Tag Archives: australian creative hq

a team effort

The Flophouse - Kyneton, VictoriaGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeFrom left: Stephanie Somebody, Olivia Zan, Erin Neale, Tara Pearce, Joel Pringle and Sarah Cooper
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The biggest problem I had with putting this post together is there really was SO much “story” to tell you! As the title suggests, I got to skip around on the edges while a terrific event was set up by a team of creatives, intent on not only bringing their own – but also their friends ideas to life.

After looking through all the pics, my notes and the general impression I had on watching this afternoon unfold, I think that this Creative HQ is an awesome and inspiring example of the beautiful power of collaborating with like-minded people. There really is very little you can’t do !

Read on and I’ll take you through it. Goldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio Home

THE EVENT:

The second lecture of 4 in the Spring/Summer Term of The Brainery Store. The team played host to hugely popular young Australian musician; Lisa Mitchell. Broken into the standard format of 30 minute presentation and 30 minute Q & A, the audience of 50 sat back and enjoyed a truly inspiring talk from Lisa. In a soft voice she candidly spoke of the journey she’s been on since being a finalist on Australian Idol in 2006 as a teenager.
She very openly shared the experiences and processes she uses to overcome the personal and professional hurdles she has faced and how she forges ahead with her passion on her own terms. This was followed by a beautiful acoustic performance and an open format question time.
I was honestly not sure of what to expect from Lisa being such a young speaker…. and was well and truly blown away by her wisdom, maturity and general vibe!!

Goldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio Home

THE LOCATION:

Goldie + Co. is a relatively new shared workspace in the beautiful Victorian town of Kyneton. Only a few months ago it was just a pipe dream of photographer; Tara Pearce who was bored of working from home or squeezing into cafe’s for client meetings. The idea of a local shared workspace that could provide opportunities for collaboration, networking, pop up stores and events was new for the town – so when the “For Lease” sign popped up she leapt on it!

Christened “Goldie” due to its amazing positioning for rich, warm afternoon sun and “Co” for the “creative occupants!”, Tara was quickly able to fill the space by simply advertising in the local paper and networking on Facebook.
As the base for “Erin and Tara” – the extremly popular wedding photography partnership she shares with Erin Neale, it is also HQ to graphic designer; Joel Pringle, freelance copywriter; Olivia Zan and marketing consultant; Stephanie Duboudin.

It has incredible bones and the pared – back decorating style of Tara means that it can be transformed from intensive, productive design studio to venue for 50+ in no time!!

 

Goldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio Home Goldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio Home

THE TEAM:

Host: Sarah Cooper of The Brainery Store
Melbourne based Sarah, is the creative force behind The Brainery Store; a series of lectures in pop-up locations around Australia (and NZ in the not too distant future!)

A contemporary dancer by trade she was determined to be more than just “one thing”, so created a format which facilitated the connection of successful creatives to a receptive audience. Since its inception earlier this year she has hosted an inspiring line up of interesting entrepreneurs who openly share their stories, lessons learnt and chat with the audience. Not a sales pitch to be seen here!
She is a person driving a project that is sure to continue delivering lectures with substance and I simply can’t wait to see who she gathers for 2014.

Goldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio Home

Venue Providers + Collaborators: Tara Pearce and Erin Neale of  Erin + Tara
These two went to high school locally together, both left for the big lights of Melbourne, held corporate jobs and began families before they randomly and seperately returned to the country and for the first time connected as friends!
In their success as wedding photographers they have become sparky, inspiring examples of self taught creatives. Aside from a short course each, they have learnt through their own research, trial and error and the response of their growing customer base to their beautiful style. The response was good! They shot 52 weddings in their first season!

I found their attitude and creativity downright infectious! And am pleased to say that they have just set up Love Sweat Tears – a two day workshop sharing all their knowledge of wedding photography, client interaction, post production, management of a freelance business and general trade secrets!

Goldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio Home

Stylist and Collaborator: Stephanie Somebody
Stephanie is such a prolific creator on so many levels she is tricky to introduce! A gifted curator and stylist, interior designer, photographer,  Instagram star and past speaker, she was there to govern the details.

You can expect to see much more of Stephanie on Studio Home in the coming months so in the mean time I suggest you follow her on instagram to keep up with her many projects in the works!

