After years of working as a designer for a European furniture company, Katriarna Rodgers was ready to start her own interiors company. Together with her partner Thomas Towhidi, who comes from an accounting and law background, she created Urban Couture. That was two years ago and since then they have outgrown a warehouse in Sydney’s Ultimo and recently relocated to a space on Chalmers Street in Surry Hills. While Urban Couture has a strong online presence, and offers an e-decorating service, the couple wanted to have a showroom where people could touch and feel the products they were selling and developing. “When you look back and see how far you have come, it makes all of the hard work worth it,” Katriarna says. “When you love what you do it really doesn't feel like work at all.”
Which five words best describe you? Creative, perfectionist, ambitious, travel-fanatic, animal lover.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started out completing a degree in graphic design and communications and then plunged into interning at any design firm that would have me. I always had a strong passion for interiors and found myself drawn to interiors, especially furniture design. After working as a designer for a European furniture company for many years my partner and I started Urban Couture and have never looked back since.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To be persistent and work hard. Eventually this pays off even if sometimes it feels like you are treading water.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Definitely opening our beautiful Surry Hills showroom when we started Urban Couture just a few years ago we never dreamed we would be where we are today.
What’s been your best decision? Working with our own factories overseas. Although this is often challenging it allows us to bring something different to the design industry in Australia. As we have such a small market in Australia you see so many companies selling the same products. We love giving customers and designers the opportunity and flexibility to design and customise their own pieces of furniture.
Who inspires you? My Dad - he is 92 and still works every single day running an international business!
What are you passionate about? Anything design whether it be graphics, art, interiors and furniture design; and my family.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Steve Jobs - I believe he changed the world in so many ways with the way we work, think, design and interact.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Have a family.
What are you reading? Haha, I wish! I definitely don’t have time to relax and read a book these days.
images courtesy of urban couture