The Grey Attic is a creative concept that merges styling, creative direction and writing. More than just a blog, Annika and Dean love creating longer form articles with more substantial content. In their professional lives the stylish duo help like-minded brands create beautiful content. I met them recently on a photoshoot at Showroom and we instantly connected over shared passions and experience as creative entrepreneurs here in beautiful Brisbane. Not only did they pen a piece about my business, Showroom, on their blog, but graciously agreed to answer my most burning questions for publication here. Enjoy!
What did you do before starting The Grey Attic?
A | I was a creative director in a fashion retailer’s marketing department.
D | I did all sorts of things from running my own business to studying engineering, to joining the army.
What are the key elements that go into creating The Grey Attic’s unique vibe?
We’re pretty particular and (borderline) obsessive perfectionists. We bring lots of attention to detail to everything we choose to collaborate on or feature so make sure that everything we put into the world truly reflects our point of view. Our style is minimal, clean and crisp. We’re really interested in shooting concepts and pushing high fashion boundaries.
What do you love most about running your own creative business?
Lots of things. Like being able to work together every day. Creating fantasy lands in photo shoots. Challenging ourselves. It’s so rewarding to starting with an idea, watch how quickly it changes, molding it into something that reflects our aesthetic, and translating it into something that works for our clients. We love having control over all the intricate details that go into creating imagery, so from inception to delivery, it’s key that things feel like they work for us.
How do you define your personal style?
We tend to choose pieces that are effortless, not showy. (Although Dean does like his accessories!) Our personal style is more about uniform dressing and exploring concept than embracing trends.
Give us some awesome tools that simplify your workflow as a creative and entrepreneur:
1. Our editorial calendar
2. Our social media plan
3. Checking emails first thing and keeping our inbox clear
4. Having regular meetings with each other.
We still write endless notes and lists, but we input them all into Excel saved in Dropbox. This system’s been brilliant for pulling together all our client sheets, ideas, and schedules.
We also find it helpful to have structures in place each day to check in on what’s going on, and what needs attention. Free-for-all creativity still needs some bounds so we all know what the end game is in a work sense. When bouncing ideas it’s great to be endlessly creative, but when it’s about putting a project together you need an actual plan.
Which other design / creative brands inspire you?
A | I’m mostly inspired by print magazines like Acme, Paper, Interview Magazine and Industry Magazine. Large print magazines really inspire me because they’re not so functional – they’re print media as print media was originally intended. There’s so much thought put into the paper, the ink, the binding, etc… I love all those details.
D | I’m inspired by visionaires like Rick Owens and Yogi Yammamoto who know what they wanted and followed through. I’m also personally inspired by buildings and music. I love light and white.
What’s the first website you load when you wake up in the morning?
Gmail. Pinterest. Style.com
What’s your favourite hashtag?
A | I don’t like hashtags, but I do search hashtags to find imagery of events I wish I’d seen in real life.
D | I follow particular photographer’s hashtags so I can see their whole body of work. That’s pretty conveninent.
Do you feel optimistic about the creative scene In Brisbane? Why or why not?
Yes and no. Brisbane is a fast moving market where people are always interested in the next cool thing. From a fashion perspective, it can be competitive in a way that tends to make people somewhat guarded, simply because there isn’t a huge amount of work on offer here. Still, the fashion scene in Brisbane is more open than in Sydney. It’s exciting to see how much Brisbane has grown and how much great talent is coming out of here.
How do you like to recharge creatively? (Where do you go, what do you do?)
A | Yoga. Read. Watch TV shows. Take our dog for a walk and not bring our phones. Red wine.
D | Petting Arlo our dog. Really loud music. Reading. Grabbing a coffee and walking in New Farm Park.