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.
||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
||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 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.