Dream Job

Jehanne Postma · Creative Concept Co-Ordinator, Gloss Creative

This morning we chat with hands-on creative Jehanne Postma, who is working her dream job as Creative Concept Co-ordinator at Gloss Creative. The Melbourne-based event design, set design and visual merchandising studio this year counts Myer’s Spring Racing Carnival Marquee among its projects – enjoy a BTS sneak peek on us!

Incredibly hardworking and level-headed, Jehanne schools us on bypassing the career waiting room, rolling with tangential brainstorms, and the magic that can happen at the 11th hour.

Elle Murrell

Truth!! Photo – Emily Weaving for The Design Files.

The products of Jehanne Postma and the Gloss Creative team’s labour! Photo – Emily Weaving for The Design Files.

A sneak peek inside their Myer Marquee project for this year’s Spring Racing Carnival. Photo – Emily Weaving for The Design Files.

Jehanne Postma works her dream job: Creative Concept Co-ordinator at Gloss CreativePhoto – Emily Weaving for The Design Files.

Jehanne supervise sthe creative production of projects with an incredible array of makers. Photo – Emily Weaving for The Design Files.

Install details. We pot Lightly planters! Photo – Emily Weaving for The Design Files.

‘I work to tight deadlines, but that’s not always a bad thing – I’m definitely a fan of the last minute, you can make amazing things happen when you’re under pressure,’ says Jehanne. Pictured to her left, Lightly planters turned towers. Photo – Emily Weaving for The Design Files.

When Jehanne started, she assisted on installations and now I’m involved across all stages from creativity, client liaison, project management and production. Photo – Emily Weaving for The Design Files.

Elle Murrell
3rd of November 2017

We’re regularly gushing about the incredible work of Amanda Henderson’s Gloss Creative, the Melbourne-based creative firm responsible for the kind of awe-inspiring event installations that have people talking (and ‘gramming) for weeks on end. Like any business, though, Gloss is only as slick as all of its components – and Amanda has nothing but praise for her right-hand-woman, Jehanne Postma.

Twenty-seven-year-old Jehanne graduated from RMIT with a Diploma of Visual Merchandising and in her three years working with Gloss Creative, has built on her skill set to become an invaluable member of their small team.

Just last night (ah, the pace of online media!), we chatted to this ‘arbiter of cool’ as she applied the finishing touches to the Myer Marquee for this year’s Spring Racing Carnival in Flemington.

The most important verb in your dream-job lexicon is…

… do what you love! Success is easy when you are passionate and motivated about your work.

I landed this job by…

… extreme persistence.

I volunteered many, many hours in visual merchandising, event production, photo styling, fashion festivals and art production for film. And then I also freelanced as a production assistant for several design and event studios including Creative Production Services, AMMEvents, Flock Agency, Dot Dot Dash and Moth Design.

I think if you really want something, a back up plan is not an option. You have to decide what you want and make it happen, your back up plan is just a waiting room for the real deal.

A typical day for me involves…

As soon as I wake up I scroll through Instagram for what has been happening globally overnight. I think it is important to look for trends in fashion, colour, materials and interiors.

On arrival at the studio, I get together with the team for a brainstorm where we share any inspirations we are loving. If we happen to be in the concept-development phase of a project, we will sketch our ideas and go off on all sorts of tangents; sometimes a brainstorm can last a couple of hours and we just keep talking until we get onto a few creative threads we’re all excited about.

Then I will go back to my desk and I’ll start to build mood boards to create the style and tone of our creative response. A lot of my day is spent on Pinterest and design blogs searching for the right palettes and moods.

Lunch is the best part of the day, we huddle around Amanda’s AGA oven for our favourite pho or chicken rolls from the local bakery ‘Irma’s Delights’. Following this, team will regroup over sugar and make a new project list for the afternoon. And on some days I will go out sourcing or have client presentations – one of the most stressful parts of the job is whether or not our printer decides to work.

And, a typical day for me when we are working on a project like Spring Racing Carnival (yesterday!) involves…

Being onsite or installing could be from 6am to 1am the following morning.

I supervise the creative production of projects with an incredible array of makers.

We will visit suppliers such as builders, metal workers, sign makers, seamstresses and florists to create mock up installations. We might start the day at a factory and end up at a furniture showroom or rose farm!

In between this, I am often sourcing hire and styling items, organising staff, updating presentations for clients and juggling budgets.

The most rewarding part of my job is…

I have been really lucky to work with some of the most talented people in the industry at Gloss: creative producers, an interior architect, graphic designers and event managers. I’ve been able to learn so much from these amazing mentors.

I get to go on a lot of interstate trips for runways and events, where we work in so many amazing locations: from private houses, to architectural sites and restaurants.

My favourite part might actually be all the plants and flowers we get to take home after events, but there are actually way too many rewards to list here…

On the other hand, the most challenging aspect is…

… letting go of ideas you become attached to. Concepts can change so quickly with timing and budget restraints, and it can be hard to let go of the image you have in your mind.

I work to tight deadlines, but that’s not always a bad thing – I’m definitely a fan of the last minute, you can make amazing things happen when you’re under pressure. I’m actually writing this on four-hours sleep on the last leg of a three-week install!

The culture of my workplace is…

Our studio culture is really positive – there’s a lot of freedom to contribute to projects. It’s actually really relaxed, but we are always working to take things to the next level. We all get super excited about our ideas and that’s what makes it fun.

At work, I’m always…

According to Amanda, I am a diplomatic and prolific email writer, and arbiter of cool – I’ll take that!

On Job Day at school, I dressed up as…

I didn’t have one, but I originally thought I would like to become a graphic designer or web designer.

My idea of the perfect workplace is…

Our studio has plenty of natural light, a beautiful view of the garden through the seasons and lots of exciting flower deliveries. In contrast, my desk is organised chaos – lots of samples, a landslide of floor plans and all the creative documents we’re working on.

The best piece of advice I’ve received is…

All problems can be solved. There will often be a last minute ‘crisis’ where we need signage, 300 new chairs or interstate building materials, but it just takes time and amazing suppliers for all things to be worked out. Perspective is really important.

I’m a little suspicious when things run too smoothly – you have to expect that something will go wrong and try to pre-empt it before it happens.

Over the years, Gloss Creative has…

When I started, I assisted on installations and now I’m involved across all stages from creativity, client liaison, project management and production.

The type of projects we work on has also evolved since I began, I started out visual merchandising and now we work more on events and temporary installations, so my career path has completely transformed.

In the next five years, I’d like to…

I actually don’t even think about the next five years, because what’s happening now is so exciting.

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