Monique & Scott Woodward are architects – WOWOWA

Monique & Scott Woodward - WOWOWA architect

It’s not often on just hearing a name that you get such a strong sense of the dynamism behind a creative duo, but this is just the case with WOWOWA (implied!) whose co-founders Monique and Scott Woodward forge a next-generation approach to architectural practice with a kind of positive charge often missing in professional creative circles.

In WOWOWA Architecture & Interiors, the pair have created the kind of practice they always wanted to work in, one that prioritises artistic expression, teaching and advocacy as essential to ongoing creativity. Alongside partner Scott, Monique is a vocal advocate for improved living standards and accessibility of quality design as a tenet of modern Australian culture.

From their glittering Tin & Ed business cards to the bold glazed red brick façade of the Finn House, WOWOWA is unafraid of a playful nod to the kitch, and their declaration of a radical postmodernist style is one beautifully tailored to bring a fresh optimism to the architecture of the everyday – the humble family home. We spoke to Monique at WOWOWA’s shopfront studio in Melbourne’s leafy Carlton North about her passion for celebrating Australian culture and why more creatives should embrace the power of marketing.

I was privileged to interview Monique as a guest contributor over at Creative Women’s Circle.  Check out my other posts for CWC here.

 

 

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Louise Mulhall is a Calligrapher

Louise Mulhall_1

 

Louise Mulhall is a Brisbane based Calligrapher and holder of possibly the most delightful business name I’ve yet encountered – Floralovely. With a background in floristry, it’s not surprising the find that Louise’s whimsical and fresh designs have attracted a strong Instagram and Facebook following, with demand growing for her pointed pen style.

Returning to an art practice that you had once been disappointed by is a courageous move – especially with a young family in tow. But Louise’s late night explorations in modern calligraphy have paid off handsomely, as her delightful creations are in demand for weddings, events and corporate clients. Louise also runs workshops across the east coast, to share her skills and passion with aspiring calligraphers.

 

Owner: Louise Mulhall

Business: Floralovely

 

I was privileged to interview Louise as a guest contributor over at Creative Women’s Circle. Check out my other posts for CWC here.

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Dear Twenty-Fourteen

This is just one last little post before we say goodbye to 2014, and I want to take the opportunity to say HUGE thanks to all my lovely interviewee-s, for sharing your experiences and opening up your communities in ways that have allowed my exploration of work/life to flourish and grow;

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Eloise Rapp | Three Lives / Rapp

Eloise Rapp. Image via Georgia Blackie

 

Stunning scarves and artwork in Rapp’s Spring Summer 2014 lookbook. Lookbook designed by Eloise, images via Rachel Dray

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‘Regeneration’ scarf. Rapp’s Spring Summer 2014 lookbook. Lookbook design by Eloise, images via Rachel Dray

 

Eloise Rapp is a multidisciplinary designer currently working in textile and surface design, illustration and product development.

 
Small Talk & Co. is delighted to bring you Eloise’s interview, as the decided Japanophile opens up about patience, knowing when to let go, and the transitory career patterns of the mammalia class. Any designer who can confidently  describe themselves with direct reference to the Pantone colour pallet has my immediate attention (its 16-1359 TCX by the way).
 
Eloise balances two businesses (!), the self-named Rapp, alongside new venture Three Lives, whilst also working part time part-time as a creative coordinator and designer for Australian art legend Ken Done. Rapp’s stunning silk scarves are designed by Eloise and printed on 100% silk Crepe de Chine, each a mini artwork  in itself. 
 
Eloise has very kindly shared with Small Talk the difficulties in creating art on such small canvases, with the Rapp brand currently in transition from designer/retailer to a more broadly capable creative studio.
In the meantime, Eloise’s travels have inspired the launch of another creative enterprise, Three Lives, proving that creative lightning can indeed strike twice! Three Lives is a curated collection of artisanal bathing goods, bringing the beauty and intimacy of handmade back into the bathroom. 

Business: Three Lives (launching soon) and Rapp

Owner: Eloise Rapp

Location: Sydney, Australia, and online

 

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Megan Davis | Spendlove and Lamb

Megan hard at work – Image credit Noel Smyth

 

Megan's part time homebase, Nest Coworking, Thornbury

Megan’s part time homebase, Nest Coworking, Thornbury. Nest was founded by Jay Chubb, a Melbourne entrepreneur with a background in critical theory, community development, political advocacy, social change, and scuba diving. Nest is a product of Jay’s passion for good people, great ideas, and a better future. via Nest Coworking. Image credit Noel Smyth

If I seem scarily enthusiastic during today’s interview it’s not just because Megan is awesome (because she is) and has worked with some of my favorite social enterprises (because she has), but for the familiar way in which her story and experiences are shared by a lot of young creatives like myself. People who are always asking more of themselves and their work, looking to navigate the path of defining who they are and what they can do with the power of that knowledge. To say that Megan has successfully done so would be an understatement, and meeting her gave me great optimism in the intuitive ‘do it your own’ way approach to finding work you love.


Describing herself as the ‘lead storyteller’ of Spendlove and Lamb, Megan’s natural communications and networking skills lead her from a career in graphic design to find a niche in a new wave of social media communication, working with businesses to build strategy and harness the right tools for authentic social media relationships.  Offering consulting, site training and digital strategy development, Spendlove and Lamb has recently launched Twitterversity, a Twitter specific workshop series that aims to teach business owners how to break down the barriers to audience engagement.

Prior to starting her own business, Megan quit her graphic design job and spent six months couch surfing relatives and friends in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia, documenting her period of homelessness by photographing her bed each night and sharing it via The Bed Blog.

Acknowledging that you never really know someone until you’ve lived with them, Megan credits is this period of ‘trying on other peoples lives’ for the insights she gained that were ultimately part of the learning process of who she was and where she wanted to go next.

About halfway through her period of homelessness Megan became aware of the power of this process of elimination in defining her self, that by living with and experiencing other people’s lives she was able to define her own path. Like many, Megan had expected the external experience of travel to broaden her horizons, but found that it was this internal process, an experiment living in other people’s shoes that taught the most valuable lessons.


With new focus, Megan returned to Australia to find more about where these new experiences and interests would lead her. Advocating an intuitive discovery process, Spendlove and Lamb now offers a training and personal coaching service to help others along this path to self-discovery.


One of Spendlove and Lamb’s first success stories was working with the School of Life pop up in Melbourne, managing their communications and taking their Instagram following from 1 to 1000 during the short pop up period(!). Other former clients include Veronica Grow’s Old School New School for Typography and Design, Pop Union and the Projection Room. All are examples of Spendlove and Lamb’s ideal clients, working to make the world a little bit better everyday.


I visited Megan at her part time homebase, Nest Coworking space in Thornbury, a cosy cross disciplinary space that lives up it its name, offering independent workers shared resources, space and community support.

Business: Spendlove and Lamb

Owner: Megan Davis

Location: Melbourne, and online

 

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A Murder of Ravens

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Rodney and Banjo the donkeys

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Quinton the mouse

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Albert the donkey

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Chester the cheeky llama

Meet English-expat-cum-Melbournite Katie Wakefield and her friend Chester, the cheeky llama .
Chester likes eating socks and collecting watches, Katie likes collage, textile design and taxidermy.

What bought these two buddies together?  A Murder of Ravens – Katie’s new homewares and design label.

Katie studied fashion and textile design, spending two years travelling the world before she fell in love with Melbourne and decided to stay awhile. She soon found herself in country Victoria, living her dream of learning taxidermy with from Gippsland local David Luxford.

Katie’s whimsical and intensely detailed cushions, tea towels and illustrations are surely the prettiest incarnation of taxidermy I’ve ever seen. Each animal character featured has a unique story,  set amongst a world of colour, sparkles and quirkiness. All creations are hand stitched, illustrated, embellished and embroided by Katie.

Katie has just launched her online emporium and Etsy store, with more local markets on the calendar soon.

August is Victorian Small Business Month ~ there are a bunch of free workshops (in Melbourne, regional centres and online) and events. Find out more here
 
If you like what you see, keep in touch with Small Talk & Co. updates by liking us on facebook here
Machine and hand stitched details

Machine and hand stitched details

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Meet the flock

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Tea towel

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The Raven

Celebrating 10 Interviews!

Kate McMahon | Gidget Media

Kate’s workspace, note the full inbox ~ Image via Gidget Media

Kate McMahon is a freelance Copywriter and Marketing Consultant specialising in the arts, education and not-for-profit sectors. Kate describes her ideal clients as ‘businesses with heart’, and it’s hard not too see where that has rubbed off in the way Gidget Media embraces it’s client briefs. Kate’s blog on Gidget Media is an impressive feat, breaking down the big ideas around online marketing into bite sized morsels for  those of us with more training in ‘heart’ than business. Kate’s interview is a must read for any small business entrepreneur.

Business: Gidget Media

Owner: Kate McMahon

Location: Melbourne, and online

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Event | CraftCubed Festival August 2014

What do you know when you see three rhinos wearing matching tshirts? They are all on the same team!

What do you know when you see three rhinos wearing matching tshirts?
They are all on the same team! *Boom* | Rhino friend courtesy of Craft Victoria, own adaptation for use.

Got a passion for your craft? Or a great idea lurking in the back of your mind, just waiting to burst out into the light of day?

As a highly qualified doctor-type *cough* I think a good dose of CraftCubed is just what you need.

Craft Cubed is Craft Victoria’s annual festival of experimental, skilled and ideas-based craft and design. Featuring exhibitions, installations, open studios, workshops and events, Craft Cubed is a unique umbrella for practitioners and the public to engage with contemporary craft and design. Encompassing a Victoria-wide program throughout August, this year Craft Cubed will orbit around core happenings at Fed Square.

 Craft Cubed 2014

The Art of Handmade
1 to 31 August 2014
Fed Square as well as venues big and small across Melbourne & regional Victoria

My pick of the festival calendar?

Aug 3 New Craft Market  at QVM

Aug 7 Craft and Design as a Career? Definitely aquestion for alot of Small Talk interviewee’s and readers

Weekends Aug 1-31 Open Studios

There are also some great online events if you cant make it in person (and some great interviews with crafty peeps)

 

See you there!

Ruth Gregson | The Botanical Institute

Inside the shop, at the charming end of Nicholson Street, Carlton North

 

Ruth Gregson is a retailer. The Botanical Institute is an outlet for Ruth’s passion for quality Australian design, with her store filled to the brim with all the best local and interstate gifts and homewares. Read on to find out more about Ruth’s inspirations, being your own boss, and where Frank Sinatra fits in it all…

Business:  The Botanical Institute

Owner: Ruth Gregson

Location: 789 Nicholson St, Carlton North, Victoria

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