Retro Restoration with My Little Rockabilly

 ‘I do not import products or sell reproduction. I hand-make or restore everything. We love giving pieces of furniture that may of been thrown out a new lease on life.’

Meet Kat Creasey of My Little Rockabilly – an Australian businesswoman, pin-up, vintage makeup artist and hair stylist, and a lover of history with a deep passion for anything mid century – including cars, architecture, styling, fashion, interior design, and music. Along with her father Peter and her partner Matt, Kat lovingly restores classic cars and furniture (and vintage caravans, one of which I purchased recently.) Kat also sells vintage and homewares at an antiques store, and organises vintage and retro events across Queensland.

In a world where ‘New’ is king, and our landfills and oceans are overflowing with garbage, we could use more restoration and rediscovery of the beautiful objects of the past. I’m thrilled Kat found time in her busy schedule to stop by for a chat and show off her proudest restoration work – her wagon.

What got you interested in vintage, retro and rockabilly?

I grew up with parents mad about hot rods and classic cars and have learned a lot from my father (Peter Creasey) when it comes to building, restoration and customisation. He is a very talented man and deserves more recognition for his abilities. Styling from yesteryear is my consistent inspiration, and I dress in vintage daily to work. I am often encouraged to use my knowledge for various events and target audiences to do with the ‘retro lifestyle’.

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Above: Kat Creasey photographed by Matt Redwood. Image at top of blog by Pinned Photography.

When did you start your business, My Little Rockabilly, and what has the response been? Where did you learn the skills you use in the business?

MLR Started in 2004 when I decided to transform my hippy jewellery brand into a Rockabilly Retro accessories brand, which then progressed into multiple avenues such as furniture, hair and makeup, and events. The response has been amazing, I am known for being ‘hands on’. I do not import products or sell reproduction. I hand-make or restore everything.

We love giving pieces of furniture that may of been thrown out a new lease on life and paint them in two pack enamel for that classic car steel finish – nothing gives me more of a buzz than seeing how someone has incorporated the pieces we spent hours on in their homes.

You are quite vocal about your love of Australia’s sunny Gold Coast. Can you tell us more?

The Gold Coast is rich in 1940s, 50s and 60s history and many of the houses and buildings still remain from this period. I collect memorabilia, photographs and tourism products from the Gold Coast and constantly research this city during that time period. I host regular events and markets are various locations across QLD that celebrate the rich history the coastal towns have, with music, cars and stalls suited to the theme. Our very talented stall holders who make reproduction or sell genuine vintage follow our pop up events wherever we go. We are very lucky to have such a tight network of creative people trust our event abilities.

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Above: Kat Creasey photographed by Lauren Horwood.

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Above: Kat Creasey photographed by Lauren Horwood.

How did you first get into working as a hair and makeup artist, and how do you find the experience?

A few people asked if I could do their hair like mine, so I started to just help out people here and there. Then my mum suggested I set up at Cooly Rocks On – formerly called Wintersun – with a ‘Hair styles by donation’ sign. I had hundreds of girls over a three day long weekend line up and get their hair done by me. It was fantastic! I learned different types of hair and makeup on different hair textures and I really feel just practicing on different people has helped me grow to what I can do now. Although I am a qualified hair and makeup stylist and I do a lot of weddings, plus I travel and host vintage hair and makeup workshops, my main passion is social media, marketing and events and I can see myself doing this forever.

I am one of those people that cannot ever switch off, and have constant ideas flowing through my head – constantly thinking of different business ventures and always have ten things on the go.

I know you love mid century music, and you share my obsession with The Cramps. Which singers and bands are you listening to at the moment?

I am into rockabilly music, but I love surf, psychobilly, The Cramps, and blues and country, too. Wanda Jackson is my idol! My favourite is Funnel of Love. Plus, a lot of amazing bands come out of Sweden, including The Go Getters.

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Above: Kat restores a vintage fridge.

What restoration work are you most proud of so far?

My 1964 Ford Flacon wagon for sure! It was a real family project, and means a lot to me.

when we got it home

Above: The wagon when it first arrived.

Tiki wagon after

Above: The ‘Tiki Wagon’ after restoration.

For more of Kat Creasey, retro, restoration and My Little Rockabilly, check out her Kat Creasey and My Little Rockabilly Facebook pages, and her Instagram.

1 Comment

  1. Frances Timpano

    Dear Kat,

    I am interested in doing some research on were to purchase and also the environmental costs of running a vintage fridge.
    Are you able to help?
    I live in Sydney .

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