The Support: There was a solid swathe of boyfriends, husbands, volunteers, colleagues, sponsors and a food truck to round out the evening. Not to mention the attentive and enthusiastic audience!

Goldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio Home Goldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeGoldie + Co and The Brainery Store: hosting lecture by Lisa Mitchell in Kyneton, Victoria - by Studio HomeAll photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
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WHAT I LEARNT FROM THIS TEAM:
Many hands, brains and creative spark makes for light and awesome work.

The Flophouse - Kyneton, VictoriaThis post was bought to you with the partnership and support of the beautiful Flophouse in Kyneton, Victoria.
Posted in australia, creative hq, interior design, photography, weddings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Emily Green – Melbourne

The Big Design MarketEmily Green, Melbourne - by Studio HomeFrom left to right – Team EG!: Katherina Dams, Lucy Hall, Alicia Gordon and Emily Green.
Missing in action: Kate Henke
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On my recent trip to Melbourne I was really excited when  Emily Green, a prolific creator who I had followed for years, accepted my request to visit!  I wasn’t however, at all prepared to find such an awesome studio set up, team of chatty helpers and the Emily’s amazing, magnetic personality. By the end of the interview I was tempted to bin my notebook and ask if I could join her merry crew indefinitely !

Emily Green, Melbourne - by Studio HomeEmily Green, Melbourne - by Studio HomeEmily Green was born in Sydney, grew up in Canberra and at 10 moved to Perth with her family. She was a major maker as a child, always drawing and a heavy user of fimo and plastacene which is telling! She focussed heavily on art during high school and then headed striaght into a Fine Arts Degree at the University of Western Australia. The course left her feeling a little lost and disillusioned at her career options, so she looked to speciliase and took up Fashion and Textiles at TAFE in Perth. Again, she felt a scary lack of direction in terms of work outcomes so, seeking something fresh, at 21 she left home and headed to Melbourne for what was meant to be a year.

Emily Green, Melbourne - by Studio HomeEmily Green, Melbourne - by Studio HomeEmily Green, Melbourne - by Studio Home Emily worked some basic jobs until she had firmed up on her next step which she decided would be a graduate diploma in teaching – something she felt could open doors to a “real” job. Taking up a role as a high school art teacher which she held for 4 years, she relayed how the work load was immense and guiding final year students through their VCE’s in her first year as a young graduate was incredibly demanding! Her dreams of her job being an extension of her identity were being rapidly smashed by the system, so she attempted to go part time to allow herself to study Textile Design. It almost came as a relief when that request was rejected and she gladly left that permanent role to become a substitute teacher and part time student.

Emily Green, Melbourne - by Studio HomeEmily Green, Melbourne - by Studio HomeEmily Green, Melbourne - by Studio Home It was around this time in 2010 when Emily started getting stopped in the street while wearing bright little brooches she had made for herself. This un canvassed public support gave her the momentum to start selling them at a few markets. Again, customers were super receptive, stockists came on board and she received some great press. After just 1 year of part time study she could no longer juggle this with her making and new role as an art technician at a high school 3 days a week. So study lost out, productivity grew and in another 6 months she had added, what are now – her iconic necklaces to her collection.

Fimo was and remains her chosen medium for her jewellery. She loves its hues, ability to mix colours like paint and to finish your work you simply need to bake it in an oven! The fact that there was no complex set up of specialist equipment with no crazy outlay was a major in her choice to use it. This accessibility is also perhaps the reason why she has been so widely “copied”. While most of us can claim to playing with Fimo once in our lives, Emily’s use of colour, her combinations and intricately handmade beads with pattern set her apart in her creativity and popularity. But the availability of the material has made her a bit of a target! When I asked her about this, an observation I had totally made on my own, she simply smiled her beautiful smiled and shrugged. This was a reaction of someone who has far more strings to her bow and she has been putting them to great use!

Emily Green, Melbourne - by Studio HomeEmily Green, Melbourne - by Studio HomeEmily Green, Melbourne - by Studio Home In 2012, after fielding so many requests about the watercoloured background she had made to photograph her necklaces on, she decided to offer the originals for sale then went on to produce print runs earlier this year. A collaboration with Melbourne based shoe brand; Hobes in early 2013 led to a mega three-way project combining with local digital printing company; Frankie and Swiss and the result were three different colourways of beautiful, water colour kicks!

