When conversation gets flowing, be it with a friend or even a stranger, it’s always clear when passion reveals itself. Passion cannot be hidden when we talk about the things that get us excited or give our lives meaning. Passion can convert hard work into something life changing. For a few car enthusiasts, what was once a passion project has now turned into what many would describe as a grass roots movement within the Adelaide car scene.
In mid 2014, I recall meeting Byron Maloney, Jack Miller and Kevin Tria from the newly formed Slow Life and their passion for cars and people was obvious. Let’s be honest, there are many people we meet in the car community that don’t leave a lasting impression but these guys were spirited, kind and open minded. I knew straight away that I would always want to make time for them. When I met the guys at a Driven Motorsport event, they circulated the crowd, taking photos and chatting away. At that time, they had just started to promote themselves on Facebook and I remember their popularity quite early on. I’d also noticed Kevin’s natural talent for automotive photography for two reasons; he can take striking one-on-one photos of cars, which manage to capture the atmosphere of the surroundings. Secondly, he’d turned what can often look like distasteful image of someone posing with their car, into a portrait which reflected the owner. I can confidently say this contributed to Slow Life’s following on social media in their early days. Whether it be in the beginning or in our current day, Kevin appreciates the community support which has only pushed him to challenge his artistic limits.
As time went on, I met the other Slow Life contributors – Kate, Tom, Riley, Ruby, James, Mitch, Corey and Brandan. The most recent team additions being the photographic talents of Scotty (Digital Garage) and Kieran as well as Maddie (resident website designer / administrator) and last but not least, Ivana who manages accounts and sales. Each one of these car enthusiasts has contributed to the growth of Slow Life in their own way with some amazing events and photographs to show for it and they will all agree that they never imagined that Slow Life would have grown to be what it is today. We didn’t know it at the time but they were about to fill a gap for South Australian car enthusiasts that we didn’t even know we had!
Why are they called Slow Life you may ask? The name was chosen by founder, Byron and is a representation of what a lot of us like to do; slow down and appreciate our cars and our friendships. Byron’s idea was to create an online presence for the Adelaide car community to show everyone what we have to offer. When looking back he is very proud of what Slow Life have accomplished so far.
Back to 2014, when their first call of business was the spontaneous and casual Wednesday night meets at Windy Point. They were a great excuse to break up your work week with some cars and conversation. You were more than likely to make some new friends too. The name Slow Life became more and more recognised and their initial Burnside Mini Meet filled the shopping centre car park. This was only months after the birth of their idea and with only a few hours notice on Facebook to the public that day. The team released their first video, “Live, Love , Boost”, showcasing the meet with plenty of awesome cars and a catchy background track. They also scraped together enough money to order their original batch of stickers. Their first ever joint meet with Adelaide Four Six Rotary saw their stickers sell out and as Jack remembers, that’s when they realised that things were getting serious.
Mid 2015 saw the team take a step up with a favourable re-branding of the logo by graphic design guru Tom Goldsmith, sending people nuts for stickers. This was also when they held their first event at the SA Aquatic Centre. I vividly recall driving into the multi-level car park. Firstly, I’m thinking genius idea. They’d gained permission from the property to host the event there so a relaxing atmosphere filled the crowd. As I slowly drove up each level, I was passing rows of parked cars, lit up under the fluorescents and people were everywhere chatting and taking pictures. My second thought; I was happy to stay there all night because the atmosphere was amazing, we were out of the weather and our cars were under lights! This meet is a favourite among many of the Slow Life team as it was the first at this location and there was a huge turnout. The following month at “Wheely Good Time” the same venue was overflowing with cars and they’d reached location capacity. The introduction of the Slow Life HQ saw drinks, food, music and merchandise all in one place for guests to hang out.
“So many amazing cars, so many great, smiling people, and so much SL love!” – Jack Miller
As the popularity of Slow Life continues to grow, so does their effect on the car scene. With over 7,000 Facebook followers, their meets have turned into a huge gathering of like-minded enthusiasts. Unlike some events that have been associated with negative police attention, Slow Life has managed to avoid this stigma. This is no easy feat. In fact, they have been able to secure multiple different locations that have taken our community away from the cliché car parks. This is perhaps credit to their business goals and their determination to set themselves apart from the crowd. As they keep delivering with new locations, vendors and special guests, people don’t recognise how much dedication and time goes into making these things happen. All with the mission to host an event that makes the majority happy.
Since their start up, they’ve found endless ways to stand out with car features such as the GU Auto Concepts GTR, multiple charity fundraisers, as well as a cruises and show and shine’s. Their goal to us is to share 100% local and relevant content. This year, their website has launched, merchandise is in the making as is their new web store. They will be in attendance at the SA Time Attack with a track-side show and shine and there is also talks of a private Slow Life branded track day. This is what happened when some friends, brought together by cars, let passion take over. They set out with a common goal and now most of the Adelaide car community knows who they are and wants to know what’s next. A few of the team mentioned how amazed they are by the fact that the vibe of their events hasn’t changed. It still remains a friendly place for car enthusiasts to make friends, no matter how many cars may fill the location. They’ve built a community. Jack reflects on their humble beginnings, “we were just a bunch of kids who loved our cars, and wanted to meet more people like us to hang out and make friends!”
Thank to Slow Life and the car community for your warm welcome. The publication of this piece is extremely well timed with Slow Life’s next meet being held this Saturday, 14 May at SA Aquatic Centre.
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