This Is How the Founders of Dinosaur Designs Stay Inspired
Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy met on their very first day of art school, purely by chance. The surnames Olsen and Ormandy are next to each other in the alphabet, which meant that the pair were sat next to each other in class.
Some things are just written in the stars, aren’t they? Because though they didn’t know it then, Olsen and Ormandy would eventually become a couple and start a business together: the iconic Australian jewellery, lifestyle and homewares brand Dinosaur Designs.
The iconic atelier started at a stall at the Paddington Markets, where the duo would sell pieces of chunky painted resin jewellery. Today, Dinosaur Designs is one of Australia’s most recognisable homegrown labels, encompassing not only its famous bangles, necklaces and earrings, but homewares too. In fact, we have a curated selection available at Bed Threads now, from marbled serving dishes to curved and sculptural vases, perfect for perching on your bedside table.
We caught up with the pair behind Dinosaur Designs to learn more about the brand’s history, the creative duo’s ways of keeping motivated and their plans for the future—in the realm of resin, and beyond.
Dinosaur Designs is in its 35th year! Congratulations. How do you keep things fresh when designing a new collection, while still keeping the aesthetic true to your brand?
Thank you! It’s always having a passion and an interest in what we do. As long as you love doing something it is always going to be fresh.
Dinosaur Designs is Australia’s most iconic design brand. What did you envision when you started in 1985, and how has that evolved to today?
It was as simple as trying to earn some money as art students; our vision was to support the simple life we were living. We planted the seed and it’s grown into a tree, we have continued to provide an environment, which the tree can grow.
Where do you start, when it comes to creating a new collection for Dinosaur Designs—or when working on an exhibition for your respective solo shows?
It’s a continuation of the existing journey we’re on. Ideas start the sketchbook and continue to develop. An exhibition is like a ship reaching a port, then it continues to go on.
What keeps you motivated?
Passion and our shared love of art and design.
What has been the biggest challenge in scaling your creative business—especially as things have grown?
There are constant challenges, it is what keeps you alive and on your toes. The landscape can change very quickly as we all know and you have to ready to adapt.
What does a typical day—if there is such a thing—in the studio involve for you?
Every day is different; our studio is a creative hub. We’re constantly designing and creating new pieces, collections and working on special projects, balancing the business side of things with creativity.
When you’re not creating—and we’re not in lockdown—how do you like to spend your time recharging?
LO: I love being by the sea, swimming and coastal walks, drawing, reading books and magazine.
SO: Being by the ocean, I love surfing.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give others looking to pursue a creative career?
Keep turning up!
Do you have any exciting projects, shows, exhibitions or collections coming up you’d like to share?
We’re launching new collection of hand knotted rugs with Designer Rugs early May, in our own names as artists, separate to Dinosaur Designs. We are both involved in the Melbourne Art Fair, this exhibition is going to be reinvented into a digital format in June, so watch this space.
Discover the Dinosaur Designs Medium Mother Of Pearl Dish In Swirl White & Clear at Bedside Threads now.Dinosaur Designs and founders Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy on Instagram.