A Chat with Libby Walsh from Prop Hire Online
For Libby Walsh, the owner of Prop Hire Online, keeping precious pieces on the website and out of her own home is a definite challenge. “I’m not going to lie… there have been one or two pieces that I purchased for the business that have never quite made it onto the website,” she tells me – and I don’t blame her! The site is not only the go-to space for stylists and event organisers in need of amazing props, but they sell some of the pieces to the general public too (I am dying!).
A visual merchandiser with ten years’ experience under her belt, Libby became owner of the business recently and says the proposition was a no-brainer, adding that sourcing the props is the most rewarding part.
“For me it’s not a difficult process at all, as I love heading out to country auctions and getting amongst the bidding wars for the perfect piece,” she says. “Some are sourced brand new from overseas or right here in Australia, others are collected from auctions/op shops and some we even make ourselves”.
Having featured in magazines and at big events, Libby tells me that each prop they source is unique and has lived quite a life of its own.
“The stories our little props could tell would be amazing. They have been on beach photo shoots, been out in the country with cattle, showcased on display for events and in restaurants and have been in the hands of some of our countries most talented and well respected stylists.”
How she manages to hand them over to stylists without keeping them for her own home is beyond me. Can you imagine having endless treasures just waiting to be made into vignettes in your living space?
“When I initially took on the business, I was given some great advice from a Sydney-based Stylist who told me not place any props on our site that I don’t love,” Libby says. “I always keep this in mind when prop shopping for the site… which can at times make it difficult to be strong and say NO to finding a little nook for it in our house!”
The business has two other fabulous points of difference, too; a prop delivery service, which gets props to you without the extended wait, as well as the ‘find an assistant stylist’ service, which as the name suggests, connects stylist with some much-needed help for shoots.
“We do not charge any type of fee or commission to contact an Assistant Stylist via their details on our website and to book in a shoot or event with them,” Libby tells me, “and they specialise in all different fields of styling including food, fashion, interiors, still life and events”.
Be on the lookout for the next G-Sale, which is when Prop Hire Online sells props they are no longer using to the public at exceptional prices (I will race you to nab these props, Creatives!)