Category Archives: contributor

Finders Keepers: Melbourne

Erica Keppel returned to Melbourne’s World Heritage Exhibition building to suss out who the new kids on the block might be from the last time she attended!

Made 590

For those of you who are familiar with Finders Keepers, it will come as little surprise to most of you, that when Studio Home’s Ju gave me the heads up regarding coverage of this month’s Finders Keepers Markets in Melbourne, I threw down my herb pruning shears, slapped on some lippy and peddled off on my pushy, desperate to check out the FK October spread!!!

Finders Keepers landed smack bang in the middle of Melbourne’s inner city suburb of Carlton for the second time this year last weekend. The bi annual design market was hosted in the drop dead gorgeous World Heritage Exhibition building, amongst fresh spring blooms and a whole lot of sunshine.


The colour, the craft, the detail, the smiles and the curious,  all hallmarks of a classic Finders Keepers experience. This being my third between attending at Carriage Works in Sydney and here in Melbourne earlier in the year, I bee lined to my faves upon entrance for a little visual adoration: Bespoke Letter Press,  Miss Wee’s Jewellery and of course the Frankie caravan cum photo booth named ‘Bets, before exploring further afield.

Bespoke Letter Press
Miss Wee’s Jewellery

 Impossible to pass up was Sunday Morning Design’s illustrated bed linens for little kids and big kids. Seriously detailed, these pillow slips, duvet covers and prints add a little fairytale to a tired bedtime!

Sunday Morning Designs


Sunday Morning Designs

Big pleasers came in the form of lush lush lush Mornington Peninsular based brand Keep Resin and their rainbow of pendants, bangles and earrings

keep resin

Keep Resin

Eleanor Ford’s Sollis Jewellery, without fail always on the dream list!


I tram Melbourne and their kitschy little range of iconic paraphernalia (which I couldn’t help but pick up one yellow “I tram Melbourne’” wall print for $20!)

I Tram Melbourne

I Tram Melbourne

The looovely new selection of swimwear from Australian brand Amitiwi – which I hope to l see more of on the beaches across Australia and New Zealand this summer.


Mi Goals have hit up the stationary scene with custom designed journals loaded with inspirational quotes, goal tracking reminders and yummy white space, all thrown together with one slick little typeface.

mi goals Migoals

Abby Seymour, Melbourne print maker, illustrator and creative collaborator also happens to have a gorgeous jewellery line, made from hand crafted and locally sourced Victorian porcelain.

abby seymourAbby Seymour

A massive thanks to Erica for being reporting super sleuth for me! The images are a mix of Erica’s own and featured businesses.

 Check out the great work Erica does reviewing the most delish of Melbournes breakfast spots!
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Finders Keepers Part.2

Standout home wares designers included The Mod Collective, whose master craftswomen Valissa Butterworth’s appreciation of colour, form and the very essence of modernism provided particular visual splendour.

All images: Mod Collective

Butterworth’s work stands on it’s own, as does her ability to curate a kaleidoscopic showcase of precision moulded ceramics in all the colours of the rainbow. We left the stall with a sneaking suspicion that this is one name to watch.

Not far across the floor, were regional Victoria’s ceramic darlings; Angus & Celeste whose extensive collection included ceramic hanging baskets, decorative vases and boutique jewels strung on silver chains which drew a swollen queue of feverish customers.

All images: Angus + Celeste

Textiles both vintage and new age, were represented in full force. Alongside eco friendly and oh–o-sweet brand Mookah, were up and coming Beneath the Sun. Entering the stage as a welcome revival of colour blocked and playful pillow slips, cushion covers, novelty tea towels and (not surprisingly) a side of delightful stationary. Byron Bay’s Leah Bartholomew has been running the brand for less than a year, and is already making her mark. As colourful and vibrant as her textiles – we were able to sneak a few pretty pics (thanks Leah!)

All images: Beneath the Sun

Moving right along to Ernest Hope, where Sydney based textile and fabric enthusiast Erin, has also gone wild on cushions and pillows, but in her own special way. Having collected fabric for the past 20 years, Erin’s cushions feature their own little slice of history. Salvaged drapery from a dated Miami Hotel is turned inside out and paired with Belgium linen, creating muted tones of days gone by. A series of intricate lace doilies from the seamstress’s very own wedding have been hand sewn onto cushion covers, leaving no one item the same and all have cleverly imbedded a story of their own. Ernest Hope’s one off pieces have spawned a mini revolution of ‘couples’ cushions – featuring thread sewn names against vintage hues.

All images: Ernest Hope

Like a moths to a bright flame, we were drawn to a particularly curious chameleon who appeared from her own jungle of elaborate light and colour. Tamara, was the face behind Retro Print Revival, whose mesmerizing one off refurbished lamps feature 1960s and ‘70s ceramic bases matched with vintage fabrics. Shades featured a fabric edition of Frida Kahlo’s garden, monochromatic geometric prints and a version of Eric Carle’s legendary ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ – a must for any well informed nursery.

All images: Retro Print Revival

Among many other stand out exhibits were Masai Mara Jewellery by Kristina Brenke and Mara & Nick’s Melbourne based Print Space, displaying a beautiful collection of graphic prints.

All images: Print Space

As the afternoon drew to a close, we fell upon the good girls from Frankie Magazine, whose mags had sold out bar their very last copy but who were only too happy to have a chat. The Frankie team are celebrating the recent release of a new publication, ‘Smith Journal’.  Frankie’s largely feminine roots have wriggled into a brave new space of ‘man reading’ (for lack of better phrase) and Smith Journal reveals an authentic alternative to existing men’s magazines which are sadly awash with semi clad airbrushed ladies and luxury brand toting millionaires. Thank you Frankie for changing the way our men read!

Image: gorgeous girls from Frankie mag.

WOW. What a day – what an event – and what an inspiration. The Finders Keepers is a must for anyone looking to experience grass roots trade of world class design wares. The people, the colour, the excitement and the lack of compromise to living the creative dream was rife – and we left feeling the love.
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Finders Keepers Part.1

Introducing a brand NEW feature at Studio Home! For the very very first time we are working with some talented guest contributors who can peep in the back door of their local hot creative spots and offer first hand reporting at events simply out of my geographical reach! Breaking the way forward we have Sally providing the pics and Erica bringing you the words in a two part series on last weekends Finders Keepers in Melbourne. Read on dear design enthusiasts!

Brain child of Sydney-siders Brooke Johnston and Sarah Thornton, the Finders Keepers design markets was kicked off back in 2008, established with the goal of bridging an invisible gap between ‘the local weekly style markets and expensive trade fairs & exhibitions … providing affordable opportunities for designers to gain exposure and experience interaction direct with customers and the community.’ (Finders Keeper’s website)

This year Melbournites were lucky enough to revel in the bi annual market over two days, held in one of the city’s most beautifully restored historical relics – The Royal Exhibition Building parked up on the city’s cusp in Carlton.

Clockwise from top left: Sally Goodall and Erica Keppel going deep undercover,  The amazing Royal Exhibition Building, Brooke Johnston from Finders Keepers, visitors pumped on the event and the grand building filled to the brim!

Chatting with Brooke Johnston we learn that Finders Keepers has slowly evolved since inception, into a creative being complete with its’ very own pulse and breath. Despite clear vision and laborious co ordination by the dedicated founders, Brooke and Sarah reside as purveyors to an independent creative phenomenon which now resides among the most anticipated events on Australia’s Design calendar.

Finders Keepers is pure brilliance – and at once, refreshingly sincere. Johnston explained that locking in the Carriage Works venue back in Sydney marked a pivotal point to the emergence of the ‘real’ Finders Keepers. What was always intended as a thoughtfully curated experience, and a design orientated market place for independent artisans and enthusiasts alike to interact in the flesh. When asked what has been the greatest of challenges to date, Brooke suggested that this year’s event in Melbourne sticks out as an impressive feat.

On entering, we realise that this is no sleepy country market place selling last year’s cucumber pickles,  this is in fact a cutting edge platform from which many of Australia’s finest creative talent have sprung into wide acclaim.

There is an intimacy here. A sense that the Finders Keepers Markets is a safe hollow for a community who have been quietly (or not so quietly in the case of more established brands) working away to perfect their own cog in the larger creative wheel. These budding artisans have joined in hoards, all bright and bold, eager and engaging, in a show case of design wares, art, music and food.

Though it’s tricky business short listing such an extensive ream of artisans, we aimed to capture a snapshot of what Studio Home readers would enjoy. We snapped and swooned until we could no more, taking breaks only to share in Melbourne’s finest in mobile street food from the Taco Truck and Beatbox Kitchen … and again with Mr Nice Guy Cup Cakes!

Left to right: The Taco Truck, Erica breaks into a Mr Nice Guy Cup Cake, the Beatbox Kitchen

To begin, it was impossible to ignore how massive the independent stationary niche has become. Where humour presides as a common pulling factor (Game & Able and TMOD spring to mind), old world processes have been lovingly revived by brands such as Truth be Told and Bespoke Letter Press – whose pieces combine lusciously strung sentiments such as “loving you is easy because you’re beautiful” while paying due homage to traditional typeface and letterpress techniques.

Left to right: Able & Game cards, the Truth Be Told stand, sweet words from Bespoke Letterpress

A Happy Death is the cleverly marketed brand under which Sydney based Kara Town has spun her own tune to the mix tape era along with some beautifully re-coloured vintage postcard prints. A very cool stationary line indeed.

All images: A Happy Death

Next up was an intriguing conversation with the talented Torunn Higgins behind Sydney born Herbert & Friends. Not only does this clever creative, fashion beautifully detailed soft creatures – including a friendly dungaree wearing Sloth and a rather razzle-dazzle version of your everyday Mountain Yeti, she also dabbles in the odd piece of furniture made entirely of felt. That’s right, Torunn has managed to wrangle an iconic 1980’s telephone  from a combination of cardboard, felt and thread over a three day sewing bender. I was ecstatic to hear her repertoire was not limited to woodland creatures and novelty tele-communications, and that Torunn also boasts amongst felty achievements, a modest typewriter – and wait for it – a Synthesizer. Craft Crush. Amen.

All images: Herbert & Friends

Just as my mind began to ponder the many ways I could serenade my lover with this big, soft synth … I was distracted by the works of Melbourne based Illustrator Emma Leonard, who turns out to be just as gorgeous as her prints. Emma uses mixed mediums, including ink and water colour to produce wonderfully expressive and feminine sketches. On chatting with Emma, we learn she is just as excited about her work as her fans!

All images: Emma Leonard

Right! Pop back for round two of the Finders Keepers report tomorrow!
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