NEWCASTLE has a swag of co-working spaces but new Mayfield East entry The Muster Collective arguably takes the creative cake.
Located on the corner of Maitland Road and Havelock Street, the industrial chic hub is the love project of Mayfield couple Kristy and Tanille Elley.
The pair bought the 1940s building previously run by three families as Mayfield East newsagency in July last year but it wasn’t until the lease came up in February this year that they brought the Deco corner site back to its original glory.
Kristy, an interiors stylist and artist who has renovated and flipped five homes over the years, admits it was her biggest project to date but she and Tanille had a clear vision.
“Even though Mayfield has a lot of hair salons they are behind the times and we’d noticed the diversity of the people in our suburb and we wanted to offer something on trend,” she says.
The central focus of The Muster Point – a reference to both the building and the rich history of BHP in the area –is The Cutting Division, a co-working space for independent hair stylists.
There are four stylists – Sophie Lewis, Tiff Norton, Kellie Manusui and Amelia Colley – with two more chairs open for hire.
Though neither Kristy or Tanille are hair stylists, Kristy says her hospitality background enabled her to see the similarity with the hair industry: long hours, low pay and little flexibility,
The idea, then, of The Cutting Division is to allow freelancers to pay a competitive rent and run their own show while avoiding the risks involved with starting their own businesses, including the overheads.
“They can come in with a small bond and their tools and they are ready to operate immediately,” Kristie says.
“We have likeminded people who are happy to not be alone in the home salon, sharing knowledge and helping one another.”
Ms Norton, a stylist who also specialises in barbering, certainly agrees: “It’s like a mini family, we help each other out, bounce ideas one another, and we all want each other to succeed.”
Completing what is a very stylish site is The Feeder, a foodtruck run by Tanille’s mum Ranene, who serves up home-style cooking including seriously good toasties, soups and healthy smoothies made with produce from the Newcastle Farmers Market and local food businesses including Pork Ewe Deli and Hunter Valley Pasta Co.
Open to the public and not just those dropping in for a hair cut, The Feeder – which takes its name from Ranene’s habit of feeding her daughter and a wide collective of her friends – also offers take-home meals for dinner including lasagna.
The Muster Point is on Facebook and Instagram.