Social media helped spread the Emily Green style far further than she had imagined when she was contacted by high end, New York based label; Isoude who had spotted her work via Pinterest. She was invited to come and meet them to discuss collaborating on their Spring/Summer’14 collection! Gladly Emily jumped on a plane – the result is her print being used in seven different garments soon to be released.

Emily Green, Melbourne - by Studio Home Emily Green, Melbourne - by Studio HomeEmily Green, Melbourne - by Studio Home By March 2012 Emily was able to finish teaching completely. Demand for her necklaces had increased to such a level she was calling on friends and family to come and help on her mini production line! It was at Harvest Workroom where she had a studio that she met Lucy Hall who came on board as her first full time employee for the year. Alicia replaced Lucy who left to do some travel and Emily then employed Kate Henke part time to match the growth in her orders. Katherina Dams joined the team full time recently and everyone was stoked to see Lucy back in the lead up to Christmas. Emily was quick to recognise the talented makers she had on her team and making use of their skills and backgrounds in textiles she released a range of knitted scarves in Winter last year.

Emily Green, Melbourne - by Studio Home Collaboration and endless diversification seems to come so easily to Emily, but on meeting her its absolutley no surprise! This woman GLOWS! While I was visiting, the team of four barely took a break from their relentless and often intricate making, preparing stock for the usual Christmas flood of orders for wholesale, online and the upcoming markets (you can spot her water colour work on all The Big Design Market collateral…including trams!)

With her eye on more textile work and a departure from colour with an exclusive range of necklaces for Craft Victoria, I can safely say that the creative world of Emily Green and those in her orbit will remain exciting, inspiring and covetable!

Emily Green, Melbourne - by Studio HomeAll photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
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WHAT I LEARNT FROM EMILY GREEN:
Don’t get distracted by those in your peripheral…know that no one can do what you do the way you do it! AND with that in mind always continue moving forward to meet new opportunities and bring ideas to life.

The Big Design Market

This post was made possible with the support and partnership of The Big Design Market. Meet the incredible Emily Green at The Big Design Market kicking off TOMORROW!  December 6, 7 & 8 at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.
Posted in art, australia, creative hq, fashion, jewellery | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Georgie Cummings

The Big Design MarketGeorgie Cummings - by Studio HomeGeorgie Cummings is one of those lovely softly spoken types that doesn’t seem rattled by much…which made quite a lot of sense after I learnt about her “steady-as-she-goes” attitude to simply making stuff happen!

Born and bred in Melbourne, she kicked off her studies in Industrial Design at RMIT in 2006. Like many students out there, hospitality offered a way to earn money around school hours and for Georgie the added bonus of indulging her huge passion for food. For years during and then following her degree she worked at Melbourne institution and food haven, The Essential Ingredient in South Yarra.
It was there that she met and worked alongside Jason Cesani of PrintInk, a screen printing studio that produced work on behalf of other brands as well as their own range. Recognising Georgies creative streak he invited her to visit and learn the art of screen printing. What started as a casual friendship based internship grew into part time employment and she slowly moved from mixing colours and stripping screens to printing tea towels and cushions!

Georgie Cummings - by Studio HomeGeorgie Cummings - by Studio HomeGeorgie Cummings - by Studio Home

In 2012 she took on a part time internship with Obus where she learnt the ins-and-outs of a creative but commercial business. This helped clarify in her head that while fashion wasn’t really her thing, accessories certainly might be! So in June 2012 she simply threw herself in the deep end by committing to the “Craft Hatch” incubator market run by Craft Victoria. This forced her past her tinkering and making for herself and on to produce a range of products she could actually sell! At the time of signing herself up she didn’t actually know what those products were going to be! (gutsy much?!!)

Georgie Cummings - by Studio Home Georgie Cummings - by Studio Home

So with just a couple of months up her sleeve she started working stuff out. Her flatmate at the time had recently got into working with leather – so she put her hand up for some lessons then let the experimentation begin. It seemed the material was a natural fit for her aesthetic and ideas and she soon prototyped a collectioned of purses, wallets and clutches. The idea then popped into her head to see if she could print onto them…and sure enough yes! This resulted in whatreally is Georgies signature recipe of printed pattern in colour and metallic foil on beautiful, sustainable Kangaroo hide.
Not stopping there she then decided to extend her offering by exploring ceramics. Having only done “studio art sculpture” at high school and played a little with sheet porcelain at Uni, once again she fearlessly launched herself head first into mastering the material. She bought clay, playing around with it at home then would take it too the nearby Northcote Pottery to use their firing service. The result? White, hand formed beaded necklaces and pendants.

Georgie Cummings - by Studio HomeGeorgie Cummings - by Studio HomeGeorgie Cummings - by Studio HomeGeorgie Cummings - by Studio Home

The debut range was a hit giving her the encouragement to keep the ball rolling. She launched herself into the design market circuit, opened an Etsy store and got stocked at the Craft Victoria shop, all while still working from the living room / kitchen of her shared house. By 2013 she had picked up a swathe of  quality stockists including Elwood and Melbourne favourite; Dagmar Rousset. Then, with the help of photographer Ben Christensen the campaign imagery of her new collection went viral including a feature on The Design Files. This year she also collaborated on a capsule range with fellow emerging creative; Shuh Lee while sharing a stall with her at Finders Keepers and Markit.
So …. I guess you could say its been busy!

And that’s where I found her in her timeline to date. By the looks of the stock gathering in her studio, she had obviously been putting in serious hours in preparation for The Big Design Market, but there wasn’t a glimmer of stress in her demeanor. I actually found Georgie super inspiring in her calm but incredibly experimental creativity. It made me realise that the only thing stopping most of us from getting “something going” is our own confidence in our ability to learn and execute it!

You can learn much more about Georgies life in Melbourne and the lovely little home she shares with her partner; Steve Abbott by checking out the questions she answered below.

Georgie Cummings - by Studio HomeGeorgie Cummings - by Studio HomeGeorgie Cummings - by Studio HomeGeorgie Cummings - by Studio HomeGeorgie Cummings - by Studio Home

WHO: Georgie Cummings and Steve Abbott.
Steve is a mobile bicycle mechanic running his own business Nomad Cyclery, riding a cargo bike he welded together around the city servicing bikes and doing roadside repairs. He’s my go to guy for all technical know-how as he also is finishing off a mechanical engineering degree! On top of all that he also works as a mentor mechanic with Good Cycles, a social enterprise training disadvantaged people to become bike mechanics while serving the bikes of large companies staff who ride to work. And me, an industrial designer turned maker of anything especially things made from leather, ceramics and metals! Since starting Georgie Cummings as a business I’ve found it a good excuse to play with different ideas and materials, things I might never have worked with before and perhaps putting a bit of a different spin on things considering a industrial design background. Collaborating with other makers and retail shops has also been invaluable experience and something I hope to do more of in the future, and never stop learning new skills from others to keep evolving. My aim is just to make nice, clean, simple and thoughtfully designed objects, hopefully pieces that will last and be cherished. I also work part time at a local hand screen printing company called PrintInk Studio and find the different mediums inspiring.

WHAT: While the actual building might be lacking in any architectural merit, it is bright, spacious and gives us everything we need – studio/office space, large kitchen (with gas! My No.1 prerequisite for a house), garage which is now a workshop and pottery space, and most importantly a garden! We have already put in two raised beds in the garden filling them with summer veggie and have plans for further veg related landscaping, regardless of it being a rental I can’t live without having a garden. Inside, we get to be ourselves, a luxury you can overlook in share houses. I’m not so into “fluffy” decoration but rather like clean surfaces where I can make little collections of findings,  or gifts – everything has a story and connection.

WHERE: We use to be in Brunswick East which was closer to the city but Thornbury is showing me its gems – great Mediterranean grocers, the Preston Market and cafes in abundance – yes most of it’s perks involve food! But really I’m loving the slightly more open spaces, the houses with gardens, some unruly and wild, others manicured but just seeing everyone out in their gardens on weekends is fantastic. The local parks and Merri Creek just a short walk away are also a highlight. And being a little bit further out of the city isn’t all bad the St Georges Rd bike path makes commuting a breeze in tree lined car free style and I’m getting fitter!

