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Besties in Business: Mimi Myrtle + Co

Megan Schmidtke, around fourteen years ago, moved schools. She was quickly welcomed by the friendly Miriam McWilliam, who became not only a bestie but also – in the eyes of many – perhaps a twin, too.

“I remember the day I met Miriam at high school I was new, it was 14 years ago,” she recalls.

“She had such a calm presence, so very innocent..or so I thought,”  Schmidtke reminisces. “She was undoubtably the Party Queen and still is. People thought we were the same person so I constantly just waved when people would mistake us, as did she. It’s great to have a best friend and twin in one.”

Mimi and Myrtle, aka Miriam McWilliam and Meg Schmidtke

Mimi and Myrtle, aka Miriam McWilliam and Meg Schmidtke

Plans were forged to join forces and have a business together one day.

And, finally, after years of working in their fields and travelling around, it was time for the two friends to officially collaborate together in a creative partnership. So,  Mimi Myrtle and Co was launched!

Located in Yarraville, Mimi Myrtle And Co is a Melbourne design collective that combines the powerhouse of resources, talents and vision that these two creatives possess. And gives room for their co, as well!

First, about the names. ‘Mimi’ is the graphic designer Miriam McWilliam and florist Meg Schmidtke is ‘Myrtle’.

Talents combined, Mimi Myrtle is a design studio that works in events (think weddings, with Mimi’s design prowess and flower power expertise from Myrtle)  floristry, design and, with their workshop series, just general creativity too.

Speaking of weddings, Schmidtke, has plenty of experience making a bride’s special day heavy on special.

“I love chatting with excited, sometimes overwhelmed brides about every detail of the day,” she says. “For most people it will be the most detailed event they will ever coordinate and I’m happy to bring the flower aspect because obviously that’s the most delightful part!”

For florists, weddings are all go-go-go (not for the faint hearted) and this florist enjoys making it happen. “I have fond memories of every wedding..after the sleepless nights and running like crazy is over.”

Yet, creativity can strike at ‘different’ working hours for many, including McWilliam.

“Creativity at its most purest form, comes at different hours, on different days and in many different ways,” she says.

There’s so much that can come from good creative partnership, as the girls know.

“We turn most events into a collaboration of some kind! We’ve worked together on parties, charity events & photo shoots,” says Schmidtke.

A fun part of their studio, the girls regularly run creative workshops. This one was on pom pom making!

A fun part of their studio, the girls regularly run creative workshops. This one was on pom pom making!

Pom pom making at work!

Pom pom making at work!

Every pom pom making workshop is best fared with punch!

Every pom pom making workshop is best fared with coffee!

Inspiration is often nearby for these two and for the Lorne born McWilliam, this always includes nature.

“A change in landscape is the most creative stimulation for me,” says McWilliam, who cites places like Melbourne, Italy, Spain, France and Croatia as inspiring. “Mainly cultures and spaces with lots of colour, pattern, vibrancy and life. The ocean is a natural version of this for me.” The bold beauty from Aussie designer Jenny Kee is also an influence.

For her creative counterpart, checking out American flower blogs (“they style flowers in such a lovely natural and abundant way”) is inspiring, as well as simply taking time to notice what’s around her.

“I love Melbourne, I always find inspiration here. I never plan to go to a ‘creative place’, I just admire details in the everyday.”

Mimi-Myrtle + Co HQ

Mimi-Myrtle + Co HQ Photograph: Joe Ashton

The girls were kind enough to give some tips for other besties thinking about going into business together.

“Talk to a business coach to refine all your ideas, it’s great to get professional advice but also have a third person to put everything into perspective.”

From making flower garlands to pom poms and cute terrarium necklaces, check out Mimi Myrtle and Co’s upcoming Spring workshops!


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