2018 recap – what a year!
Having approx four minutes to one’s self at this end of the year, means lots of us are reflecting on the year we’ve just lived. 2018 eh? Was it your mate or your frenemy? Or both. Did you do heaps of cools stuff that you wouldn’t have imagined at this time last year or are you the type that sat down, made goals and went about ticking those fuckers off throughout 2018?
2018 for us has been massive – our business turned four in August (with 2.5 years of that as a full time gig for me, Kate), we focused heavily on new back end systems to improve your customer experience, had huge amounts of growth, change, upheaval, success, wins, fails, tiredness, a mangled toe, heaps of fights, eleventy dozen early morning trips to McDonalds, hundreds of celebratory knock off beers, high fives, medium kicks, deep sighs, tears, tantrums, dozens of five star reviews and our first four star review (sob), and a tonne of highs. But we’ll get to that later.
It’s all because of you dudes that we get to go on this ludicrous ride – you give so many shits about what we do – which is to sling the best and brightest vintage and retro furniture for hire, neon signs, totz unique event design and styling, custom builds, and now graphic design and signage. You like our Insta posts and comment on Facebook photos and give us excellent reviews and go to our webby and send us enquiries and invite us to be part of the events that are super special in your lives. Then you tell your friends and fam about us and the cycle starts again! We take that straight to our hearts – your events are so GD important to us, to say we are invested is quite the understatement. So we thank you from the very soles of our feet for having us.
I’m going to write this chronologically, but there were a few highlights that don’t quite fit into that list that I wanted to crap on about for a wee bit.
Given that business ownership can be quite a challenge – earlier this year a few of us small biz owners decided to start a group to celebrate our wins and workshop our challenges – and we named it the Fucking Supportive Wins + Confetti Throwing Club (FSWACTC). So, musical duo Fidel + Sarah, photographer extraordinaire Stina from Gold + Grit, her husbo Peter from BTW:ILY wedding films, plus Dave and I of Good Day Rentals, started meeting, drinking heaps of Prosecco + beer, celebrating our wins and working out what to do about the hard things in small biz lyf. It has been a hugely fun, enriching part of the year and a way to stop and smell those damn roses, which is so hard to do when you’re on the express train.
And on another personal note, in 2018 I learned to drum, something I have been wanting to do for decades since I had a dream in my early 20s that I was the summer drummer (because thank you dream, that’s really a thing) for Rage Against The Machine and Korn. If you know me even a little, you probably know I have a couple of wacky sleep disorders, so I am not one to talk about great nights’ sleep or ace dreams. So this was the greatest dream ever and it started this want, which I put off for all the usual reasons, then decided I was getting too old and then I decided mums don’t drum, then I reminded myself that I am a badass and have never shied away from a challenge, so 2018 was the year I learned to drum. I now have a drum kit named Rod and I can play three songs – en Vogue’s Don’t Let Go, Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight (those drum fills!) and Queens of the Stone Age’s Make It Wit Chu. It’s the funnest thing ever and I encourage everyone to get a damn hobby.
Now onto the year’s highlights month by month….
Hardcore rave wedding
We started the year with a mega bang, helping legend faces Brooke and Dougal style and furnish their hard core rave wedding at one of our favourite warehouse venues, The Line in our hometown, Footscray.
Neon hearts overlaid with lighting projections, block coloured furniture clusters featuring the couple’s collection of colourful collected milk crates, and the bride’s own art work and sculptures. We’re told it was a bangin party and we’re not surprised, as it was super cool getting to know Brooke and Dougal along the way.
Photo by: MJ Productions
First same sex marriage!
At the very first legal moment possible in Australia – 12.01am 9 January, 2018 – we helped Teegan and Mahatia get legally hitched alongside a group of massive hearted vendors who gifted them this legal wedding, after these excellent humans had a commitment ceremony back in 2016.
It was honestly one of the most moving, happy, beautiful and fun things I have ever been a part of – and a cracking party to boot! And most definitely the highlight of my wedding career.
We did the design, styling, neons and furniture and were the providers of those confetti cannons that helped make the photo below get a run across pretty much every mainstream media outlet, and across Instagram, getting shared over and over! A super amazing way to start the year!