DESCRIPTION: We gave ourselves a deadline of moving out of our much loved share house – it just came down to both of us needing more space, I was taking over the kitchen table and living room all the time and after almost 9 years together I guess it was time we committed to living alone! However, new house mates were found in a flash – the place was a gem – and we were left homeless, storing stuff between our parents houses and living with my parents for a couple of weeks. However an application was handed in and we got a call that day – we moved twice in 2 weeks and still haven’t unearthed some possessions, although maybe they are best lost in the abyss!
We are both loving having space to work together and apart, even if we both get distracted and end up pottering around in the garden. We have designed and made some pieces of furniture together, like the bedside tables made from long forgotten oregon scraps under Steve’s parents house, and have more pieces planned. We both relish in custom jobs, nutting things out and making things come together.
It has also renewed our desire to live rurally, ideally Tasmania where we can have a much bigger garden to lose time in, live more sustainably growing our own fruit and veggies and a cow to milk… one day. We share the desire to be outside, make objects that last and better our environment, at the moment this house gives us a little taste of that while still indulging in multiple interests, study and the perks of living in a city before settling down … with a menagerie of farm animals and pets and acres of land, and who knows what skills we will have amassed by then!

Georgie Cummings - by Studio HomeAll photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
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WHAT I LEARNT FROM GEORGIE CUMMINGS:
Have a little faith in your own inate ability to create and don’t let a lack of experience get in your way.
Get learning and get making!

The Big Design Market

This post was made with the partnership and support of The Big Design Market.
Meet the talented Georgie Cummings at The Big Design Market on December 6, 7 & 8 at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.
Posted in australia, creative hq, emerging designer, fashion, jewellery | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Beci Orpin – Melbourne

The Big Design MarketBeci Orpin - by Studio Home

For most of you Beci Orpin will need little introduction. To those meeting her for the first time…well lets just say I am pretty stoked to be your gateway to her bright, light and truly unique creative world. Fresh off the back of her second book I was excited to get the opportunity to drop into her studio and have a chat about her winding creative road to date. With a new HQ she will be sharing with husband Raph almost completed, this might be the last glimpse you have of her home based studio in Brunswick West.

Thanks to Beci and her creative sidekick for the day; Rosie Scott for letting me snoop!

Beci Orpin - by Studio HomeBeci Orpin - by Studio Home

Aside from her first years spent rolling round the back of an old Landcruiser while travelling with her family, Beci lived with her mother and sister in a shared communal house in the Melbourne suburb of Kew. Always encouraged to be creative she spoke of how she simply was born with the “urge to draw” – something she sees in her own son Ari.

She tended to fade into the background in her high school art classes as her fine art focussed teachers didn’t quite know how to cultivate her interest in graphics and illustration. Post high school she attempted to explore her own passion in this area by applying for a swathe of courses focussing on graphic design and visual art, settling finally on fashion design at RMIT – where she lasted just one semester! Too technical and not what she was searching for!

Beci Orpin - by Studio HomeBeci Orpin - by Studio Home

Her saving grace was a bridging course which is commonly referred to as Year 13. With the encouragement of her amazing teacher; Rei Zunde and an open studio format she thrived and ended up doing it twice! This time, armed with a greater idea of what she wanted to be doing, she enrolled in Textile Design at RMIT where she completely buried herself for 3 years.
Here Beci found the perfect application for her love of design, drawing and her new passion of pattern making. Her work was really well received and during her student years won  her many awards and invaluable internships. It was following her graduate show that she got her first freelance job as a graphic designer for Factory X, working across many of their brands.

Beci Orpin - by Studio HomeBeci Orpin - by Studio Home

But it was Beci’s non-stop, 24/7 attitude and lifestyle that opened the door so many of her opportunities. On top of her contract work she continued her post high school job, working part time at The Foreign Language Book Shop where she was exposed to incredible design publications.  She picked up 3 days a week as a screen printer for a company called Vixen who allowed her after hours access to their huge amazing studio. And it was at the club night she ran in the city every Saturday where she met so many creatives including a young Lisa Gorman who she went on to collaborate with for 6 years.

Beci Orpin - by Studio HomeBeci Orpin - by Studio Home

Beci approached her travel with the same gusto. While on planes she would hand make small promo kits which she would then hand out to potential collaborators. While travelling in the States with her boyfriend who was a keen skate boarder, she was introduced to the team behind a skate label and soon started designing graphics for their boards. This exposure in the industry later led to work with international game players Burton and Etnies. Her American contracts also meant her work slid past cult indie label; Built by Wendy with who she went on to work with for 10 years including illustrating the 4 books of her Sew U series!

