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Welcome to My Design Alley. A design blog celebrating design in many forms - from interior spaces to new products, stores and interviews with designers both local and from around the world.

The Two of Us | Lisa Vincitorio + Laelie Berzon

The Two of Us | Lisa Vincitorio + Laelie Berzon

Melbourne designers Lisa Vincitorio and Laelie Berzon from Something Beginning With have a very special partnership. The savvy duo joined forces in 2011 after meeting through work and have gone on to design their innovative and bold pieces ever since. Each collection from the Something Beginning With collection is packed with beautiful form and pops of delightful colour. The secret to this wonderful partnership? A shared vision and respect for each other in and out of work. 

Hi Lisa, have you always worked in the creative field? Lisa: I graduated Industrial Design at RMIT in 2003 and have been in the design and manufacturing industry ever since. I have worked in both furniture design, manufacturing and sales and exhibition design. I've always had my hand in a creative field and my interest has always been in furniture and homeware. Post graduating I established a relationship with homeware giant Alessi, and I've been lucky enough to design two products for the brand.

 The bright and beautiful  Halo  chair in bold powder-coated red. Photo - Nicole England.

The bright and beautiful Halo chair in bold powder-coated red. Photo - Nicole England.

What are you most passionate about? Lisa: I am passionate about design - I love to create something that's functional and accepted within the industry.

“It’s extremely satisfying as a designer to see your product in use and appreciated.”

What do you each bring to the partnership? Lisa: We're a great team - I bring a wealth of knowledge in design, construction and manufacturing and Laelie has an amazing way with colour and style, coming from her background in fine art. We generally conceptualize our range together and then I develop the concept for manufacture.

 Ari Upholstered 3 Seater Sofa with the Array coffee table with marble top finish and Finn Chair from  SBW . Photo - Nicole England.

Ari Upholstered 3 Seater Sofa with the Array coffee table with marble top finish and Finn Chair from SBW. Photo - Nicole England.

What’s the best part about working with a friend? Lisa: Laelie and I were work colleagues prior to starting SBW. We actually did not know each other very well at all! 

“We immediately saw that we shared a similar vision and brought different strengths to the table.”

Through our 6 years of operation, we have forged not only a strong partnership but a friendship.

 The Finn chair and Array coffee table from  SBW . Photo - Nicole England.

The Finn chair and Array coffee table from SBW. Photo - Nicole England.

 The  Halo  Easy Armchair in peppermint green frame and black upholstery. Photo - Nicole England.

The Halo Easy Armchair in peppermint green frame and black upholstery. Photo - Nicole England.

“We have always had an immense respect for each other’s opinion and view - I think this is the key to the success of our working relationship.”
 The  Halo   table by Something Beginning With. Photo - Nicole England.

The Halo  table by Something Beginning With. Photo - Nicole England.

Laelie, what do you most admire about Lisa? Lisa is extremely passionate about design - when Lisa designs she is totally in her element, her technical and design skills and vision for the brand is second to none. She has accomplished great things in her career and has made a career out of her passion. 

Lisa, what’s a unique quality that Laelie brings to the partnership? Laelie is an extremely passionate and talented person. She has amazing flair, inspiring vision and an amazing way with colour and texture, which has become the SBW signature.

“I can’t imagine having another person to walk this path with me.”

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Lisa: The most rewarding part of the job is seeing our designs implemented into environments and appreciated by an audience.

 The bright, bold and fun colours in the  Halo  collection. Photo - Nicole England.

The bright, bold and fun colours in the Halo collection. Photo - Nicole England.

As designers, what’s one theme you always return to? Simplicity, practicality and functionality.

Where do you go for inspiration, is there ever any shortage? Lisa: My inspiration is drawn from a mosaic of rich and diverse influences. My love affair for design and architecture, fashion and textiles, the arts and nature have played an integral role in forming and enriching my own style.

 Mia XL side table nested with the Mia side table from  SBW.  Photo - Nicole England.

Mia XL side table nested with the Mia side table from SBW. Photo - Nicole England.

Can you describe your creative process? Lisa: We work together on the concepts for each new collection, I focus on design development for manufacture while Laelie works with the SBW clientele and brings a vast understanding of colour and attention to detail from the visual arts perspective. With each piece, our aim is to develop a timeless work - each product goes through a stringent process from concept to production to ensure it is not only tailored to our market but to an efficient and cost effective manufacturing technique.  

“When we set out to create a new product we are mindful of our collection, and our clients - we look at what we lack and what our clients are calling for.”  

We also consider how a new design with sit with the other products in the range, as our intent is to create a concise collection, where different products can sit side by side in a space complementary to each other. 

 Lisa Vincitorio and Laelie Berzon conceptualise each product and draw on their unique skills to produce their innovative products.

Lisa Vincitorio and Laelie Berzon conceptualise each product and draw on their unique skills to produce their innovative products.

What are you both loving at the moment? Marion Fitzroy restaurant and Neighbourhood Wine in Fitzroy North, Franque, Toorak, Weekend adventures in Red Hill, Castlemaine, Malden, Trentham and staying cosy at Cinema Nova on a rainy Winter’s night.

What’s in store for you SBW in 2017? We aim to continue to expand our range and our team, with the intention to move into a larger showroom next year.

Thank you Lisa and Laelie! | Something Beginning With @sbwaustralia

In Focus | The Right White

In Focus | The Right White

In Focus | Note Design Studio

In Focus | Note Design Studio