Photo by: Christian Marc Photography
Laura + Duncan’s wedding
Wes Anderson scout camp meets The Pink Flamingo
As published on Hello May
Laura + Duncan – On Australia Day, we pulled off a ginormous Wes Anderson-esque, scout camp meets The Pink Flamingo (you now, from Meredith Music Festival!?!) wedding at Sokil Arts Retreat in the Otways – a 70 acre Ukrainian scout camp with the weirdest/best pool I have ever seen! The wedding was across four sites on the 70 acres, and thus I did 85,000 steps over three days but the outcome was rad, so my feet said, “That’s OK Kate, we can rest at a later date”, which obviously turned out to be a huge fucking lie.
There was a pool party in the enormous soviet era concrete pool with a floatie train, a later in the eve flamingo race in the pool including fully clothed wedding guests, 12 DJ sets – including one from yours truly, DJ Tutu Carmen, a rad band, Wes Anderson photo booth, tassel flags run up the scout flag poles, a dozen neon signs, and a party that kicked on until 4am. Definitely check it out on Hello May via the link above – total baller of a wedding that we were truly honoured to design, style, furnish and what not for our pals, Laura and Duncan, who have since had a wee baby angel, named Juniper!
Photo by: Gold + Grit Photography
Found With Love wedding expo
We took part in the Found With Love wedding expo – it was an excellent new take on wedding expos for couples – with heaps of drinks, food to try, cakes to eat and live music. It felt like a party and everyone was really relaxed – a great way for couples to get a really good feel for possible vendors and heaps better then the traditional exhibition style expos.
Photo by: Free The Bird
Colour Explosion editorial gets re-blogged
As published by Ruffled
After getting loads of attention, regrams and love when it was released in early 2017, our colour explosion shoot – originally featured on Nouba, got reblogged by giant US wedding blog – Ruffled. It’s also been published in a Polish wedding magazine. You excellent humans have really loved this shoot – it was our first one – where we came up with the concept, styled, furnished and coordinated, and it holds a dear place in our hearts. And guess what – those two legend models / real life couple Sham and Gerard who made the shoot so magical, are due to appear in another shoot of ours really soon – stay tuned!
Brand shoot – Habbot
When a super lux, cool and rad brand like Habbot come knocking and asking to hire furniture for their new season shoe shoot, you say YES THANK YOU! Look at these shots – so cool, so beautiful. If you don’t already know of them, they stock hand made shoes, including glitter ones and they are the most superb quality!
Photos via @Habbot on Instagram
Kate’s birthday party
Mid-Century middle eastern extravaganza!
In Feb, we decided it was time to start celebrating our own milestones again – it’s VERY easy to not throw your own parties when you work in events, because it kinda feels like work. But why did we get into this biz if not because we love to throw parties! And I reckon this is the type of thing where you pop your head up and realise that you haven’t thrown yourselves a party for eight years, while you “waited for things to get less hectic”. Yeah nah, things only get busier, so live in the now, sillies.
Transforming our backyard into a middle eastern wonderland, with a mid-century twist, it was a cracking day, and there were about 10 DJs – again, one of them was yours truly – DJ Tutu Carmen – and I played two sets; Straight outta Compton and surrounds, and Bad Ass Bitches II. We feasted on Lebanese foods and a rad cake from Boutique Cake Art, while flower pal, Good Grace and Humour flozzed things up. You can not even tell that the lounge area is where we normally park our car, Fez.
Photos by Samara Clifford Photography
We were super excited to be invited onto a shoot with interiors legends Greenhouse Interiors. In fact, I was so nervous on the day to hang out with Interior Designers that I, a) consulted my sister about what to wear and b) changed three times. How fkn great does our goldy mustard couchy Angela Lansbury look?
Photo by Armelle Habib
St Kilda Festival
“Would you like to furnish the main stage VIP area of the legendary St Kilda Festival?” They asked.
“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” Said we. Also yes, we said yes.
Everything got blown away five thousand times (seriously, all the things) thanks to the windy foreshore, but our set-up – a Mid-century swinging safari vibe – was so well received that actual rock star + festival performer Dan Sultan, ditched the Green Room and sat in the lounge we created to watch The Jezabels (you will note I have helpfully circled his head below for evidence purposes)! An actual rock star’s butt has been on our couch, Leslie Knope.
Photos by Jim Lee
Neon sign collab with Electric confetti launched!
