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The Establishment Studios


16th October, 2012
Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 16th October 2012

The talented team behind The Establishment Studios in Prahan, from left - Rachael Hart, Carly Spooner and Glen Proebstel. Photo - Sean Fennessy.

A few details from the prop store at The Establishment Studios in Prahan. Photo - Sean Fennessy.

Props at The Establishment Studios in Prahan. Photo - Sean Fennessy.

The chair wall at The Establishment Studios.  Photo - Sean Fennessy.

The Establishment Studios in Prahan. Photo - Sean Fennessy.

The Establishment Studios - sweet details

OK so it's not exactly breaking  news but nevertheless I can't help but run a little story on this inspired creative collaboration!  The Establishment Studios is Melbourne's newest creative hub, and I am convinced that this incredible light-filled, multi-use space is basically every creative person's DREAM workspace!  Part prop store, part photographic studio, part events space, the Establishment Studios was launched earlier this year by Melbourne's best known interiors stylist Glen Proebstel and creative agent Rachael Hart.

Glen and Rachael are one seriously dynamic business partnership!  The pair first met when Glen joined creative management agency Katrina Herschell Management in 2007, where Rachael was working at the time.  A couple of years later they joined forces to create Prop.d - a prop store in Footscray, housing Glen's incredible collection of props amassed from his years as one of Australia's busiest interiors and props stylists.

But earlier this year, a new challenge presented itself - and seemed too good to pass up.  Rachael and Glen were given the opportunity to take on a truly unique Victorian warehouse building just off Greville st in Prahran.  They jumped at the chance, relocating their prop store here, and re-working the space to create a photographic studio and offices for their various projects.  Their partnership has evolved exponentially since moving to this new space, and re-branding as The Establishment Studios.  The business now employs fulltime studio manager Carly Spooner, and offers a range of services including event styling, prop hire, and studio hire for shoots, product launches and PR events.

While ‘The Establishment’ is one of Glen's biggest projects to date, he isn't one to sit still for long.  Another opportunity beckoned this year, and again, Glen took a leap of faith - following his dream of working in New York.  Now that's what I call a busy year!  He'll continue to build on his impressive portfolio of editorial and freelance styling work both here and abroad, working between NYC, Melbourne and Sydney, and contributing to Australian and international publications such as Inside Out, Country Style, Gourmet Traveller, Elle Decoration UK, Living Etc UK and many more.

We asked Rachael Hart a few questions about The Establishment Studios and the unique creative partnership she has formed with Glen Proebstel -

How did you and Glen come to be working together, and when did you first form the idea of launching your own space together?

Glen and I first met when he joined Melbourne-based creative management agency Katrina Herschell Management in 2007, and I was working with Katrina as the booker/producer there. A couple of years later after I left KHM, Glen and I got to talking about all his props that were building up in storage, and we decided that is was silly that they weren't being used and shared. Having come from working in Sydney, Glen knew that a prop store is a really valuable asset for stylists, so we decided to see how it would work for the Melbourne industry. We found a space in Footscray and started Prop'd.

Glen Proebstel in his office at The Establishment Studios.  Photo - Sean Fennessy.
How on earth did you stumble across such an amazing building for The Establishment Studios?!

We actually knew of this space through Sue Caroll who owns Montreux on High St. Sue was using the space in Grattan Street as a warehouse, and Glen used to come and hire from her, and also occasionally use the space as a location. Glen and I were rapidly growing out of our space in Footscray so when we found out that she was terminating her lease we moved very quickly and managed to be the first to apply!

Really it was almost more a case of the space dictating the growth of the prop store to studio, as opposed to the other way around.  The location is incredible and has so many different offerings in the one space, so it was perfect!  There is really nothing like this in Melbourne, a ground floor, daylight studio space with all the different looks/areas...and of course the props!  So we decided to complete the move with a re-brand - we're now called The Establishment Studios.

What kind of projects can The Establishment Studios be booked for?

We offer the space as a photographic studio/location for photo shoots, both editorial and commercial, and we also rent the space for small events such as product launches and PR events, showings, pop-up spaces things like that.

What's next for you guys - what are you looking forward to?

Well we have just built a custom mobile kitchen which is really exciting, so we hope to have more food shoots and cookbooks happening in here. We can also rent the space and kitchen out for cooking classes and displays which should be fun!

Aside from that, Glen is also now galavanting in New York for a little while, so Carly (our amazing studio manager) and I are looking forward to the deliveries arriving with some new goodies from the USA!

Big thanks to Glen, Carly and Rachael for sharing their story with us today!  If you're keen to see The Establishment Studios for yourself, as it happens, this is where The School's Melbourne workshops will be held next month (including Harriet Goodall's basketry workshops, featured yesterday!).

The Establishment Studios.  Photo - Sean Fennessy.

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