Featured Designer: Sands Made

FK chats to Robbie Sands about his father-son collaboration, Sands Made

Tell us a bit about Sands Made and what products we can expect to discover?
Sands Made is a collaboration between father and son designers Peter and Robbie Sands. Sands Made is about honesty, simplicity and environmental awareness, our products have a direct function and shape. Everyone involved in Sands Made has a passion for food and cooking, naturally we like to make objects which we can use around the kitchen and table. At Sands Made you can expect to discover useful products which which have survived extensive testing and critiquing around many different Melbourne kitchens.

We love your mix of design and functionality with your products. Can you tell what the motivation was with starting Sands Made?
Prior to starting Sands Made I spent 6 years working in Tokyo Japan as a usability / product designer in IT. My job consisted of visualising a product from the consumer’s viewpoint and satisfying their expectations of what the product would do. I moved back to Australia with the hope of finding a closer connection between the product and the consumer. Managing my own brand means I can closely take part in the product being developed, made, sold & used, this process is very enjoyable.

What is your background and what lead you to working with wood based products?
The biggest influence on my choice to work with wood would be my father Peter Sands, whose wooden furniture has been sold and exhibited worldwide for more than 25 years now. Wood gives each product a long life stretching back far before the product itself was formed and hopefully long afterwards too. My background has always revolved around creating and designing, starting in my father’s wood workshop as a child. University led me to study industrial design followed by multimedia design. Since then I’ve worked in advertising, web design, usability design, and product design.

What has the reaction been so far to Sands Made, and what have you learnt about your label?
The reaction so far has been a little overwhelming, In the short time that we’ve been operating, we’ve heard from people from all over Australia (and increasingly overseas) providing us with great feedback. I guess the main feedback we’ve received has been: people love the attention to detail and the finish of the products but would love a larger range! (we’re working on it). In order for a product to be successful, we’ve learnt that it must satisfy two separate people: giver and end user. Each product must provide a giver (retail outlet or gift giver) with a sense of pride and happiness and also provide a wonderful experience and long life for the end user.

What inspires you, and where do you go for inspiration?
I find other people’s kitchen and dining rooms the most inspiring places. There’s nothing more telling of a product’s quality than to see its state after a few years of enthusiastic use. Everyone has products they adore around the kitchen and table, quite often they’re not products you’d expect as popular “good design” but rather understated, simple and very effective.

What new things can we look forward to seeing from Sands Made in the future?
We’re currently working on a new range of European style Cheese Paddles for the home & restaurant market, stay tuned.



  • Enrico Sanchez says:

    Love the simplicity

  • Judie says:

    From my kitchen to yours :
    Most interesting interview, giving some background to this company’s products and history.

  • Peter Hayes says:

    Hi Robbie I worked for your dad back in the 80s Mary street days . Great to see you are working with wood.Wish I was.

Leave a comment