Hi, I’m Mo Wyse, and that’s my husband, Callum Preston. We are positive, inspired creatives excited about opportunities and future projects and eating movie theatre popcorn and having fun. After 7 years of being together, we got married last year on the 27th of December in my hometown, Seattle, WA. We met in 2008 and did long distance until Callum moved to Seattle in 2010, we worked together for my family’s company and decided to move to Melbourne in 2012 and have been here ever since. We opened an all-vegan latin restaurant, Smith & Daughters in March 2014 with our business partner and head chef, Shannon Martinez and all-vegan deli, Smith & Deli June 2015. Shannon and I released our first book (part designed by Callum) in November 2016, Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (that happens to be vegan). Callum all the while, even during construction, took on every and any project, challenging all skillsets beyond his first profession: graphic designer. Since moving he’s transitioned his business card to read “Callum Preston, Professional Person”. Set design, prop building, videography, photography, carpentry, handyman, anything, everything, he does it all.
Callum and I love challenges, love creating stuff, love pop culture and being people people. We are thrilled to see what’s next. Thanks for having a read.
HAVING LIVED ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE WORLD FOR A PORTION OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP, WAS RELOCATING YOURSELVES TO BE TOGETHER EVER A HARD DECISION?
MW: Never a hard decision. Ever. Just a little bit tricky on logistics. For the US, my family’s company had to sponsor Callum and for me to come here, we had to compile a mountain of paperwork (and $$$) for partner visas. Never a doubt in my mind it was the ‘right’ thing to do, or ever ‘hard’ decision. Once we were together, we had to be together, even if 8k miles separated us for a period of time. Made the time when we were finally together even better.
CP: Never, I knew that the risk of always wondering “what if” would hurt more than if it was the wrong choice. But I was also sure it was the right choice. When you know you know I guess.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TV SHOW TO BINGE WATCH?
MW: Together, always Parks n Rec, The (American) Office, 30 Rock – anything light, usually comedy, that takes our brains off the day. We start and stop series based on the fact that we don’t have a TV. Ironic especially because when I first came to Australia, I worked in TV. But we wait patiently on SBS, ABCiView and Netflix to release what we’re watching. aka The Walking Dead, OITNB, etc.
Separate, Buffy. Again and again and again. Also, Parks n Rec, especially when it’s a season we’ve watched so many times both Callum and I can recite the lines. I don’t care. It’s like having friends over while I fold the laundry and do the dishes.
CP: I just suggested we do LOST again from the start, we did the whole thing in a Seattle winter a few years ago, its been long enough I think I can go again. Mo will always insist on “one more” but she’s always the first to fall asleep. Hazards of a hard-worker.
COMING FROM DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES WITHIN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY, DO YOU FIND THAT MAKES IT EASIER OR HARDER TO COLLABORATE/WORK TOGETHER? AND WHY?
MW: I’m going to be extremely honest with the answer on this one. Callum is a lone wolf, an independent creative, someone who has brilliant ideas and executions. Honestly works outside of the box and thinks up things from different angles from the “norm”. I’m a little more headstrong, pushing ideas and being more on the stubborn side. Callum has, in his epic Callum way, been really smart in putting the more efficient/effective ideas into play. Taking my ideas, and making them more practical. Essentially making them into our ideas. His version of collaboration is saying to me, “I am happy to collaborate, but give me the idea and I will run with it.” And that just works with us. He always turns up something even more epic than the original idea. Which works out well for us, and our businesses. He’s a very, very good listener, taking feedback and suggestions on board, so in that way he’s super collaborative. But the actual creative and execution, that’s all him. But in the same way, we work independently side by side. Our strengths are different to one another. Our details are complementary so it works pretty much perfectly all the time. Our only disagreements come from both of us wanting to do so much for one another to make the other person’s creative process smoother. Which is pretty lovely.
CP: Mo will note that I am not a great collaborator, but in the years we have been together we have worked so closely on so many different projects id say we are now really well built to do so. Ive achieved more with her than I ever had previously, she’s a powerhouse and isn’t afraid to call me on it when I’m not collaborating well, which I need.
TV, MOVIE OR CARTOON CHARACTER DOES YOUR PARTNER MOST REMIND YOU OF?
