Two women, each creative wonders in their own right, have joined forces to create ?an aesthetically awesome event planning gig. Meet Stephanie Stamatis and Sarah Cooper.

Can you tell us a little about your backgrounds? SC: I’m the founder of The Brainery Store, a concept about people and ideas, which holds events in pop-up locations around Australia. From an internship in New York, I became inspired by gatherings of all sorts and from there, after coming home, spent much time shaping what we create today, both with Stephanie and at The Brainery Store events. SS: I studied and worked as an interior designer for years before I started up ?Stephanie Somebody which I used as a creative outlet while I still worked an office job. About a year ago I was lucky enough to be able to take the plunge into self employment and now spend my time working as a stylist and designer.

How did you two lovely ladies get into the event planning game? SC: We connected through a photograph that Stephanie took, which was shared on her Instagram. In February 2013, I was proposed to under a tree at the Abbotsford Convent. I had only a few weeks previously seen an image that Stephanie had taken of this particular tree in a white-washed courtyard and so contacted her, asking if she may be able to sell the image as a keepsake. Being the beautiful generous person she is, of course she said yes. So we met at the Northcote Bakeshop and from there have been collaborating and having coffee ever since. SS: Working together was a very natural progression. When I was offered the amazing opportunity to work with Kinfolk magazine, Sarah was the obvious choice to collaborate with for the event. Since then we haven’t stopped! Local was a long time coming but happened very organically. We have a shared sense of aesthetic and inspiration so continue to be excited to work together on new challenges.

Talk us through a typical day in the Local Gatherings office? SS: We don’t have a typical day, which we love. We both juggle different ventures, so planning to spend time on Local projects is always exciting for us. Our office started as our local cafe, but we are now lucky to be based in our Brunswick studio. On a Local day, coffee is always our first stop. It’s a nice opportunity to debrief and catch up before hitting the laptops. As any creative would know, emails are always overflowing and calls need to be returned so we will spend some solid time getting up-to-date, scheduling and planning for upcoming events, and if we’re lucky exploring and sourcing. We will usually pop out for another cheeky coffee break in the afternoon!

Favourite kind of wedding to plan for? SS: We love a balance of breaking and honouring tradition. Our favourite event is visually stunning but still holds honest sentiment at its heart. These weddings would consist of a few of our favourite things; shared feasts that invite conversation, long tables with candles and foliage, seasonal produce, and an honesty of sentiment. A picturesque location and a brass band is always a bonus!

Where do you find your inspiration? SS: We find it in our everyday surroundings. For example, during fig season we spend hours looking down alleyways for the perfect overhanging fruit. Opportunities to talk and reminisce about our family dinners and occasions, the food we share with friends and our community of like-minded souls here in Australia and abroad. When we are designing events we like to spend time talking to our clients and are inspired by their history and influences and try to tie in elements of their personal stories to the event.

What are your favourite three venues to style for a wedding? SS: Butterland in Newstead, a stunning converted butter factory, Pop&Scott in Northcote, a co-op workshop full of incredible creatives and fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne’s CBD, with the perfect combination of white brick walls and worn timber floors.

What kind of things can you help a bride and groom out with? We love to be involved in all creative and logistical aspects of the day. From helping select the perfect location, floral design, consultation on invitation design through to event planning and coordination on the day. We can also help with colour palettes as well as sourcing the perfect furniture. Everything and anything really!
Where can we see more of your work? We have lots of exciting projects in the works so keep your eyes peeled on our website and follow us on Facebook.

To see more DIY, styling and real wedding inspiration make sure you have your own copy of Hello May magazine, issue five is still on sale but only for a few more weeks! To order a copy online click here or find your nearest stockist here.

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CREDITS Photos Tara Pearce // Styling Local Gatherings.