Ryan Murtagh makes the invisible visible (and so can you!)  

This post is brought to you by Telstra

As regular readers of Small Talk & Co. would know, I cannot curb my enthusiasm for the stories of inspiring entrepreneurs from across Australia (and apologies for any past abuses of hyperbole!). However there are some great local businesses I support avidly, but cannot profile on Small Talk. I call you my invisibles – they who cannot be named – who boast brilliant founder stories, and bright and innovative products and services – but whose businesses have no online presence or sales platform. I have to thank Telstra Business for this opportunity to add-on to the usual ST&Co. interview format and weave a little visibility magic in the lead up to this Christmas period.

Ryan Murtagh is an entrepreneur – Image courtesy of Neto

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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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Simon and Tom // Envelope

SimonBaldwin_TomHolt

Envelope was founded by Simon Baldwin and Tom Holt long-time friends and fellow innovation nerds in the design, tech, and social space. Simon Chamberlain, an experienced entrepreneur and investor, provided the initial seed capital to launch the business.

 

Envelope was born of necessity, a very modern (and good looking) solution to an old problem; wedding gift registries. In less than twelve months, these long time friends have bootstrapped an idea created for Simon’s own wedding, learnt importance of customer communication in real time at one of Melbourne’s biggest wedding fairs, and launched Envelope, answering the cries of many to-be-weds  for a well designed and easy to use platform that bridges that awkward conversation with your family and friends – asking for money.

From Simon: Like so many couples these days, a traditional store-based or retail registry didn’t really suit our needs. We wanted flexibility and a way to include both objects, as well as experiences on our registry. While there are a few online registries like this out there, we just didn’t like the way they worked. We’d spent so much time getting the wedding to look and feel a certain way, we wanted our registry to be just as personal. Just as beautiful and just as thoughtful.

 So I asked Tom, one of my groomsmen (and now co-founder), to help build us a site we could use to ask for contributions towards our honeymoon in Europe.

 After the wedding, five or six of our guests asked if they could use the platform for their own weddings. At that moment, myself and Tom thought we were onto something and Envelope was born.

 

Owner: Simon Baldwin and Tom Holt

Business: EnvelopeRegistry.com

To celebrate their launch, Envelope are going to match one lucky couple’s registry value dollar for dollar. Just create a registry and you’re in the running!

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Amy O’Brien is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine

Amy, looking rather coy, but as always on message – that message? “Life is just too short to feel anything less than fabulous.”

 

Amy O’Brien is a doctor of Chinese Medicine and self described fabulous health guru. Amy hails from Melbourne, where she studied and practiced before taking two courageous life ‘leaps’ at once; moving to across the country to Perth, and establishing her own private practice. When Bhalo first referred Amy to me, it’s was the courage behind these two decisions that drew to find out more about  Fabulous Health, and the lovely lady behind it. In the process of compiling this interview over the last few months I have enjoyed very much ‘getting to know’ Amy across various social medias, with her enthusiasm for her practice positively beaming out at me from across the country. Amy has a genuine love for solving your health conundrums and exudes joy across the inter-webs with her thoughtful and honest advice. Read on to find out more about Amy’s experiences – how she got started in Chinese Medicine, her lifelong dedication to learning, and her number one guilty pleasure (hint:  it’s still pretty good for you in the scheme of things).

 **a quick reminder to please fill out ST&Co.’s first annual reader survey (it’s super short, easy, and there’s prizes!)

Owner: Amy O’Brien

Business: Fabulous Health

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Samara Greenwood is an Architect

Samara Greenwood and Anna Castles outside SGArch’s studio/pavilion.

 

Samara Greenwood Architecture is a young, boutique architectural practice focused on creating homes with heart. Under Samara’s direction, the team have an approach to design that is without pretense and is firmly focused on people – their hopes, dreams and everyday way of life. Samara has created a practice of ‘design philosophy’ that places you at it’s centre. It’s not often you meet an architect, or indeed any professional who makes it their first priority to listen to what you have to say, but Samara has made it her business to practice in this way.  ‘Listen’ and ‘Heart’ are two words I have never before come across in an architectural mission statement, but ones which I think we should be hearing more of. Read on to find out what Samara had to share about going out on your own, practicing business with heart, and the increasingly popular Dream Home Workshops.

I was privileged to interview Samara as a guest contributor over at Creative Women’s Circle. Samara has been gracious enough to answer a few extra questions for Small Talk readers! Check out my other posts for CWC here.

Owner: Samara Greenwood

Business: Samara Greenwood Architecture

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Fox Woods is a UX Designer

Fox Woods is a UX Designer

Fox Woods is a freelance user experience designer (see Fox’s response at Q3 if that terminology goes right over your head like it did mine the first time I heard it), founder of the Milkshake Collective, co-founder of GirlsClub, dog owner, self confessed child of hippies, and as of very (very) recently, mother. I caught up with Fox back in October to chat about work, life, opportunities, and what it means to find ‘flow’ in what you do for a living. I have to admit to having held a pretty significant girl crush on Fox since I first met her through GirlsClub earlier this year, so excuse the gushing that follows…

‘UX Designer’ can only begin to describe the depth of Fox’s work experience in web tech over the past decade, working across a variety of roles in the field of ‘making the internet happen’. There came a point however, where Fox found herself again looking for more challenging and rewarding work, but also hoping interviewers wouldn’t call her back. This realisation, and the subsequent acceptance of this new need for freedom of work/life lead Fox to ‘take the leap’, to quit her job and find the space to understand what it was she wanted to do next. What happened after that? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading…

Owner: Fox Woods

Business: The Milkshake Collective

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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

RAPP_SS2015_LOOKBOOK_3

‘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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Guest post for Creative Women’s Circle | Samara Greenwood Architecture

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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