Creative Corners: Hello HOLT & Muster Point (Part 2)

If you haven't yet read Part One of my chat with Kristy and Tanille about HELLO HOLT and Muster Point, then click here first to catch up on the conversation.

Last time I was talking to Kristy and Tanille about the creation of Muster Point and Hello Holt, and the journey that has gotten them to where they are today. For this second and final part of the interview I talk to them a bit more about creativity and what gets them inspired, find out about some of the challenges they've faced and what the future may hold for them.

How would you define creativity?

Kristy: I think when it’s within you it’s just there. I think even non-creative people can relate to creative things, it can touch on everyone. For me, when I’m really in the zone, it’s effortless; it’s just kind of there.

Tanille: I think maybe it’s thinking outside the square, or as Kristy would say, outside the triangle (laughs). For Kristy, it’s being unique and distinct. She just looks at things completely differently. Like, we can go to Bid Barn, which is like an auction house, and there’ll be some old crate from a shipping port and I think ‘oh there’s an old crate from a shipping port’. Next thing it will be at our house and it’s painted black, tipped upside and it has wheels. I think creativity is a very difficult thing to describe.

Kristy: It’s one of those things you don’t really think about, it’s a doing thing.

Do you think creativity is something we’re all born with or something we learn?

Tanille: I think you either have it or you don’t, I know Kristy you disagree with that.

Kristy: I think we’re all born with it; it’s just how it’s nurtured. I’ve come across a few different people in my time who I think liked the idea of being a creative person, but I could see it was hard for them. It sounds really stuck up, but I never really went to art school because I thought, you can’t teach it.

Tanille: I guess everyone is born with it, but sometimes the environment stamps it out, and I think that’s been Kristy’s benefit of not going.

Kristy: Yeah, in high school I had one teacher in particular who said, you can’t draw that, that’s been done before. So I think I had this stigma that if I went to art school they would tell me how to rather than just letting.

Tanille: And nobody tells Kristy what to do, at all (laughs)

Kristy: I just think it’s weird. As a creative, yeah you can be shown different mediums and be told, maybe try working with charcoal, as a suggestion. But in those last two years of high school that teacher really rubbed me the wrong way. I thought no, this is my idea, I haven’t seen it before, this is what I’ve come up with. I didn’t feel like I was supported in what I wanted to do but criticised. I ended up sticking with my guns and doing what he told me not to do and I ended up getting 40/40 for it. So that’s where I think if you’re born with it, you will do it your way.

Tanille: Even as children I could probably tell you stories where I was a naughtier adolescent, but Kristy was the kind of kid who was happy creating in her room while the other kids were playing.  I think it can be quite an isolating job and some might see that as a sacrifice but I think that’s what has always given you the most joy, so it couldn’t be stamped out of you; you’ve always gone back to it.

What puts you in a creative mood?
Kristy: I’m defining a bit of ritual. I usually put some Michael Jackson on and he just gets me in a good mood. It’s that adrenaline that I think you need to start the day. Sometimes I might do ten star jumps just to get the heart rate going.

Tanille: Really! I’m so setting up hidden cameras (laughs). It’s like you’re limbering up. I just thought you cleaned and reorganized the studio every single time (laughs). I did not know about the star jump thing, that’s awesome.

Kristy: Well sometimes that’s it, you know the feng shui thing where you just need to move 27 things each time. But yeah you just get that rush!

Tanille: Well it’s all happiness isn’t it, like that’s a really happy and positive vibe you’re creating.

Kristy: But some days you do find that it’s just hard. You just go, man this isn’t flowing today.

Tanille: Or you might play with some other things and then go back to the collection. You might not necessarily go straight to the collection that you’re working on, and then we get to keep the things you’ve just played with.

What’s been an opposition you’ve faced along way with either Muster Point of Hello Holt and what has it taught you?

Tanille: I think the biggest challenge for me is, regardless of how much planning and how much thought, consideration and money you put into something, we’d so often have to do things twice or ourselves. Sometimes it’s just easier to do some things yourself or just accept that things aren’t going to go right the first time, and having that confidence to speak up and tell people. Otherwise we wouldn’t have the end product that we have with this space.

Kristy: We were very fortunate that our timeline stayed pretty much on track and we got on really well with the builders, but I couldn’t leave them here unattended because the time when you did you’d come back and go, no that angle of the door doesn’t line up with that angle. We are quite, not perfectionist, but we do like things a certain way and we wanted it that way and had thought about it to be that way.

Tanille: I think the best thing we did was having a clear vision from the start. We’ve brought each of our individual backgrounds into it. We’ve sat in every chair and thought about it as a customer, whether they would be happy. We’ve thought about what you might want at a hairdresser, that sometimes at night you need to still work out dinner when you get home, so there is takeaway food here that people could go home and heat up. Even the styling, we’ve really thrown ourselves into it. So we needed those six months.

What has been the most rewarding thing about putting together Muster Point?

Kristy: I think, because Mayfield is progressive, and being locals here, we want to see more like this, where it’s bringing in a certain flavour of person that will allow the postcode to be what it truly can be. So the proud moment is that we’ve created something in a space we live in and that’s for the locals, because there is so many people like us in our age bracket living here.

Tanille: I think in some ways we were up against it because of that. We love the progress but at times others aren’t as pro-change as what we are. But I think that’s the most rewarding, that we’ve created something in suburb that over the years has had all these different stereotypes.

Kristy: Definitely, we’re breaking through that.

Tanille:  That was some of the conversations we were having early on. We love going to Melbourne and Sydney, but when we go to those cities we don’t go to the CBD’s because all the cool stuff happens on the fringe. So we were like, how is it that Newcastle has this mentality that, unless you’re in 2300 you must be a bit sub-par. So that’s been the most rewarding, that we’ve been able to do this in this suburb.

Kristy: And more will follow and I think that’s going to be great for Mayfield and all the newbies moving in here. It’s building more of a community.

Tanille: It’s also the biggest thing we’ve ever done together, which is rewarding in itself.

Any future plans?

Tanille: Because we do own the building there is the upstairs section as well. So we definitely are already thinking about how we can roll something out of the same flavour and continue the collective vibe and the platform for people to own their own business. I think that’s something we definitely want to continue, at least on this site upstairs. I think at that point we’d sit back and reassess. We love this building, like from the minute we knew it could have been ours we’ve just been working out how to get it.

Kristy: We just had to have it (laughs). Like, right ok how do we make this happen? Ok you sell that and I’ll sell this. So we sold our car and went down to one car.

Tanille: But there’s so much we can do still to work on this business to. We are not the kind of people who have opened this one to collect rent from these stylists and then say, see you when you’re contract is up. We really want to have Muster Point as an umbrella brand that would be recognised, and help these people along the way. With our background, with Kristy owning a small business and myself in a more academic side of business, we want to help and kind of mentor them, giving them marketing strategies, and all that sort of stuff. So while the physical stuff is almost over, there’s heaps more we can spend our time on.

Kristy: and we’ll get a buzz out of that. I love seeing all of this be successful and that we’ve worked to get here. It’s all about hard work and taking risks.

Tanille: Now we’ll work on this from afar, and I think the next step is to band together and work on HELLO HOLT and really push that forward as a business rather than just a solo artist. There’s so much scope for that to become so much more. While Kristy is and has always been so focused on painted works, there’s so much room to play in that space. At the moment it’s hard to take our mind off this building because we’ve spent literally five months unable to think about anything else. But having this fully operational and now being able to be mobile where we could say, lets go to Byron and spend a few days doing the marketing from there. But with the income from Muster Point, the whole intention was to free both of us to work on HELLO HOLT together. Kristy more enjoys being on the tools and the brushes rather than on social media and writing stuff for the website, or the fiddly stuff like contacting suppliers.

Kristy: because it takes away from my time to create (laughs).

Tanille: So ultimately next year will be the year we really move towards progressing HELLO HOLT as a full time business.

What's your opinion?

  1. I'm obsessed with this space! Such gorgeous photos!

    Sharni //


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