Beci Orpin - by Studio HomeBeci Orpin - by Studio Home

From 2002 – 2008 Beci leapt into the fashion industry herself with the launch of her own clothing line; Princess Tina. She was able to access the web of contacts she had made internationally with her freelance work to then have her brand stocked around the globe including NYC, San Francisco and Japan. During this time she balanced the development of the label with the continuing flow of freelance projects and then the birth of her first son Tyke. She also began to produce a line of homewares and accessories under the Beci Orpin banner which she wholesaled and sold through her own online store. Work was from home and in constant tandem with husband and business partner; Raph . Following the wrap up of Princess Tina, Raph then launched the Beatbox Kitchen followed by another truck and 2 x Taco trucks a year later!
As you can gather…this couple thrive on a busy schedule!!

Beci Orpin - by Studio HomeBeci Orpin - by Studio Home

In recent years Beci’s commercial work has been managed by Melbourne based agency; The Jackie Winter Group. Her want of more illustration based contracts has been more than catered for with an impressive roll call of clients including Optus, Westpac, Amex and Fosters.

Beci’s prolific and unique aesthetic then put her in the sights of Australian publisher; Hardie Grant who approached her to work on a book. It had never really occured to her that her constant making could be translated into a book of inspiration and DIY projects, but that is exactly what “Find and Keep” became! She notes the development of this as a terrifying time where she felt completely out of her comfort zone, stressing about her lack of experience in this new realm! Hardie + Grant designer Michelle MacIntosh was a massive reassuring force and she has relished working with her on the second book; Home: 25 Amazing Projects for your Home.

Beci Orpin - by Studio HomeBeci Orpin - by Studio Home

 

Tag in an awesome bedlinen and homewares range for Urban Outfitters and the fact that Beci is also an active exhibiting artist and I think you might start feeling as exhausted as me!! But her knack at surrounding herself with like minded people has paid off with her ability to work with some terrific and downright talented assistants in recent years. These include Leah BartholomewKristina SabaroedinAlice Oehr who still works with her and amazing drop ins like Rosie Scott

Beci Orpin is a glowing example of how you can power personal creative projects by maintaining well paying commercial contracts. She has put her style and aesthetic to work across so many industries but partnered it with a crazy and intense work ethic at a level which I have never struck before! The list of good reasons why she should inspire independant makers is long and I for one walked away from hearing her story with recharged batteries and a conquering attitude!!!

Beci Orpin - by Studio HomeBeci Orpin - by Studio Home

All photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home.
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 WHAT I LEARNT FROM BECI ORPIN:
Put your hand up, talk to people and work your arse off!
People might recognise your potential but you are responsible for putting it in front of them first.

The Big Design Market

This post was made with the partnership and support of The Big Design Market.
Meet the amazing Beci Orpin at The Big Design Market on December 6, 7 & 8 at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.

 

Posted in art, australia, creative hq | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Elk – Melbourne

Elk Accessories - Studio Home

Nine years ago Marnie Goding was flexing her marketing and events skills in corporate level positions in Melbourne. The day I met her in July this year she had just finished shooting the SS13 range for her accessories brand; Elk. Her sea change wasn’t down to luck – more a passion captured and combined with some seriously savvy business acumen.

My afternoon spent exploring Elk’s Preston headquarters was a bit of a dream come true really. Being a long time fan of their natural jewellery, leather accessories, clothing and general aesthetic it was a revelation to see their brand culture stamped across every facet of the company. From their retail showroom, to their awesome offices and right through to the warehouse. But as always for me, the opportunity to pick the brains of a successful creative business owner was the highlight and Marnie was no exception.

Elk Accessories - Studio HomeElk Accessories - Studio Home

Marnies prime exposure to jewellery was through her husband Adam, a successful fine jeweller and model maker for high end brands in Australia. Corporate life involved marketing and events for companies like the National Gallery and Melbourne Zoo but come home time, and with the tools readily available to experiment, it wasn’t long before Marnie herself started tinkering and making her own small silver pieces for fun.  She got such a positive response when wearing them that with the encouragement of Adam she gained the confidence to present a range to stores…..and was met with huge enthusiasm! The uptake was solid and all too quickly she found herself at the end of a marketing contract and a transition to making jewellery full time.

