Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Q&A session with Mr Jason Grant

It was a great pleasure to sit in on this session at the Design + D├ęcor show in Melbourne this past weekend and hear Jason Grant speak about his design and decorating journey, his achievements, and his thoughts on a number of topics. He started out by encouraging people to find what they are passionate about, what inspires us and what types of spaces we ultimately want to live in.

In the interview he was asked if he had seen an effect as a result of the popularity of the renovation shows that Australia is obsessed with lately, and if that undermines the design industry. He responded by addressing the unrealistic expectations it sometimes creates as some clients expect to have a bathroom renovated in 2 days, for example, and when on these shows their purpose is to create drama, that is the last thing you would need at a construction site.

Caroline Caneva, the interviewer, started the topic of style becoming a commercial reaction. She shared a thought from an interior designer who had expressed to her that design trends nowadays have become so widely adopted by designers, decorators and retailers and the media that it has become so quickly saturated that she finds herself getting over the trends before even implementing them in her own designs. As designers, this is really something we all relate to as we always like to have our spaces uniquely designed to fit a specific space and brief; we don’t like the end result looking like every other space in a magazine, we are creative after all.  Jason’s response was quite simple; his advice is feel free to embrace them and feel free to ignore them. Trends are after all a marketing tool to make people buy things. But he thinks that just because something isn’t on trend anymore it doesn’t stop it from still being beautiful; quite the contrary it then becomes more of a statement piece. So just because something becomes over popular it doesn’t mean that it has to go out of style. In the end it all depends on how something works in a space regardless if it’s on trend or not.

Jason’s favourite colour: Yellow.
Jason’s design crushes: Jonathan Adler and Kelly Wearstler.
Jason’s best styling tip: Flowers always make a room look great.
Jason’s greatest achievements: publishing three books.

Monday, 2 March 2015

How to be an Entrepreneur: The Entrepreneurs' UnConvention

On Saturday we attended the The Entrepreneurs' UnConvention, held by The Entourage, with the keynote speaker being the co-founder and one of Australia's youngest and richest entrepreneurs, Jack Delosa.

It was almost eight hours of listening to some of the greatest successful entrepreneurs share their ups and downs in their journey to success. The room was filled with a thousand of the most aspiring entrepreneurs in the city, ready to embrace the wisdom bestowed upon them from these success stories.

The speakers of the convention, or the un-convention as Jack likes to call it, included speakers such as:

Jack Delosa himself, creator of MBE education and The Entourage; who told us about the concept of alchemy which he elaborates as making something out of nothing, as necessity is the mother of innovation. He also explained the Entrepreneurs' journey in detail from the bottom of the ladder as students, on to start-up, scaling and up to selling or striving.

Katherine Sampson, founder of the Healthy Habits chain and recently Hello Sam in South Yarra. She talked about the importance of branding and PR. She mentioned the major difference of having just a logo and having a brand; and also said that "Marketing is what you pay for, PR is what you pray for."

Ruwan Weerasooriya, founder of Rewardle, which is a loyalty app used by more than 4,000 cafes around Australia. We actually recommend the Rewardle app to our own clients all the time so it was a great pleasure to listen to his journey and get to meet him. Weerasooriya is a great example of the entrepreneurial spirit where he loves the chase and is not afraid to fail in the process. He's an advocate for hard work and persistence: "It's all about the hustle, every single day."

Annette Lackovic, known as Australia's leading female sales expert and coach to female entrepreneurs. Annette stressed the importance of emotions when it came to selling your product or services. She was such an enthusiastic and wonderful presenter, she even made us stand up and sing along to a rap song she had prepared for us.

Sean Callanan, founder of Sports Geek shared his story of how his blog became more than just a sports blog. He pursued what he wanted and contacted people even if there was a small chance of them responding. He believes in taking a risk and never taking friendships and connections made for granted.

Jessica Wilson, founder of the fashion app Stashd. Jessica is such an impressive young entrepreneur who dropped out of uni when she was told she didn't have what it took. She then worked in PR for Australia, New York and Paris fashion weeks before bravely traveling to silicon valley, not knowing much about the tech world, and then creating the successful fashion app, Stashd. When speaking to her after the convention, we were surprised when she mentioned she only had 4 people in her team!

Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan, from the Impossible Institute. These two were responsible for many launches including the launch of Nandos in the Australian market. They whole-heartedly believe in the power of understanding what the buyers want and need as opposed to assuming what they would.

It was truly an inspiring day and I'm sure everyone present would agree that if you truly want something, we are blessed enough in this country to be able to achieve it with hard work and dedication, as cliche as that sounds.

More photos on our Facebook page!

Friday, 20 February 2015

Margaret Court Arena re-development: Design and Project Management

Last night we had the pleasure of attending a presentation held by The Arc Agency which gave us an insight of how the design and project management process resulted in the newly re-developed architectural icon, Margaret Court Arena.

The key note speakers included Penelope Blunden from Major Projects Victoria followed by Astid Jenkins and Wilko Doehring from NH Architecture who spearheaded this project.

The project from its initial design stages, demolition to fit out and through to handover took about four years to complete, with a few Australian Open tournaments still utilizing the arena. According to the speakers the most crucial part of project management is relationships and collaboration. They couldn't stress enough how vital that was for the successful completion of the project. With the size of this project and the variety of parties and stakeholders involved, it was very important that they were all transparent with one another and that all parties were fully briefed. Penelope referred to this as the 'no surprises' approach.

After the presentation in the Yarra room we were treated to a guided tour of the Arena where they showed us a few of the key spaces and we got to interact with the speakers.

The level of detail and conceptual characteristics of the interiors were quite impeccable. The brief was to integrate a certain level of 'tennisness' (as they referred to it), yet also be accepting and accommodating of other functions such as other sporting events and concerts.

It was a great pleasure meeting some of the key parties involved with the development of this iconic piece of architecture which we will enjoy for many years to come.

With the Architect Wilko Doehring from NH Architecture