FROM MY BRAIN TO PAPER TO Ts – THE START OF THE DESIGN REVOLUTION AUSTRALIA

Since I can remember I have always loved designing and drawing. It is my passion.
Growing up in South America, I was always the school kid who did all the drawings for the yearbook. Not surprisingly, I later studied Architecture (BArch) and worked in that area for a number of years.
In 1999 I made the difficult decision to leave Colombia and I started my new life in Australia. I moved to Sydney to study graphic design and sustainable design.

I hatched my ‘revolutionary’ idea at the end of 2009. It all started when I was looking for gifts for family and friends who are overseas and the only t shirts I found were either
1) bad quality, repetitive designs and – worse – something I would never wear! OR
2) cool t shirts from designer labels that cost between $80 and $140…maybe even anymore!
The reality is that there was nothing that profiled Australia and its lifestyle in between these two markets.

After having the opportunity to travel and get to know many countries, I had the idea of my own design label playing on my mind the entire time. When we returned to Australia, I sat down and started to draft some designs. I showed them to my wife and to close friends and I was overwhelmed by their positive responses and encouragement.


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MY FIRST DESIGNS

I produced 4 designs, launching the brand and launching me into the unknown world of clothing and cotton. I jumped in and produced 200 shirts – 50 t shirts of each design. The scary part is that I started to do all this without even thinking about how I was going to sell the t-shirts!…it was time to figure out all the things that come with a small business. Since I do not have a business background I was just learning on the way, reading lots of business related books, seeing mistakes (many of them) as valuable lessons and applying common sense to every decision I took. The fact is that I was (and still am) following my instincts.

The first 4 designs were Syd-Aus, Sydney Opera House Outline, G’day and Sydney Skyline. While the first 4 designs where being produced and screen printed, I began to build a very basic website so that I could start selling my first shirts online. Since I started (not too long ago), Design Revolution Australia has been growing in a very healthy manner BUT this was not easy!! We (my lovely wife and I) have been putting in hard, long working hours (we were both working full time) and on the weekend trying to organise all the logistics, the packing, and participating in as many markets (i.e. we’ve been at The Rocks Markets, Bondi Markets and Gold Coast Markets among others) as we could so that people (you) started to know we exist!! In fact, there have been lots of moments that make us laugh and cry! The response to my first designs was incredible and encouraged me to continue.

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SURVIVING THE FIRST 2 YEARS (AND A GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS)

Online strategies have been important in spreading the word. I have been featured in t shirt blogs, in design blogs and images of my t shirts started to appear in the first page of search engines (image section). Because of my love of design I also started a design related blog. I feature not only graphic design but also architecture, interior design, object design, art, illustration, advertisement, packaging, urban trends (like festivals and exhibitions). I focus on creative work coming from Australia. Just log a job via the blog if you want to be featured.

After all the work and effort, I still think that the best thing is to see something you designed (and worked very hard for) on the street, on pictures or just somewhere you didn’t expect to. Our products have been sent to many countries around the world and hopefully we will be able to add many more countries to our list. The other very satisfying thing is to know that EVERY customer we have had is extremely happy with our product. Every time we send a t shirt abroad, we know that we are promoting Australia overseas! Our shirts have also popped up in the media.

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FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING – REVOLUTION TO EVOLUTION

Today I have 23 designs with a uniquely Aussie flavour…..t shirts have been coming out of my barbie* freshly cooked on a regular basis. My designs are a result of vigorous use of typography and composition combined with simple graphics and photography. Our inspiration comes directly from the surfing & beach lifestyle and modern cities everyday life. My inspiration is influenced by my Latin background and passion for travelling.

So what is the next step?….
I am also thinking of moving beyond t shirts very soon. I already designed the first tote bag and apron. At the end of the day, the main idea is to have good designs available for anybody to enjoy in any shape or form. I also start giving back, such as special promotions where all the profits will go to charities. We are currently sponsoring a 10 year old girl in Colombia via PLAN. If you want to find out more please join our subscription list to get updates.

