My plan for this year of study is head down, work hard, eyes and ears open and meet as many creative people as possible. So, late last year when I read a The Design Files feature on Sarah Fletcher , founder of Franque in St Kilda, I kept her in mind and got in touch with her a couple of weeks ago. I gave Sarah three options; can I work for you; if not, can I do some work experience with you and finally, can I meet you and pick your brains for half an hour!
Despite the fact this could have been interpreted as potentially stalkerish, Sarah responded in a flash and invited me to her salon, Franque. Franque is Sarah’s baby, a big light-filled 1930’s apartment suite filled with unique antique pieces, from the South of France and Italy, Belgium and The Netherlands, all for sale.
The pieces are beautiful, and even though the space wasn’t set up as such, as Sarah was preparing to turn the room into a lush forest for an upcoming artist event, I knew I was onto something unique and special. Sarah, also painter, has found many other uses for her space which she explained have come about organically from people visiting and loving the space. She holds exhibitions for artists, uses it as a function space, and often lends out her pieces for fashion or lifestyle shoots.
I explained to Sarah who I was, what I wanted from my year and how being creative made me feel. In return, Sarah was approachable, very friendly and offered me an insight into how she came to open Franque, what its like juggling her business with small kids, and suggestions other people I should get in touch with (amongst many other tips and insights). The one piece of advice that stuck was something along the lines of ‘you’ll come across something that will make your heart beat faster, and that’s the direction you should take’.
Sarah reeled off names of people I should contact, as well as putting me in touch with a lovely girl, Tori, who styles Manon Bis and Manon Cie, beautiful, natural homewares and clothing stores in Hawksburn and Armadale respectively. Sarah practically told Tori that I would be shadowing her the next time she re-does a window! Tori was kindly obliging and I had a date the next week to meet her.
I came out of Franque that Friday morning buzzing. Thanks Sarah!