Elk Accessories - Studio HomeElk Accessories - Studio HomeElk Accessories - Studio Home

The small business began to really get some grip, spurring Adam and Marnie to head off shore for some fresh inspiration. Their travels exposed them to a whole slew of new, beautiful materials and craftspeople. The trip also marked the beginning of long term creative collaborations with suppliers who they still work with today.

In 2004 they registered their brand Elk, hired staff, attended trade fairs and subsequently outgrew their premises. 2005 saw the introduction of leather bags and footwear to the range resulting in another surge of growth. By 2008 a difficult decision was looming and it was one they could simply no longer ignore. The couple were running two good businesses side by side but the demands of 100s of stockists, seasonal ranges, daily production and admin was becoming a dangerous juggle.  With much soul searching Adam made the tough decision to wind up his business – and from that point they have never looked back!

Elk Accessories - Studio HomeElk Accessories - Studio HomeElk Accessories - Studio HomeElk Accessories - Studio HomeIt’s Marnie’s belief (and one I totally agree with!) that marketing and branding, in partnership with product, are the basis of business success. She has been unwavering in her value on this and always prioritised spending and time on this side of Elk, even when it may have felt like a stretch. While discussing the realities of bringing Elk to life and growing it to be a sustainable business she spoke of the importance in understanding their customer. A huge amount of time is spent nutting out exactly WHO they are marketing to, which of course has an impact on everything from advertising placement, branding and even the ranges themselves. She also talked about the conscious effort they made to be realistic and despite exciting milestones – not get too big for their boots. They have always kept Elk running at a manageable level aimed at being able to deliver orders without fail.
“Slow and steady wins the race”

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By combining Marnie’s ethos with agencies that share common ideas and goals, Elk has began to see success in overseas markets. In 2010 they hooked up with a sales agency in Denmark. While it is virtually unheard of for a foreign brand selling products with a scandanavian aesthetic to have any kind of success in those countries – Elk has found an enthusiastic and demanding market!

2012 saw their maiden launch into the US. Initially sales were sluggish so Marnie and her team took a step back, had a fresh look at their presentation and the possible differences between their Australian customer vs an American one. Changes were made, the brand re launched and this time it is charging ahead.

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Clattering back across Melbourne in the tram after my visit,  I couldn’t help thinking what an inspiration Elk presented. Australia and New Zealand are teeming with exciting independant designers and brands working tirelessly to create product that they love. But what separates those that can make a living from their work and those that continue to struggle might be just plain old economics. Supply and demand. There is a balance to be found between being creative and producing work that is personally satisfying AND work that appeals to a receptive customer base.
I believe that Marnie, Adam and their extended Elk team have walked the line between creativity and savvy business in a near perfect way.

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All photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home.
A small part of the large Elk Family!
……

WHAT I LEARNT FROM ELK:
Create a brand and identity that you are proud to live and breath everyday!

Posted in australia, creative hq, fashion, jewellery | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ink + Spindle – Melbourne

ElkInk & Spindle - Studio HomeDesigner Lara Cameron – one half of Ink + Spindle. Tegan Rose was absent due to Pirate ship duties. …… 

My visit to the huge brick warehouse of the Young Husband Studios in Kensington, Melbourne is not one I will be forgetting in a hurry. Not only was I getting to visit the studio of Ink & Spindle who I have faithfully stalked online for years – I was catching them at a pivotal time where they were developing an exciting new way to offer their products with some cutting edge collaboration! Ink + Spindle is the resulting brand of two designers looking to explore their personal creative goals in such a way they could also earn a living ( “Ah Ha! that same old conundrum” I hear you sigh!) I learnt one half of their story first hand from Lara Cameron however the other half; Tegan Rose was on sabbatical aboard a pirate ship, skirting the east coast of Australia. ( I am not kidding on this…you should follow her instagram: @teegs3) Ink & Spindle - Studio HomeInk + Spindle - Studio HomeInk & Spindle - Studio HomeLara Cameron began by studying multi media and web design – graduating in 2003 she decided to chase freelance work with gusto. Unlike the experience of many other young designers, contracts snowballed her way and for a few years she was kept busy producing quality results for other people. However, her need for tactile, hands on projects wasn’t getting met and she wasn’t at all satisfied by the creative work she was doing. To give purpose to her own extra curricular work she decided to start a craft blog which at the time, was virtually an unknown concept in Australia. It was here that she would post pattern designs she had been working on and the positive feedback she fielded gave her the confidence to take her project up a notch. Ink & Spindle - Studio HomeInk & Spindle - Studio HomeInk & Spindle - Studio HomeInk & Spindle - Studio HomeAfter researching then finding a screen printing studio she took the huge leap to produce 20 metres of fabric printed with her own design. She listed it on Etsy and it promptly sold out overnight. This was a light bulb moment! Perhaps her passion for pattern design couldin fact translate into a viable business and allow her to pursue it full time?!

