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Meet the creative brains behind Etsy at The Cullen

Apr 7, 2015

by Sarah Ponthieu handmade and vintage goods

Melbourne-based creative consultant Marsha Golemac and photographer Brooke Holm have quickly made a name for themselves on Australia’s design scene since making their start just over three years ago. For Etsy at The Cullen, we tasked them with transforming The Cullen’s junior penthouse suite, bringing together the hotel’s lux and artistic elements with exceptional designs from Etsy and the results are set to be spectacular.

With less than a week until doors open to Etsy at The Cullen, we thought it was time to introduce the creative brains behind this world-first boutique hotel collaboration. We sat down with the creative collaborators (and real life BFFs) to find out a little more about their work and how they work together.

Tell us a bit about where you got started.

Brooke: We met working at Kikki K where I was doing photography and Marsha was doing product development. I’d just moved to Melbourne from Brisbane looking for a more creative pathway. To cut a long story short we were both looking for ways to explore and realise our creative visions. We didn’t really know what that was at the time – Marsha was a jack of all trades and was exploring paper art, styling, making, creative direction, among other things and I just wanted to take photos of amazing things. We ended up leaving our roles at Kikki K at about the same time and decided to collaborate on some projects.

Over the past three and a half years we’ve worked to build up our portfolio and our name. We work together and separately and have been really honing in on our specialities and figuring out what we love to do and what we’re best at. Now we’re now lucky enough to be able to focus on jobs that are inspiring for us with people that we want to work for.

Your projects are various and seemingly endless! Take us through some of your current and upcoming endeavours.

Marsha: They’re all a bit top secret so we can’t share too much…

Brooke: …but there are lots of exciting things coming. There are always projects in the works for us – we have plenty of ideas we want to explore so there’s a mix of commercial and personal work that we want to find a nice balance for.

Marsha: We’re heading to Milan soon for our first proper inspiration trip. It’s something we’ve always talked about doing but have been so caught up with our projects. Europe will be time for us to stop and reflect on things we’ve done and what we’d like to do next.

What makes a great creative partnership?

Marsha: For us it’s the fact that we’re very different people and yet so similar in some really crucial ways. If we had exactly the same personalities we’d probably become static. But despite our differences we really respect each other, creatively and personally. If you respect each other’s talents, ideas, ways of doing things, it works.

Brooke: We’ve also got a shared and deep set ambition to always do more and achieve more. I think if both of us were both comfortable doing the same thing forever we probably wouldn’t get along as well as we do. But we both want to grow, we want to get bigger with our ideas and our studio, we want to go travelling, we want to work overseas. We both have this progression ingrained in us which I think is really important for a partnership. You have to want to grow together.

Marsha: Our job is not just a job – it’s what we love to do. It’s a big part of our lives. Our working relationship comes before so many other things.

Brooke: We have no social life! But she’s my best friend so I get to work with my best friend all day every day. We’re very lucky.

How have your respective talents come together for the Etsy at The Cullen project?

Brooke: I’m really good at logistics while Marsha is great at coming up with the concepts. She can visualise ideas in her head but sometimes needs help bringing them to life. That’s where I come in. She’ll share her idea and I’ll figure out exactly how we’re going to achieve it. Also, sometimes her arms are too short to reach things.

Marsha: We’re different but I wouldn’t want it any other way. And I don’t know what I’d do without your limbs. I’m very organised and straight down the line.

Brooke: Marsha is the extrovert of the relationship – she’s really good at dealing with clients and problem solving.

Marsha: You’re pretty good at that too. You might surprise yourself.  Brooke keeps me sane. So when I come up with a crazy idea and then have a moment of self doubt, she calms me down.


Want to see for yourself how Marsha and Brooke have created at Etsy at The Cullen? Join us at the Open Day this Saturday 11 April for free rooms tours and Etsy styling tips, or better yet, book a night’s stay here.



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