I started Melbourne independent record label Two Bright Lakes, in 2007 with friends Tig Huggins, Blake Byron Smith, Nick Huggins, Adrian Simons and Chris Bolton.
We began by putting together a simple manifesto, which stated a commitment to quality over quantity, dedication to artist controlled copyright, transparency in business and the sharing of knowledge and ideas. We built the community and the business that is Two Bright Lakes by pooling resources, learning from other local labels and music entities and keeping the work fun by only getting behind music and art we loved and celebrating it with a lot of parties.
I discovered that I enjoyed the business side of music and developed a hunger to learn about other aspects of the industry like publishing, music law, band management and publicity. In 2009 I began managing bands, starting with Kid Sam, then Oscar and Martin (2010) and The Harpoons (2012). I started a law degree in 2011 (part-time), which helps to broaden my perspective on the business that I do (I hope to complete the degree before I'm 50!).
These days the label is run by just 3 of us; Tig, Blake and myself. We have a publishing joint venture with Gaga Music, publicity and distribution deals through Remote Control/Inertia, we organise Australian tours for international bands, help curate the music for Sugar Mountain Festival and continue to support and release the music we love.
Schoolhouse Studios is a creative community environment, operating out of an old school. It supports individuals and creative businesses; providing affordable workspaces for artists across diverse media, methods and contexts enabling them to focus, collaborate and learn.
After working out of an office at SHS for 2 years I took on the job as events manager; organising exhibitions, music, theatre and dance performances and hiring out our spaces for classes (yoga, drawing, sculpture, flamenco…). Not long after that I joined the management team with my cousin and long time collaborator Alice Glenn (of No Lights No Lycra). We now run the studios together and are in the process of moving sites to an old factory where we'll have a longer lease that allows us to expand our community to include a mentorship program, a cafe, a communal games room, gallery, indoor gardens and event spaces.
In everything that I do, the people are the most important part. All these ventures promote community building, skills sharing, supporting each other, taking risks, learning from doing, making mistakes and asking for help.