Jake and Jess Munday from Custom Neon: The Side Hustle That Lit Up | #233

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Jake and Jess talk all things lights, socials and local…ooh and Paris Hilton’s wedding

ep 233
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Nathan Bush is a director at eCommerce talent agency, eSuite. He has led eCommerce for businesses with revenue $100m+ and has been recognised as one of Australia’s Top 50 People in eCommerce four years in a row. You can contact Nathan on LinkedIn, Twitter or via email.


Co-founder and CEO at Custom Neon, Jake is an experienced, commercially astute, and vision-driven professional with 10+years of sales and business development and entrepreneurial growth in renowned and reputed retail businesses.

You can contact Jake at LinkedIn


Jess from Custom Neon

Co-founder at Custom Neon with a demonstrated history of working in the retail industry. A background in HR and recruitment. Strong business development professional with a Bachelor of Management (Human Resources) focused in Human Resource Management from University of South Australia.

You can contact Jess at LinkedIn

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Jake and Jess Munday, Co founders of Custom Neon, who make and sell LED neon signs in any size, shape and colour you like.   Starting out as a side hustle on Instagram, the company now sell around 400 signs a week, has offices in the UK, Australia and the USA and their client list includes Elon Musk and Kylie and Kendall Jenner.  In this chat, Jake and Jess give us the low down on all things neon, including the naked variety, how a pricey piece of marketing they call ‘the big video’ has paid off and how they managed to get into Paris Hilton’s DMs. 

“Our approach…is that we’re never done, we’re always working on the next version

Jess Munday

Celeb glow up

(Jess) “Elon Musk, Paris Hilton, Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner… they were probably the biggest (celebrity clients). And ironically, they all came to us organically, so we didn’t reach out for influencer deals or anything like that. So that was pretty cool.  It’s always their teams…apart from Paris Hilton.  

(Jake) Paris was all on the the DM’s and the voice. Hey there it’s Paris and yeah, that’s how we dealt with Paris directly with voice DM’s back and forth. 

We actually did a sign event that Paris was DJing at. We tagged her on it and then she hit us up wanting some neons. Obviously the pandemic hit and, whatnot.  But then she decided to get married and hit us back up. So yeah, she reached out to us again, and I think that’s just the power of social media.”

Socials start

(Jess) “From the start, I did the social media and…I didn’t even have any experience in social media before, but it was how we started the business and from just keeping relevant and connecting with other local businesses was kind of the starting point for us and collaborating with others.  And also from a customer service perspective, replying to DMs straight away on social media was something that was important as well, which we’ve actually kept as the business is growing.

In terms of managing it well now, we have content pillars that we follow throughout the year. And we have our Marketing campaigns that we follow throughout the year. We also have scheduled content days to make sure that we have our content in advance from organic content that we’re gonna post, but also content for campaigns.

So I’m still involved in a bit of that, which is always fun. But yeah, it’s just super important to obviously to always keep up to date with our social media and always push outside the boundaries as well.”

The big video

(Jess) “…one of Jake’s ideas, one of his big  ideas…we call it the big video. 

(Jake) Cause it was a big video cause it cost a lot of money! Basically the vision came from looking at Dollar Shaver Club or Dollar Beer Club, their ads and the reason it came out is because there’s a lot of competition in this business. And everyone has ripped off our photos, our videos and just reposted it and it’s hurtful. It’s hard to actually get down. So we wanted to create something that was unique to us that no one can copy.

It’s one video that shows exactly what we do across different genres from kids’ rooms to a cafe, to a business to a wedding. We wanted a bold video that showed all that and it was  ongoing. So, they film as they walk through the different scenes.

It was 11 months in the planning, through pandemic as well, to get the script right.  it’s a piece that’s still gonna be relevant in 12 months time or two years time to our brand and, what we do. And, that’s why it was worth the investment.”

Questions answered in this episode include
  • What’s been the biggest challenge in scaling from side hustle to an 18m dollar business?
  • How do you maintain quality when you offer custom products?
  • How did you go about creating your latest impressive advertisement?

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