Ink & Spindle - Studio HomeInk & Spindle - Studio HomeDuring my visit Lara was familiarising their new intern with the studio. …… 

It was mutual friend Bianca Van Meeuwen that bought Lara and Teegs together. Tegan had taken her Fine Arts training and combined it with an education degree to work as a secondary school teacher. Like Lara, she had felt un fulfilled and was just as keen to follow and develop her own creative passions. The two began to collaborate and recognising a great friendship and partnership, decided to establish a print studio. A dreamy notion with a pretty intimidating reality!

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They found their space and fell head over heels in love with it. But it was totally bare and needed a full fit out including printing equipment and right down to plumbing. A small business grant from the City of Melbourne gave them the financial boost needed but how to spend that wisely was the real question! They reached out to local printers for advice and were met with an overwhelming culture of sharing and support. The studio began to take shape but next they were confronted with the realities of what they were entering into. It was no longer a case of designing at home and sending off to someone else to manufacture – they were now responsible for their tools, materials, producing quality results, selling annnnd paying the bills!

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But as intended, being hands on at every level of their business meant they could take full control and shape it to match their brand and values exactly. Their initial challenges included sourcing quality organic fabrics, water based/solvent free inks and beautiful but environmentally friendly packaging. All these options are now well catered for in Australia but in 2008 and their first year of producing as Ink + Spindle, it was a bit of a mission! Their hardwork prevailed and it wasn’t long before their products gained a hungry customer base. By combining their personal designs but shared aesthetic under the one brand they were able to offer a substantial collection of prints translated onto homewares or simply on fabric by the metre. Ink & Spindle - Studio HomeInk + Spindle - Studio HomeInk & Spindle - Studio HomeIn the years following the start of Ink + Spindle there has been an explosion of small printing studios producing covetable work in Australasia. Lara and Teegs have acted as an information resource for many of them and held open studio evenings where they have shared, without reservation, their techniques, processes and sources.  As Lara pointed out, information sharing can only have positive results – by referring people to their suppliers they are bolstering demand which will effectively help those businesses maintain higher stock levels. Many designers would hold their process and sources close to their chest for fear of copying. But of course, no one can truly emulate original work and to maintain a spot on the front edge of an industry, brands need to remain future focussed in regard to their designs, styles and gaps in the market. This leaves “copiers” producing work that is outdated and often oversaturated in the market. Ink + Spindle - Studio HomeInk & Spindle - Studio HomeAnd future focussed these girls are! Seeing an unfilled niche they have moved toward the interior design sector offering their hand printed fabrics by the meter to both trade and retail customers. Their production process means there is a high level of customisation available however this has always proved difficult to communicate and offer online. That is until NOW! Engaging studio mate Guvnor(more on the studio mates in a few weeks!) they have bought to life a cutting edge website that allows buyers to create their own recipe of pattern, basecloth and colours and be able to view it onscreen before ordering. It is not only incredibly beautiful and easy to navigate – it demonstrates how Lara and Tegan have taken their very firm idea of what they want their brand to be and unreservedly chased it down! Big brands could seriously learn a thing or two about innovation here… I just have such an incredible crush on them!

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All photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home ……
 

WHAT I LEARNT FROM INK + SPINDLE: Being transparent and sharing your knowledge with others will not break down your brand. Try to avoid looking sideways at your competition and instead work at focussing your energy on building a business that is entirely true to you and your own goals.

 This interview was made possible with the support and partnership of Elk. …… 

Ink + Spindle website - by Guvnor

Ink + Spindle website - by Guvnor

The first glimpse at the new site! I highly reccommend you head in for a play…its seriously some computer time well spent! Credit for the new website goes to Tom Fitzgerald from Guvnor and Dominic Whittle from Weekends featuring photography by Sean Fennessy.

 

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Posted in australia, creative hq, emerging designer, for the home, interior design, product design | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments