Tash Mathers is a shining example of a local entrepreneur who is also an incredible ambassador for the Mornington Peninsula.
Growing up in the area, Tash has lived here all her life, other than her travels overseas and time spent in Melbourne during her studies and early in her career. She was always drawn back to the Peninsula though, and it’s here that Tash has built a legacy for herself and her family.
“I have always loved the freedom. The sense of space is so re-energising, and you feel like anything is possible,” says Tash.
“I grew up on a large property with 18 acres of land so I have always enjoyed the outdoors. I had a horse so I loved to ride. And being near the coast we always spent time at the beach too. You can be at one with nature on the Mornington Peninsula.”
Tash’s love of nature led her to studying Applied Science at University so she could work in Environmental Management, but as happens in life, destiny took over and her first job was working in the Marketing Department of RMIT. “I worked there for nearly six years with the Graphic Designer who was also a teacher, so I effectively had my own private tutor. It was fantastic – like going to University but being paid for it," laughs Tash.
Tash then went travelling overseas for three years and realised what a great asset her design skills were - she could travel and work anywhere. Returning home in 2000 Tash set up her own graphic design business, Sisko Design, which is still going strong today. One of her first clients was Endota Spa for whom she designed their logo, and she has since worked on the branding and design for businesses right across the Mornington Peninsula.
Toast Wedding Magazine evolved from Tash’s own experience - planning her wedding in February 2006. She discovered that there was no resource for people who didn’t necessarily live in the area but who wanted to get married here. So after getting married locally and enjoying her honeymoon, Tash decided to start up her own magazine – all about weddings on the Mornington Peninsula.
That was 13 years ago, and since then the annual publication has grown immensely, along with Tash’s own publishing skills. Says Tash, “When I look back now at the first few editions I almost cringe, but you have to go through that to learn. And now when I look at the most recent copy which came out last month, I just love it! The journey has been incredible, but our philosophy has always been quite simple – make each magazine better than the previous year."
"Toast Magazine today has changed a lot and grown a lot, and many of our advertisers have grown with us. We’ve really increased the profile of the Mornington Peninsula and the raised the bar of what’s on offer. The industry has grown enormously. It’s a lot more professional, friendly and approachable. We have a really good reputation for offering everything everyone could want for their wedding, and we’ve created a community of like-minded vendors who are all keen to support one another. Our advertisers work for themselves which can be lonely and quite isolating at times, so it’s wonderful for them to be able to reach out to others and be a part of such a supportive network. Toast Magazine works with every kind of wedding provider possible - so readers can find solutions for everything they need when it comes to planning their wedding, from venues, invitations and celebrants, to flowers, catering, wedding dresses, decorations, photographers and videographers."
“We love to provide our readers with inspirational shoots which we style and co-ordinate, to give them ideas of what they can do for their special day. And we also love to showcase real weddings, so we can keep the content authentic, real and attainable. The photographers who are partners with Toast Wedding Magazine submit the weddings they have worked on throughout the year, and we select the ones that we feel most reflect the feeling of what our magazine wants to convey from an atmospheric, stylistic and design point of view.”
Says Tash, "The Mornington Peninsula is such a hot spot for weddings because the area has such a great energy. Everyone who comes here loves it, and leaves here feeling better for the experience. And there are so many extraordinary locations along the coast and in the hinterland as well, but we’re still within easy access of Melbourne’s CBD."
For more information, check out the Toast Magazine website. The annual publication is released every May, and bookings can be submitted from November.
Alatonero shoot: Jessica Rose Photography
Iris Park shoot: Matt Elliott Photography
Moonah Links shoot: Vanessa Norris Photography
All Smiles shoot: Immerse Photography