Hoarding has never looked so good. And for interiors stylist Glen Proebstel and his business partner, Rachael Hart, they’ve made a living out of it. The talented duo run Prop.d – now known as The Establishment Studios – a business that specialises in providing props for all kinds of occasions.
“We have a huge range of props that we hire out for events, launches, shoots and dinners,” Hart explains. “From dainty wine glass tea cups for your high tea baby shower, or vintage leather Chesterfield couches for your 20s smoking lounge cocktail party.”
Their collection is exhausting and includes ceramics, glassware, rusty signs, vintage cameras, tin buckets and, most interestingly, an assortment of toothbrushes, which Proebstel collects from different countries. It’s all displayed beautifully in an old warehouse. Light and large warehouses are few and far between in the inner city, so when the old mill in Prahran hit the market last year, Hart and Proebstel crossed the river for it.
“Most commonly, a stylist will come in and select a variety of items to suit their brief,” Proebstel explains. “For example, if they are sourcing for a cook book they will come in and hire napery, crockery, cutlery, surfaces (table tops) and other bits and pieces to complete their shots. Sometimes they already know what they want without even coming into the showroom. In that case, we will just wrap it up pop it in a box and courier it out to their shoot.”
Their website features a comprehensive list of products too, enabling stylists to research and select items before they go into the studios.
“We feel that the success of the business is based around how we have a lot of unique and unusual pieces that one could often spend weeks if not months trying to find,” Hart says.
Right now, taxidermy is proving popular. “Eagle in flight, that type of thing,” Hart laughs. “We have also had some requests to send pieces for hire over to the America and Paris. The freight charges made things a little pricey.”
Moving the business to Prahran has also enabled Proebstel and Hart to not only grow the props business, but also expand into other areas.
“We can now offer a wider range of furniture to hire for events and photography as we have space to hold larger pieces. And of course we can also offer the studio space for shoots and other small events,” says Hart.
“We wanted to have an amazing, creative space where people could express themselves, whether for commercial ventures or creatively,” Proebstel adds.
With Proebstel’s passion for food styling, plans are afoot to design a mobile kitchen with Smeg for shoots, while the finishing touches have just been applied to a video.
Watch the video here: