FK chats to Julia from Sydney based label, Vinyl Design.
Tell us about your collaboration Vinyl Design and how you got started.
Vinyl Design started for fun, after moving to Sydney from Europe and renting an apartment in Surry Hills. I wanted something low cost and funky to decorate the blank walls…I started searching the internet for wall stickers but the only designs I liked were from European companies that did not offer shipping to Australia…that’s when we decided to buy the required machinery and do our own designs.
We then started by putting 3 designs on Etsy and they sold in 1 week; that’s when I got excited and decided that this fun business had potential in Australia!
What are your backgrounds and how did you meet?
My partner and I are both Italian, we met at Uni and we both are architects.
We love travelling, after leaving Italy we lived for 3 years in Dublin then moved to Sydney in need of some sunshine.
My partner is still working as an architect full time for a big company on large scale projects and he actually loves his job; during the GFC I lost my job but since Vinyl Design was getting quite busy I took the opportunity to go full time and make the business grow.
What inspired you to start your own label?
As an architect you often work and spend a lot of time on projects that in the end are not getting built, you often don’t see the physical results of your work which can be frustrating.
When we made our first packs of wall stickers and sold them it was a great satisfaction to know that someone loved our products and decorated their walls with them! I also saw a lot of potential for hand made and designer products in the Australian market and, coming from old Italy where we have lot of bureaucracy, I was amazed at how quick and easy it was to set up a business here!
Whats the most exciting part about running your own business?
I love the fact that I can work my own hours, this means I can go to the beach on a random Tuesday morning if I’m not too busy… but also that I might work Saturday and Sundays to finish orders, in any case it’s up to me.
The most rewarding thing is hearing positive feedback from customers, I often receive emails from lovely people telling me how much they love their new wall decorations or letting me know they were happy with our customer service.
What do you love about Surry Hills, and where are your favourite places to visit?
I’ve been living in Surry Hills for 4 years and I would never live anywhere else in Sydney; I love living in the middle of the action, having everything at my door step.
My apartment is in a converted warehouse on Crown Street and my studio/workshop is only 5 minutes walking in another warehouse building with many graphic designers, interior designers, architects, fashion designers etc It’s a really creative environment.
In Surry Hills there is a high concentration of restaurants, bars, pubs, cafés, little vintage and designer shops and art galleries. New places are opening all the time and it’s hard to keep up! I have a big passion for food and some of my favourite restaurants are Billy Kwong for modern chinese, Spice I Am for spicy thai, Marque for a special night.
My favourite art gallery is Friends of Leon, part terrace house and part gallery focused on illustration.
And there are infinite options for after work Friday drinks…
What new projects are you working on for Vinyl Design and what are you looking forward to for the remainder of 2011?
We’re always working on new designs to add to our collections, we love hearing from customers what they would like to see made into a wall decal.
Apart from the designs available on our website I love working on custom designs, they varies from nursery designs, office logos, custom names etc.
We will be at Life Instyle in Melbourne in August, a trade only event that showcase good quality designer products.