Sarah Gibson and Nicholas Karlovasitis are industrial designers who met at the University of Technology in Sydney. Back then a seed was sown to create a design company that focussed on Australian creations. In 2006 they formed DesignByThem. Not only does it showcase their work, but that of other Australian designers too, including Tommy Cehak and Stefan Lie. Their wares are stocked at a range of stores across the country, including Top3 by Design.
Sarah: Passionate, ball-breaker, determined, creative, dreamer
Nick: Creative, resourceful, caffeinated, determined, perfectionist.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since?
Sarah: My first job was working for a commercial furniture company - this was for six months before deciding to quit and start DesignByThem with Nick. We had discussed the idea at uni, of starting a business that supported Australian designers. Five years later we are doing exactly that.
Nick: I always wanted to be an industrial designer ever since I was in year 7. I think I loved the idea of making things and robots. That led me to UTS where I met Sarah and to a part-time/full-time role in a consultancy which I left to teach at university and eventually start DesignByThem with Sarah.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
Sarah: Starting things is easy, finishing things is much harder, but is the most important thing.
Nick: Be prepared to be challenged and to fail. Accept criticism and always seek to learn.
What’s your proudest career achievement?
Sarah/Nick: Seeing our one of our products in the Opera House, we collaborated with Stefan Lie to relaunch his Ribs Bench. We hope to have more things like this happen in the future.
What’s been your best decision?
Sarah/Nick: Hiring a business manager. It's great to have a third wheel to guide us with business decisions and planning. Also to partner up to form DesignByThem
Who inspires you?
Sarah: The Bouroullec brothers, Patricia Urquiola, Dion Lee
Nick: George Nelson, the Bouroullec brothers, artisans and craftspeople who make handmade objects.
What are you passionate about?
Sarah: Food, the beach, sustainability, nice houses (kind of predictable hey? haha!)
Nick: Food, design, business, technology, sustainability and the handmade.
Nick: That's really tough... So many. Steve Jobs
Sarah/Nick: To become an internationally recognised brand for Australian design and become a net exporter of Australian design.
What are you reading?
Sarah: A fraction of the whole by Steve Toltz
Nick: I am addicted to the world, design, technology and business news. I read it for at least a couple of hours everyday.