Keen Company: Fi from Girl Friday IP

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Keeping keen company with Fi

from Girl Friday IP

Welcome to Chapter 5 of Keen Company...

Your go-to blog series for getting to know the people, inspirations and stories behind some amazing brands! I can't believe we are already five chapters in. I am so thankful to everyone who has been a part of it so far, and for everyone that comes here to read along! 

This week we have some brand new questions in the mix and a bit of a different profession too! Fi is Founder and Principal of Girl Friday IP, and is as passionate as they come! She has a thirst to break stigmas and perceptions surrounding her industry, which is so refreshing to see!

I first came across Fi when I heard her talk on a panel at a League of Extraordinary Women event here in Brisbane, I Insta-stalked her down as soon as I heard her speak while still sitting in the audience at the event! I knew she was my type of gal and can't wait to watch her journey. 

Oh and as a fun fact that I think is beyond amazing... if she wasn't already busy running a business, changing an industry and educating herself, she was also quarter finalist on The Great Australian Bake Off.... how amazing is THAT! Haha.. okay, enough fan girling.... over to Fi....


Q: When people ask who are you and what you do… what do you tell them? Essentially… what is your elevator pitch?

A: I'm here to chew gum, give intellectual property (IP) a much needed makeover and kick ass. I'm all out of gum. IP has such a confusing and scary reputation for most business owners that it often gets lumped into the "too hard basket". But it's actually really an interesting and creative space. I'm working to educate and help businesses about the value of IP without the legalese. Just real talk.

Q: Often a massive struggle for new businesses… how the heck did you come up with your business name?

A: I've always been known amongst friends and colleagues both at and outside of work as the "go to" girl. I'm the organiser, the helper and the keeper of random knowledge (handy for quiz nights!). Girl Friday IP summed up my personality and purpose perfectly. It described my story to a tee - rather than me having to craft a story to fit a name. It was really important for me to stand out and break out from the sea of conservative names and brands in the space. Also, I was told in my former 9-5 life to "be more generic". No effing chance of that.

Q: What did you do prior to starting your amazing business?

A: I started my professional life straight out of uni as a lab tech and R&D chemist, making malt for beer! And then wanting more of a challenge, I stumbled into the intellectual property and became a Patent and Trade Mark Attorney. That was 10 years ago (gee I feel old!). But immediately before starting Girl Friday IP, I was working in-house at a large medical research institute looking after the IP portfolio but also working to commercialise some of those IP assets.

Q: How do you get yourself out of a creative or emotional rut?

A: If I find myself coasting into rut-sville with a particular bit of work or life in general, I look to challenge myself with something new. I'm not talking climbing Everest. But cooking or baking a new recipe or teaching myself how to knit (still a challenge). I find challenging distractions help keep my brain ticking over and keeps the creative juices flowing. Anyone who knows me knows that sitting still is not an option.

Q: What are some of your biggest sources of inspiration?

A: I read A LOT. I'm a serious night owl and I'm constantly reading news, blogs, journals etc. And not from within my own industry but other industries such as the creative, tech and science - anything and everything. I'm just really curious by nature and inspo I think can be found in so many areas, especially those that you might not necessarily think to look.

Anyone who knows me knows that sitting still is not an option.

Q: What is your favourite aspect of what you do for a living?

A:I love problem solving and strategising. Working with clients to come up with the right strategy for them and their business really gives me warm and fuzzy feels. Even better is when I can surprise them and get them thinking positively about IP.

Q: What does an average day look for you?

A: Full disclosure, I'm not a morning person. My day kicks into serious gear around 10am when I'm actually human. I tend to answer emails in the morning and then get stuck into my set to-do list that I've set from the night before. I've learnt quickly not to try and set an endless list of tasks but smaller more meaningful lists that I can actually tackle and tick off. But at any given day, that list and my good intentions can go out the window, especially if I have a client facing an messy issue aka "the worst day of their business lives".

Q: Where will you and your business be in five years time?

A: My main goal is to still love what I'm doing. Going into business for yourself shouldn't be a chore but a choice. And everyone says it, when you love what you're doing, it's not really work. 



Coffee or tea? Coffee when I'm in night owl/exhausted pigeon mode. But endless pots of green tea usually.

Three items to take to a deserted island? Camera (I'm really snap happy), my dogs and knitting (I'm determined to master this).

First concert you attended? Tim Minchin. The man is a genius. 

Favourite singer/band? The Internet.

First job? Barista at a donut shop.

If you could invite three people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be? Jon Hamm (he's just too suave), Mindy Kaling (too funny) and Eva Chen (she's hilarious).


Favourite book? Recently, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. 

The thing you are most grateful for right now? Having the opportunity to do the work I love but in my own way.


Girl Friday IP

Want to get in touch with Fi? Find her on Insta @girlfridayip

Claire McKeen