We are also being approached by a number of boutique independently owned fashion & surf stores around the country. If you are interested in becoming a Revolution partner and selling our products just drop us an email!

We are now collaborating with the Sydney Opera House. We started with three designs and now we have five designs in total. This has been an amazing experience and journey. Besides, there are no words to describe the feeling of working with the most important icon that Australia has. Check out the exclusive designs we produced for the Sydney Opera House store.
We are also actively seeking in working with other great Australian brands both in Australia and Overseas.


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OUR T SHIRTS

You won’t find our t shirts or designs anywhere else. They are originals and we don’t mass produce them, thus each design could be considered a limited edition. Once we meet a target of 500 t shirts of the same design we will take it off the market**. This is what makes the product special. THey are proudly designed and printed in Australia.

Our Prices

We understand that we cannot compete with the prices of huge retail and internet companies who sell their t shirts at $10-$15. These companies don’t do their own designs and pay a small fee for external designers to do the work and mass-produce them. At Design Revolution Australia we do all steps of the process. From planning and drawing to the production of the final design: everything! Each original design is our own hard work, we believe in working with and supporting local suppliers, and place a lot of value in partnerships. Big companies that buy in bulk (sometimes hundreds of thousands of items) can afford to bring the prices down. The result of this is that the small business are having to close down as they cannot compete (this is happening in other industries as well). Or some companies mass produce but charge a lot anyway!

The main difference in buying with us and not the big (cheaper) guys are:

  • You will have an original, limited edition t shirt.
  • You won’t see 100s of other people in your t.
  • You will support an Australian company.
  • You will support a small family business.
  • When you contact us you will hear from the designers and owners directly.
  • We value your feedback.
  • We ask your advice on all new designs through our facebook page. You can wear a shirt you helped produce.
  • Join the t shirt (r)evolution!


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A LITTLE BIT ABOUT US

Ric: When I am not designing I am cooking. I love it! ….and obviously swimming in any of Sydney’s beautiful beaches. I love travelling which is what inspires my designs. I’ve had the privilege of visiting most of the continents in the world…with the exception of Antarctica, which hopefully, I will one day.

Suz: A girl from Burleigh Heads in Queensland, I love being close to the ocean and am pretty chilled out. I love travelling, but if you would have told me I would get married in Colombia I would have laughed! I am passionate about Ric’s designs and work to spread the word to promote Revolution Australia so we can one day be an iconic Aussie brand.

VIVA LA (R)EVOLUTION!!

*barbie: BBQ in aussie slang.

**unless people ask for re-prints of a specific design.

WANT TO KNOW HOW WE GOT WHERE WE ARE? WE ACTUALLY APPLY ALL OF THE BELOW.
INSPIRATIONAL PHRASES

CLOSE YOUR EYES.CLEAR YOUR HEART. LET GO.

BE BOLD

SEEK & FIND

DISCOVERY IS SEEING WHAT EVERYBODY ELSE HAS SEEN BUT THINKING WHAT NOBODY ELSE HAS THOUGHT

LISTEN

EXTRAORDINARY THINGS ALWAYS HIDE IN PLACES WHERE PEOPLE NEVER THINK TO LOOK

LAUGH AS MUCH AS YOU BREATH AND LOVE AS MUCH AS YOU LIVE

BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOU

WE MUST BECOME THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE

TODAY IS THE FIST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE

POSITIVE THINKING LEADS TO POSITIVE OUTCOMES

FAILURE IS A STEPPING STONE TO SUCCESS

HELP YOURSELF BY HELPING OTHERS

ALL OUR DREAMS CAN COME TRUE IF WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO PURSUE THEM

SUCCESS IS THE SUM OF SMALL EFFORTS REPEATED DAY IN AND DAY OUT

OUR GREATEST GLORY IS NOT IN NEVER FALLING BUT IN RISING EVERY TIME WE FALL

NOTHING GREAT WAS EVER ACHIEVED WITHOUT ENTHUSIASM

DON’T FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. CHASE THEM!

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