiel are so happy to support Peta’s business and super proud to have her as a client.


Image credit | Ramsay Taplin 


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