We formally launched our neon sign collab with LED neon legends Electric Confetti – look how ace they are? And they’re the PERFECT addition to our collection of vintage and retro furniture. You can see em all here!
Photo by Beck Rocchi
Secret Garden with a touch of Japan wedding
Jill and John’s wedding was at John’s family home in the Dandenongs – a massive formal garden with trees so old and significant they have heritage overlay protection. I adored working with Jill and John and meeting their little guy Austin too. We had so much in common and the property was such a dream.
Immediately I had Alice in Wonderland / Secret Garden vibes – and getting to know the couple, they talked about their love of travel and their fave trip ever to Japan so we added touches of this throughout.
And this photo below was one of our most popular this year on Instagram. Those chairs and them trees – you folks loved them – and so do we – sah magical!
Photo by Alana Holmberg
Podcast guest on Wedding Brew
Ya gurl was a guest on The Wedding Brew podcast, with Amber The Celebrant and Jewellery designer John McAleer. I talked about realistic budgeting so that you don’t go cray cray while planning your wedding. It’s meant to be fun, afterall. It’s not out yet, but I’ll be sure to shout un-humbly from the rooftops as soon as it is.
Immigration Museum events
As part of the Immigration Museum’s summer music series, we furnished a couple of big events in a 60s vibe. And then we helped them out again as part of Melbourne University’s O week events at the museum. Stay tuned for another exciting event with them as you read on too!
Our wonderful Stevie-Rae came on board two days a week as Studio Assistant. She immediately did ace things and we love her to pieces. Stevie is the queen of graphic design, VM and digitising all my ideas!
Photo by Samara Clifford Photography at Hannah + Ravi’s wedding.
Inventory management system, GO!
In boring but important news! On advice from a wedding industry pal, we started using RW Elephant to manage our now massive inventory. Before this it was all manual and it was so hard to manage and sometimes people would feel like crying and also, might have been known to shout NO YOU CALM DOWN while trying to work out what was available to hire, as we got busier and busier. We made a promise to ourselves that we would get all the fancy systems we needed in 2018 to improve your customer expereince, before adding any new, fang dangle services, which is not a sexy decision, but it was a smart one. Look at that fancy and easy to use pull ticket!
As published in Polka Dot Bride
We bush bashed our way into Monsalvat and we carried couches up hills and through tiny gaps and down hills and we shoo-ed tourists away from our delicate set-ups (No, you can’t eat that turkish delight, GOOD DAY!). It was a gruelling day but a rad one, because the people involved were the best and look at this photo – Monsalvat is a dream venue.
Photo by Jason Le
Amy + Shaune’s dream vintage glam wedding
Rockabilly dreamboats Amy + Shaune’s wedding was the coolest. Look at this! We truly loved working with them.
Photo by Ryan Norekis
With big plans for a fancy new website this year, we needed to reshoot all our products. We’d originally shot them in front of our house. But then we planted a tree right in the way so that was no longer an option. Some were shot at our old studio in Preston. Some at our new place in Sunshine West. Some by a professional photog, some by us. Basically they were a dogs breakfast by this point, so we decided to do them all again! Which was a 15 hour day with four people lugging furniture to and fro. It was in fact a fun day, and we adore our new look product photos – we wanted you to have the best experience when trying to choose furniture, so great photos are a must. Please note that we don’t photoshop any imperfections – what you see is what you get – vintage patina and all!
The second photo below came about because I was that person on set that kept walking in the photographers’ light – so for the 20 millionth time, they told me to get out of the shot, and so I dived onto Frenchy Orange Benchy, and luckily vintage furniture is pretty robust.
Australiana meets India
Wedding at Fitzroy Town Hall
Hannah and Ravi’s wedding was an Indian Australian extravaganza – and we were honoured to design, style and furnish it for them. Something we love about our customers is that we deal with heaps of grooms – they’re super involved and all that BS where men just turn up, is def not how our couples roll, as was the case with Ravi and Hannah. And why miss out on all the fun anyways!
The details on this wedding were so elegant, but edgy and ace. Look at those hand drawn bird ‘table numbers’ done by Jena Marie, those flowers by Good Grace and Humour, spider web lighting by Technical Events, vintage glassware by Betty May Vintage Hire, gold cutlery and duck egg concrete plates from Complete Function Hire, linen from Table Art and Event Art.
