The Three of Us | Remodern
Directors and siblings Jennifer and Timothy Schilbach, along with Architect Nic Gutierrez, are the trio behind Remodern, a brand new design destination located in Melbourne’s Cheltenham. Housed in a former industrial warehouse space, the Remodern collection showcases a brand new generation of progressive international designers which all exude the Remodern aesthetic. For Jennifer, Timothy and Nic, design is all about fulfilling more than just a utilitarian function and about enhancing lives and bringing joy to the everyday. We catch up with the trio to find out which design elements they admire the most, how they make the dynamics of three work in their business and the greatest lesson they’ve learnt along the way.
Hi Jennifer, tell us a little about the journey to where you are today as co-owner of Remodern? The journey has been one shaped by life experience, personal interests, and recognising opportunities when they arise. Growing up, I was exposed the daily nuances of running a business, with my father having his own engineering and manufacturing business. I’ve always been artistic and creative, focusing on the arts through high school and going on to finish interior design at RMIT. As a professional, I worked in interiors early on, as well as in the family business pushing the creative and visual aspect by assisting with the design of new products and graphics. Working closely with my brother, we often spoke about the importance and enjoyment good design can bring, and how little of it was accessible. It was here that the idea for Remodern was born. We weren’t sure exactly how it would all pan out but combining his international business and my design expertise and passion, we knew there something meaningful and enjoyable was possible. Skip ahead a few years, add a whole lot of hard work, twists and turns, some more hard work and here we are.
How do you make it work as a dynamic of three? We all have different skill sets and really clear roles in the business. I manage everything client, customer related, admin, marketing and creative. Nic supports the technical and creative aspect of Remodern and turns all of my ideas into gold, making everything happen efficiently and Tim is the business brain who takes care of all the numbers and logistics, being the entrepreneur that he is. I guess the big key to making it work is that we all understand each other very well, we all have a solid history of working together so have a good idea of each other’s nuances and how to navigate them.
Tell us about the Remodern collection – what do you look for in a piece or designer for the collection? In a nut shell, we look for design that’s modern, innovative and aesthetically un-cluttered.
Another essential part of what we look for is design that’s expertly crafted and resolved, to accentuate the inherent characteristics and beauty of the materials used, and not where bells and whistles are added for the sake of it. We believe these two elements of high-quality craft and honesty of form and materials leads to something that has an inherent and timeless beauty and isn’t just the latest fad.
The greatest lesson learnt since starting the business? Starting your own business is hard, you have to wear so many different hats on any given day, so make sure you love what you’re doing otherwise you’ll either hate it, or simply not make it.
The new showroom is a great industrial canvas for your collection – what do you love most about the space? The showroom is located in Cheltenham, a Melbourne neighbourhood that’s traditionally industrial, populated by a variety of makers and manufacturers, and in recent times home to more and more creatives. We put time and thought into finding the ideal space for the combined showroom-warehouse. It needed to be spacious with an ‘old soul’, and a place where the historic features would add authentic industrial charm and character. With its painted brick walls, concrete floor and 5 meter high full-span steel roof trusses, the former storage warehouse set the perfect backdrop for the future of Remodern.
What does ‘good’ design mean to you? To me, the term good design has three main ingredients - it’s visually engaging and inspiring, serves a function and is beautifully made. If it’s just a beautiful object, but without a function, then I see it more in the realm of sculpture or art than design. If it provides a function, but is just ugly, then it may well be a successful design, but is more a tool of function and not inspiration.
What are you looking forward to this year? Seeing all the hard work that we’ve put into establishing Remodern and promoting our brands continue to flourish. One thing is to build it, and another thing is spreading the word and generate the interest, especially in Melbourne being so design focused and being such a crowded space. But, things are certainly heading in the right direction, so for the remaining 3 or so months of 2018, we’re really looking forward to seeing the seeds that we’ve planted continue to sprout and flourish. As well as a nice holiday to Colombia over Christmas!
I am inspired by: People that are dedicated and refuse to quit.
Best advice I’ve ever received: Appreciate the moment.
I couldn’t live without: My iPhone… yep, I totally admit it!
My favourite daily ritual: Lately it’s been about making a to-do list, it sounds very basic but goes a long way!
I recently discovered: Prosecco has super high sulphur content, which explains a lot the next morning!
On my wish-list: Win Thursday night lotto.
My guilty pleasure: Ordering uber eats for breakfast.
My mantra is: Detail is everything.
I am inspired by: The Chinese and their outstanding work ethic.
Best advice I’ve ever received: Never give up. Take risk. Focus. Enjoy what you do, and work harder than everyone else.
I couldn’t live without: Ambition.
My favourite daily ritual: Fresh Colombian coffee in the morning.
I recently discovered: “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.
On my wish-list: Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce.
My guilty pleasure: Travel.
My mantra is: Failure is not an option.
I am inspired by: My loved ones. The innocence and wisdom of young and old, and wanting to do my best for them all.
Best advice I’ve ever received: Don’t do it for the money.
I couldn’t live without: Some form of alone time every now and then keeps me sane.
My favourite daily ritual: A hot morning shower! Where the best ideas emerge.
I recently discovered: My noise cancelling headphones can actually connect to in-flight entertainment - you just have to pull the cord out a bit! Changed everything.
On my wish-list: Going into space and looking back at the earth.
My guilty pleasure: Fried chicken and chips.
My mantra is: Sure, why not?
30 Viking Court, Cheltenham, Melbourne
By appointment - Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm