Karie Soehardi

Ella and Sofia | Email | Website

Where and what did you study and what year did you graduate?
Certificate Fashion Design, 2001, East Sydney TAFE.
Bachelor of Visual Arts (Jewellery and Object Design), 1994, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University.

Where did you head after graduating?
I moved to London and worked for milliner Stephen Jones before moving to the Middle East. Later I returned to Sydney and worked in buying at David Jones.

When did you launch your own business?
In August 2005.

What motivated you to start your own business?
I wanted to use my creative skills alongside the business skills I had attained.

How would you describe your business to someone who didn’t know you?
Ella and Sofia is an interior accessories studio producing products such as hand printed wallpapers, screenprinted fabrics, soft furnishings and tableware.

How would you describe the products you design to someone who hadn’t seen them?
Eclectic, feeling old school with a contemporary twist.

What are the most challenging parts of being a designer running a small business?
Doing it all, no matter what you delegate you need to be on top of everything that is happening, not just what you are working on personally.

What inspires your design projects?
Traditional skills and wanting to be able to customise to client needs, to get back to a service where everything is not volume and same-same aesthetically.

What are the next steps for you?
The next steps for Ella and Sofia are to build on the company’s resources in both production and business development. I hope that it will become a studio where designers and architects feel that they can come for unique and interesting accessories. I want to develop the brand both here in Australia and throughout the world.

Published 15 July 2008.

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