Words by Hannah Rabbitt and images by Mayowa Adeniyi
Published in Moustache Magazine
What do skate boards, international cuisine, well-framed glasses and a whole heap of lumber have in common? Holloway, of course.
Raffaele Persichetti and Martin Gordon Brown are the men behind the very cool, very local and very ethical business. Hidden away in West End, Holloway calls a small, wood-drenched restaurant home. The floor is made from three thousand pieces of chopped log from a boutique mill, dried rose petals and stones filling the crevices. Underneath, their studio is brimming with old skate decks, utensils and couches for long-haul artistic sessions.
“It’s creative compulsive, you can’t help yourself,” Brown says about why they started up, “always playing with reality and trying to make a different version of yourself that’s more in line with your ethics.”
“It’s challenging things…do I need that? And if I need that, how can I make it?”
“There’s nothing complex about it, it’ just super primitive; wanting to be able to food, shelter, clothe yourself…self-sufficiency I suppose.”
Since it’s inception in late 2010, the aim for Holloway has always been to be as local as physically possible. The materials for their glasses and watches, and even their food, are sourced as close as possible to West End.
“Skate decks are dropped in by the local crew who have heard of what we’re doing just by word of mouth. It’s the strongest element of what we do; just try and nail everything and educate people along the way as to how their thing came to be.”
In fact, Brown aims to have their block of land totally self-sufficient for the restaurant side of the business.
“The backyard is being turned into a ponics to plate model. So we’ve got some plans drawn up that we’ve been laboring over to develop an aquaponics system that can be processed through utilizing the fruit and vege and the fish upstairs to serve straight from what was developed here. So you can limit the total exposure of a meal to being within one block.”
With a focus on personalisation and ethics, Holloway’s strongest advertiser is the consumer himself.
“Everyone loves to have a colourful discussion of things so if their like ‘where’d you get the frames?!’ and they’re like ‘this spot; they’re made out of skate decks, you should bring your skate decks in because they use them all the time’.”
And discussion-starters they certainly are. Chances are, you’ve never seen specs made quite like this.
“We’re making frames at the moment out of stone, aluminium, timber, skate deck, horn, which is sourced from the Lyell Dear Farm which is out at Samford.”
Out the front of the restaurant, a seemingly random grand piano sits on the curb.
“A friend dropped it off yesterday. It was just a message in the morning like ‘hey, do you want another piano?’ I’ve ended up collecting them. It’s the most ridiculous thing to collect. They’re just handy for things.”
A doubtful glance at a piano’s usefulness later, and Brown pulls out a pair of glasses with a self-closing hinge; the joints pulled out of said large instrument.
“The idea of a piano is reverse-factoring. If you find like one way to re-use a hammer or something, then you’ve got 88 iterations of it.”
The creative juices and knack for re-modelling things aren’t all haphazard; Persichetti and Brown both (partially) studied industrial design at QUT.
“I ended up not really finishing it just due to not being able to pass one subject which was manufacturing technology plastics. I’m like ‘dude, I don’t want to study plastics so I’m going to fail this thing.’ Why would I even bother to learn all these things…I don’t want to understand it because I’m never going to engage it.”
Engaging seems to be the key for Brown, especially when it comes to the customer.
“It’s all bang on personalisation. We go to painstaking lengths.”
“The returns policy is; if it doesn’t suit you, swap it up. You need to be ninety per cent happy with what’s going on.”
The two seem to have it all worked out; happy customers, ethical consumption of both food and fashion, and a very good use for oversized instruments.
Hop online: http://www.hollowayeyewear.com.au or pop instore to say hey: 69 Hardgrave Road West End.