MW: In terms of a TV/Movie/Cartoon character Callum is kind of a cross between a sexy MacGuyver, Doc Brown/Marty hybrid, Data from The Goonies, and in looks, I used to always say the actor Ed Burns, probably more like a shaved head hotter Brad Pitt/Hemsworth/typical attractive man. But really, stuff all those other characters, Callum’s the whole package… there’s not anyone even fictitious like him!
CP: Leslie Knope for sure. Sometimes a tiny bit more than I would like, but with all of the sweetest parts always.
WHAT ARE EACH OF YOUR FAVOURITE DISHES OUT OF THE NEW SMITH & DAUGHTERS COOKBOOK?
MW: Mushroom Pate all the way. Callum I would say his would be… burritos? Taco party? (is this the Newlywed Game? Did I win a prize?)
CP: Literally anything. Im down!
DO YOU THINK YOUR CAREER WOULD DIFFER IF IT WASN’T FOR YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER?
MW: 100%. I’m an empowered person. I get stuff done. But I couldn’t do half of what I do without the encouragement and support of Callum first, and the practical physical execution of ideas and designs, second. No way. We weren’t business owners, restauranteurs, bosses of 40+ staff, we didn’t know any of this stuff. But we learned. With Callum, I feel like we can make ANYTHING happen. Dare us.
CP: 100%. It would be lacking… Motivation, Inspiration, Activation, Idea Generation. She’s my sounding board, biggest cheerleader, and realest truth teller.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PHRASE, MOTTO OR LYRIC?
MW: PMA (positive mental attitude) – for me
TCB (taking care of business) – for work
MTB (meant to be) – for us.
CP: Do more of what makes you happy. And use whatever skill you have to lift others up (it can be as simple as helping someone move house) be helpful, not harmful.
HAS MARRIAGE CHANGED THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THE WORLD AND THE FUTURE?
MW: Absolutely. Like I said, anything is possible. I am not sure our impact will be any greater than anyone else’s trying to make a difference, but I do know that we will keep going, and producing, and making until we are no longer on this earth. I know that not marriage, but meeting Callum has shown me that if we do decide to bring children into this world, we can make a positive impact. I always thought it was wasteful and selfish, there’s so many children without parents. But there is something to empowering a human with truth and love and the will to make a difference. I didn’t believe it until I met him. But don’t worry, we still have a whole lot more to get done first.
CP: For sure. I didnt think it would feel anything really different after being together 7 years already, but it did, it switches something, I really cant describe it totally, but it does.
MW: Anything. Everything. We’re in between a lot of S&D projects collectively with Shannon. Second book, travel abroad, wholesale, so many things. Callum… the sky isn’t even the limits. Put anything to him and he makes it happen. I never know what projects (always plural) he will present to me when we lay our heads down at the end of our collectively long days. It’s insane. Callum’s just become the guy who isn’t afraid to take risks and make anyone’s (including his own) ideas happen. There’s literally no restrictions. Actually the most inspiring.
CP: What isn’t?
WHAT’S A MOMENT YOU’VE SHARED THAT’S TAKEN YOUR BREATH AWAY? SET THE SCENE? WHY DID THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT AFFECT YOU THE WAY IT DID?
MW: So many moments, the first care packages, the zines he made me and “rescue in a burning house” gifts – the ones reaffirming we felt the EXACT same way about one another, even though we were so far apart and so unsure of our future. Getting engaged, getting married. Both breathtaking. But the moment, after a couple weeks of the hardest work we’ve ever done, we looked at the restaurant together and realised that we can make anything happen, with no qualified, on paper skills, and just ambition. That was probably the moment that took my breath away and continues to. It’s so surreal that we made this and the Deli happen. The physical structure and the daily operations. It’s just hard to even articulate the amount of work and dedication that was put into it, (and continues to) and just how much it was all ours, and with very little help from “skilled” labourers. It actually is breathtaking.
CP: We have witnessed the growth of our friends, in life, individually, through marriage, having kids, business’, honing their skills, finding their passion. When we see people we love doing what they love and finding true joy, that feels like an electric shock of inspiration to me. As a couple, im proud that we are most inspired by people we already know, friends and family are the best teachers.