Australian designer Louise Olsen started celebrated resin jewellery and homewares company Dinosaur Designs with her partner Stephen Ormandy 30 years ago. Their successful business now includes 8 international stores and a strong, cult following. We chat to Louise about a typical day in the life of a designer and business women, what motivates her and her approach to wellness.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you started Dinosaur Designs and what inspired your creative passion?
Dinosaur Designs started when I was at art school in the 80s.
I have always had a love and a passion for Art and Design. I grew up in a very creative family with both my parents being artists. They were always very supportive of my creative adventures.
What has been your biggest professional achievement?
Celebrating 30 years of designing for Dinosaur Designs in 2015.
What motivates you?
What does ‘strong women’ mean to you?
Inner strength – That to me is the core of every beautiful woman; her inner landscape.
How does a typical day look for you?
It’s usually a 7.00am start. We live near the beach so a morning swim is the best way to start. I try and have breakfast at home. I drop my daughter Camille off at school before heading to the studio with a stop on the way for a coffee at one of our favourite cafés, Three Blue Ducks and a juice from Orchard Street.
The first thing we do is catch-up with Richard our General Manager and the team, and then it’s onto emails. Fortunately, most of my time at the studio is spent designing, but at times I can get pulled in different directions, so it becomes a juggling act. My day does vary depending where I’m at with a design.
I try and leave work by 6.00pm to spend time with our daughter and cook dinner and reflect. As a designer you never really stop thinking about what you’re working on. When you’re in the process of creating you never stop thinking about the endless possibilities or what you need to do next – maybe it’s a colour or the form – it totally sweeps you up.
What do you do to unwind?
Quiet time – Solitude, time to dream and think, swimming and long walks. I find that being with nature is a great way to unwind.
What is your advice for achieving a good work/life balance?
Sleep well, eat well and exercise then you have the best energy to put into your work so it all balances.
What are 3 foods you can’t live without?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Limes and lemons.
What would you like to do more of?
Spend more time painting.
What does wellness mean to you?
Can you give us 3 women that you admire?
Artist Louise Bourgeois, Writer Virginia Wolf and Politician Aung San Suu Kyi