“Children give you such purpose and drive to chase your dreams,” says Rachael Fry, the creative director and co-founder of Melbourne design store Criteria Collection. Rachael had been working as an art director in New York when she met her future partner Amon Carson. After having a daughter together, they moved to his native Melbourne and Rachael spent two years researching an idea to bring innovative designs from around the world to Australia. In October last year Criteria Collection opened its doors in Melbourne’s Cremorne. It is a gallery-inspired design showroom that includes the work of Apparatus, Roman + Williams, David Weeks, Lindsey Adelman and Draga Obradovic (all of whom have been interviewed on Daily Imprint - see links below). Rachael grew up in Palm Springs, California, and studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York.

Gabriel Hendifar of Appartus.
Stephen Alesch of Roman + Williams.
David Weeks of David Weeks Studio.
Lindsey Adelman of Lindsey Adelman Studio.

Which five words best describe you? Intro-extro-vert, spirited, driven, open and constructively critical.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My career started in communication design in NYC and was focused on 3D environments. After I moved to Melbourne with my partner Amon, I had the idea to bring NY design to Australia and used my previous skills and knowledge of design to forge ahead. I soon began curating works together to form an exciting, new aesthetic that would set us apart in a little niche and that’s right where I want to stay!

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Your first instinct is never wrong. Trust.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Opening the doors of Criteria with some incredible designers in my portfolio.  

What’s been your best decision? To never let anyone talk me out of this. There were many “wouldn’t it be easier to do it online...?” moments that I just had to ignore.

Who inspires you? So many! How can I choose one? Mirka Mora is a big one, Wendell Castle, Sheila Hicks, Anish Kapoor, Bethan Laura Wood, Pascal Michalon. My list is never-ending. 

What are you passionate about? Lighting, design, art, travelling, yoga, life.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Egon Schiele. He died when he was 28 and created an incredible body of work that challenged the social norms of art in the early 1900s.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? For Criteria: I would love to have a Criteria library one day, a space where designers, architects, students (and anyone, really) could come and browse our library to find inspiration. Personally: I want to get a bit lost in Iceland.

What are you reading? Mirka Mora's biography: Wicked but virtuous. (Via Amazon)

images courtesy of criteria; photography brooke holm; interiors flack studio

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