Having started a new venture with her refined glassware label, Studio Tetatet, Lara Vrkic is a master at balancing. Between her day job as a digital consultant and raising her son Hudson, we speak to Lara about personal style, life as a creative and the challenges that come with being a working mother.
— Where were you born and raised? How has this impacted you today?
I was born in Melbourne and moved to Sydney when I was 1. I don't really feel like either city has shaped what I do but they've definitely influenced my style. Growing up I was always overdressed and Mum resisted the surf-brand phase for as long as she could with us. Melbourne has a more formal style of dressing which I definitely prefer.
— What does a typical day look like for you?
It really depends on the client and project. In August last year I quit my full-time agency role in search for something different, landing an ongoing contract at PHD Media in their incredible social team. I’ve since balanced more corporate contracts like this with clients like Cement Fondu, a gallery in Paddington for whom I’ve been developing a digital strategy and implementation plan for.
My job involves a lot of presentations, emails and research. Given that this industry is changing so rapidly, it also doesn’t stop when I leave the office - I’m constantly reading and trying to understand where we are heading, and which trends and techniques are worth leveraging for clients.
— What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far and how have you overcome it?
The anxiety that comes with figuring out how you are going to define yourself professionally. I’ve come to understand that your professional identity is a lot more fluid than your current role, and comes down to your knowledge and understanding of industries, concepts and techniques.
Studio Tetatet Glasses
— Did you always know you wanted to pursue a creative career?
I’ve always loved advertising and was a keen writer, so communications and media made sense. As a teenager I would study the ads at the start of a magazine and have enjoyed seeing their transformation from static forms into storytelling material on social over the past few years. I naturally fell into more corporate advertising work, but am pursuing more projects in art and fashion in my freelance work.
— What has been your experience as a woman in the industry, and as a working mother?
Constantly challenging but immensely fulfilling. I initially thought that the real struggle was in making it to 6pm pick up but have recently felt a lot of pain around not spending enough quality time with my son. Everything that I do has become more efficient so that nothing pours over into time meant for Hudson.
I’m constantly inspired by the resilience of working parents; the ones you see getting off a bus with an umbrella in one hand, a pram in the other while wearing heels and juggling a laptop. Being a working parent isn’t always fun but is definitely something to be proud of.
— How did the idea for Studio Tetatet come about? How would you like to see it grow from here?
It was always meant to be something fun, nothing personal, no boundaries, and definitely a project with zero expectations. We started with designing rugs, quickly realized it wasn’t a feasible first form and moved to glassware with our first design being a response to a hatred for stems and a desire for a vessel that could be used for a number of purposes. Studio Tetatet is by no means a full-time job, and we don’t expect it to ever be, which gives us more room to be creative and independent with designing.
- Can you describe your personal style?
Timeless, minimal and quality. I definitely have a uniform approach to dressing and gravitate to brands like The Row that give you the opportunity to build a wardrobe over a number of seasons. I love that when you see their collections and already have a few of the pieces, you don’t feel like you have to start all over again.
- Where is your favourite place to travel?
New York. It's effortless. I don’t leave with an itinerary and never come back with regrets. Totême so accurately captured everything I love about New York in their campaign video, 'The City'. Getting a buzz from being at a newsagent, walking endlessly and people watching.
- What’s your ideal way to switch off?
On a day off you’ll find me at Andrew Boy Charlton doing laps, reading a magazine and lazing in the shade.
- Do you have any daily rituals?
I’m awful at planning my day. Other than Pilates, most mornings during the week everything is a lovely surprise.
- What are you currently reading, watching and listening to?
I'm reading everything David Sedaris and am deep into Seinfeld.
- What can you not live without?
LinkedIn, One Hot Yoga, Hudson.
- Do you have any role models in life?
My parents; my dad for being resilient, curious and positive and mum for being completely selfless and hardworking.
- What can we expect to see from you next?
Professionally, I’m excited to continue working with more local brands and projects and continue to build a portfolio of really beautiful, purposeful work. Personally; by the end of the year I’m hoping Studio Tetatet will offer at least a couple of the designs we've had in production for the past year! The manufacturing process is slow but I’m happy to be learning lots along the way.
STUDIO TETATET COMING SOON TO MC