Photo by Fern & Stone
All our eggs in one basket
Dave joins GDR
About two years earlier than planned, we decided it was time for co-founder and Husbo Dave to join our ranks full time. Making us ALL IN on this biz of ours. Dave left his corporate job in the insurance industry to become our GM and Logistics Manager. It was fucking terrifying, but honestly, how things were – with me super overworked, overwhelmed and losing my mind, and Dave also working a lot, we were hardly seeing each other and everything sucked.
So we did our sums and worked out a plan. And Dave became our second full time employee. We made a big fuss of him on his first day because it was a big occasion (see below)!
Now we see each other 24/7 and that’s potentially even more challenging. Working together has been a major adjustment (hence the fights!) but we are both perseverers so we shall settle into this and no one will be whisper shouting at the other while trying to pack the truck in 2019. NO ONE.
Dave started Very Good Products this year – where he custom builds stuff from reclaimed timber and makes all the things I come up with. He also started Very Good Consulting – systems consulting for small businesses, bringing together his Business Analyst past life and his small biz knowledge of the past half a decade. So he is a pretty handy gent to have around afterall.
Kate + Will’s Wedding
As published on Nouba
We adore seeing our couple’s smiling faces on excellent blogs like Nouba! Their wedding cake also made it into Nouba’s Best of Cakes round up too, so take a look. These excellent humans also did a first dance with hectic props to Rock Lobster. FUNNIEST THING EVER!
Photos by Madeline Druce
Surprise wedding at The Line
Who doesn’t love a surprise wedding! Martha and Mike pulled one over their loved ones and it was glorious.
Photos by JMD Photography
Waterfalls winery editorial
Due to go live on WedShed in January
We can’t wait to show you more of this amazing editorial shoot we designed, styled, furnished and coordinated alongside Good Grace and Humour and Shannyn Higgins Weddings. I mean, there’s a giant waterfall made of peppercorn, a confetti jacket, the longest of long tables, and the venue is just amazing! As they annoyingly say, stay tuned!
Melbourne Town Hall grand ballroom wedding
Photos by All The Love In The World Photography
Our last big design and styling wedding of the 2017/18 wedding season was Tara + Adem’s at the Town Hall in the grand ballroom! Fuck yes!
Tara + Adem have been to heaps of boring function hall weddings in their time so they wanted heaps of things for people to do; so we had an analogue photobooth, coffee cart, epic craft table, pinata forrest, 12 piece band and two big lounge areas. It was a really fun wedding (we were also guests!). Flowers by Good Grace and Humour
Side note: Adem + Tara actually got engaged in the Flinders Street Station analogue photo booth, and had their legal ceremony there. Around the same time, the rail project meant the booth (the last of it’s type in Melbourne) was going to be taken away – and part of the reason it got to stay was because of their story and the stories of others that clearly showed it’s a cultural treasure. Read about it and see their silly faces in this article. 1.5 minutes after this wedding, we took a damn holiday.
Neon punks editorial on Hooray! Mag
We had a huge win with our Neon Punks shoot being featured as an editorial on excellent blog Hooray! Mag. A huge collab led, designed and styled by us with bunch of industry legends! We had dozens of styling enquiries off the back of this and so we say YAY! We blogged about it here! And it was super popular across Instagram too. This officially got our neon signs out to the wider world too.
Other wee things we did in May
- Doggos of the world got to enjoy our furniture – and our furniture got to be on the news, when we furnished the stage of the Dog Lovers Show.
- Becoming the sponsors of the St Kilda Film Festival, we created a rad theatre lounge and felt good about ourselves. Our Good Day Rentals ad (we have an ad!) played to the theatre goers. This is an exciting thing, it turns out.
- Supporting same sex wedding directory and blog Mr Theodore and our fellow stylists Ruby + James, we sent out LOVE neon sign to an event for IDAHOT – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia + Biphobia. We are very passionate about equality in all its forms. If you’re not, a good day to you.
Super rad 30th birthday editorial
Published on Oh It’s Perfect
How ace is this editorial for inspiration for your birthday party needs? It was a fun one to be part of with a group of new vendors we mostly didn’t know. You guys loved this one!
Read about the epic second half of our year – link below!