The Two of Us | Tony + Holly Masters
Tony and Holly Masters are a dynamic duo. Partners in life and work, together they run Morgan Printing, a printing company nestled in Sydney's Inner West, which has been run by Tony's family for 35 years. For Tony and Holly, print media is very much alive and thriving - delivering tactile experiences to draw emotional connections. We caught up with the pair to discover their undying passion for print, why they work so well together and their biggest lesson learnt since they took over the business.
Hi Tony and Holly, tell us about how you first met? Holly: We met 10 years ago via mutual friends. We had our first date over cheap Thai food and the rest is sweet history!
And the journey to where you are today - when did you first get into printing? Tony: I've been printing for 25 years, I did my trade out of school while I worked here at Morgan Printing and slowly moved up through the company until I was running it.
Holly: We bought Morgan Printing in 2013 and that's when I got involved, I had grown a love for print since meeting Tony and was really interested in moving into a more creative field (I have a very corporate background). It's now an obsession for us both.
What’s the best part about working together? Tony: I get to see my beautiful wife’s face every day! Holly is a constant source of inspiration and sharing an office with her is a nice reminder of why we do what we do.
Holly: We have completely different strengths and we compliment each other so well. We made two rules when we took over Morgan Printing, we would respect each other and the roles we play in the business, and we would have fun. We've really held those promises to heart and it has made working together an absolute ball.
How do you switch off from work - is it hard to separate work life from your private life as a couple and not take work home? Holly: Our girls help with switching off, they're young and loving and demand all our attention when we arrive home, which is the best part of the day.
Tell us about your love of print? Holly: We believe in art and communication. For us print is the fusion of ink and paper, skill and passion, resulting in tangible meaningful communication. Whether it be everlasting or fleeting in its individual life span, print is intentional, considered and purposeful. Morgan Printing has been creating printed product since before the first Mac was designed, we were hand placing metal type in ink 40 years before letterpress became 'hip'!
What’s been the biggest lesson learnt since starting Morgan Printing? Tony: Not take things too seriously, there are Doctors savings lives and there is us. When you put it into perspective, it's hard to get wound up if something doesn't go perfectly to plan.
Holly: Work can and should be a source of inspiration and happiness. I spent many years dedicated to a corporate career that I didn't enjoy, I'm so grateful that we decided to buy Morgan Printing and I got to follow a more creative path. I will certainly teach my girls to follow a career path based on how the work makes them feel based on my two differing experiences.
The business has been family owned for many years - can you tell us a little about the background? Holly: Tony’s godparents owned Morgan Printing for over 30 years, Tony started working for them straight from school in 1994. Some of the staff have been with the business for 20 plus years. Tony’s godparents created a family of their employees and a business based on relationships. They also took care of their clients - it's something we feel very privileged to continue.
In the age of digital - do you think print media still plays an important role? Holly: More than ever, print holds its position as a credible and reliable communication method. So many studies have shown that a blend of digital and print deliver more together than purely digital when it comes to brand awareness and sales conversation. Although the age of digital shook print for a while there, overall we don't think it was a bad thing - it encouraged businesses to advocate for the trade and really get back to the roots of what this craft means.
What are you looking forward to in 2018? We're launching a sister business to Morgan Printing called Maybe At Dawn. It will focus on wedding and personal stationery - considered design on really beautiful quality stock, all designed and produced in Australia. We're so excited!
My perfect day would involve: Holly: Hours of uninterrupted reading time. Tony: Coffee, sunshine and family time - not in that order!
I am inspired by: Holly: Game changers and risk takers. Tony: My wife
Best advice we’ve ever received: Just do your very best and that's perfect - from sweet nanna Hazel.
We couldn’t live without: Fun and laughter.
My favourite daily ritual: Tony: Walking in the door to two excited girls at the end of the day. Holly: Morning sleepy cuddles from my girls.
We recently discovered: Chef's Table on Netflix... so good!
On our wish-list: A tropical holiday.
I’m currently reading: Holly: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Tony: Kinfolk Entrepreneur.
And listening to: Holly: Mama Kin Spender. Tony: All In The Mind Podcast.
My guilty pleasure: Tony: Portuguese tarts. Holly: Life is too short to feel guilty about the good stuff!
Our mantra is: We both have our own that's given to you when you're initiated into Vedic Meditation, but you're not allowed to share it...even with each other.