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Creative Concierge Consulting
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MUSINGS.

FOR LOVE OR MONEY.

After graduating from a well known Melbourne based University with a BA in Interior Design while ago, I got it into my head that I wanted to learn how to actually, physically build things! Shock horror but, positives aside, I felt that this was a badly neglected area of my 4 years spent at Uni in a course that equipped me with plenty of conceptual skills but not much by way of the practical. And so began a longstanding passion for furniture design and carpentry. 

My first role, with a truly salt-of-the-earth artisan furniture maker, was the instigator of this passion. Arteventa, based in the back streets Melbourne's Prahran, was the kind of place that exuded a charm and honesty that only timber really can. 

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Working with a small team of ridiculously talented boys I learnt the ropes by way of the end process and discovered a talent for furniture finishing and the (almost) lost art of french polish. In nearly 3 years spent with this tiny yet powerful little company I experienced a business renaissance and when many friends were losing jobs left right and centre in architecture firms thanks to the dreaded GFC, the value of solid, well-built fit outs meant Arteventa forged a niche building commercial interiors at extremely high standards for some wonderful clients.

Barbagello Trattoria Melbourne by Arteveneta

Barbagello Trattoria Melbourne by Arteveneta

Izakaya Den Melbourne by Arteventa. Image from Concrete Playground

Izakaya Den Melbourne by Arteventa. Image from Concrete Playground

I left Arteventa for another passion and after a few years spent traipsing around Europe I returned to Australia and once again found myself drawn back into the world of furniture design. I dipped a toe into finishing again when my first bub was a few weeks old and then found myself on the marketing and retail side for another Melbourne based artisan a few months later.

El Lobo was far removed from my heady days at Arteventa - which were steeped in learning traditional techniques balanced against pioneering commercial design - being very new and green when I first came on board. There is something wonderfully exciting about working for a person or place that is full of promise and only at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey.

Custom furniture by  El Lobo

Custom furniture by El Lobo

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Designer, Ceren, with a background in film production, brought a whole new mindset to her design methods that I found wholly liberating in a place like Melbourne where the design world can be decidedly trend-driven and repetitive at times. El Lobo gave me the space and freedom to surround myself with unique and considered designs from a passionate designer right a time when I was needing to reestablish my career goals in between having babies. 

Sitting here writing this in retrospect, I realise that one of my foremost professional passions lies in furniture design and the nostalgic smell of resin and turps still gets my heart pumping. One day I will work a lathe again and stain the antique chair that sits as a rather ugly duckling under a mound of clothes in the corner of my bedroom, but for the moment I am focusing on the valuable lessons learned from years working for love rather than money and the journey of passion that working with furniture designers (and many other creatives) has unleashed.  

xx