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DESIGNS abroad

Designs Abroad is a business founded on the belief that Australian and New Zealand designed products are uniquely innovative and valuable in world markets. The designs are epitomised by the landscapes, lifestyle and character of the countrys' people who have a strong connection with nature and are renowned for their fun-loving, joyful attitude towards life. These themes permeate designs from both countries and we see them expressed as modern, relaxed sophistication, versatile, organic, botanical, environmentally responsible, playful and honest. Design talent and innovation are brought to the fore through the numerous educational institutions and professional bodies which nurture a thriving design communities.

During frequent travels to the North America, Europe and Asia, the creators of Designs Abroad recognized a market need for high quality Australian and New Zealand design products. They could rarely find the distinctive products they most appreciated in retail stores overseas, despite knowing the caliber and success they enjoyed in the domestic market. They also identified a trend that their gifts of Australian and New Zealand design were especially well received by friends and family in America. Always complimenting on uniqueness, quality and style, the happy recipients usually exclaimed “Why can’t I find this in the shops over here!?” Attuned to the constant demand of the design savvy to discover brilliant new products, they believed they were on to an exciting opportunity.

Upon further investigation, Designs Abroad learned that whilst many Australian and New Zealand designers were interested in exporting their products overseas, most were not in a position to tackle the venture on their own. With their energies already divided across the production of finished products, developing new designs to expand their range, as well as cultivating exhibition work – little time was left over to consider such a demanding undertaking. Hence, the Designs Abroad business was born – exporting the creations of innovative designers to consumers in overseas markets seeking the distinctive quality exemplified by their products.

Our People

Susan Susan Youngblood has a background as a business developer for multi-national companies and in recent years has been running, with two other business partners, a business importing goods from Asia and the USA into Australia. Whilst attending trade fairs and exhibitions in Australia, Susan was continually impressed by the quality of design products being produced regionally, something she did not see in similar exhibitions overseas. Susan was born and grew up in the south of the USA, but took out Australian citizenship 5 years ago after having lived in Australia for 10 years. Susan is the main driving force behind the Designs Abroad business and handles the day-to-day operations of the business.

Richard Richard Simpson has a background in operational and strategic roles in the UK, Asia and Australia. Richard has consulted to a number of leading retailers in the Australian market and recognised a significant gap in the market, as the products he was seeing on leading retailers shelves in Australia could not be found overseas. Richard has joint UK and Australian citizenship and concentrates on the market entry strategy, product mix and strategic marketing activities of Designs Abroad.

Laurie Laurie Innerst is a US citizen living overseas in Sydney, having moved to Australia from roots in Upstate New York and work in Manhattan and Atlanta. Laurie believes she has the best of both worlds in promoting Australian and New Zealand design in the US and Canadian markets. Having enjoyed over ten years of management experience with leading US and global retailers, she is uniquely poised to help our retail and commercial clients be at their best. Laurie focuses on growing the North American business, with an emphasis on sales and marketing, customer relationships and building and refining the product mix to marry Australian and New Zealand innovation and North American market trends.

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