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Interview: Didi and Dora

Sophie Zilberman



RISING: LIBRA LOCATION: Balaclava, Melbourne



RISING: ARIES LOCATION: Prahran, Melbourne

What is Didi and Dora? C: A passion project that came out of the first long lockdown we had in Melbourne. For a while, I’ve known that I really wanted to do something with mid-century, pre-loved furniture. I considered using the downstairs of my home as a stage room with everything for sale and living upstairs, or renting a stall in a local bazaar. Luckily, Soph and I got talking and decided to start Didi and Dora together which has grown super fast in 10 months and we haven’t looked back.

S: It’s inspired by our grandparents 60/70s era homes and gorgeous furniture. Our business is a creative outlet for us to express ourselves while learning how to be boss business ladies.

Why is living in a space that is well designed or styled meaningful? C: When I think of home, I think of safety, connection, warmth, and coziness. Creating a home is a beautiful feeling and adding your own touch and style can connect and ground you to your physical space.

S: I absolutely love having control over space and how it can make me feel. I feel excited to come home to a place that is beautiful, colourful, homey and inspiring. I’ve always loved colour (like my mama), I am a visual learner and take everything in through my eyes. Aesthetics excite me and make me feel good, inspired and comfortable in a space.

If you could be transported to another time, what era would you choose? C: The early 1960s. My favourite homes were built around this time. The structure and brickwork of these homes, their colour and texture. Also the incredible features of that time, including large windows, conversation pits, diner booths, indoor plants, coloured carpets and wild wallpaper.

S: I love the 1970s and that’s where my main inspiration comes from. The colours and incredible designs were mind-blowing back then. I love the designs from the ’60s until the early '90s - it's hard to only pick one! It’s fun being able to take what you love from each era and make an eclectic mix of your own. I think it's really cool living in the time we do now, we have access to the designs and furniture from back then - as well as new styling and furniture designs emerging.

It's courageous to go out and form a business that aligns with your spirit. How does it feel? C: I still can’t believe it. I’m super proud of Soph and me for all the work we have put in and what we have achieved so far. I never imagined I’d be doing something that I loved and felt so passionate about. I feel really lucky and grateful that I’m able to do something that I love so much.

S: It feels really great. It was exciting to find an amazing partnership with Carz that fuels our love for design and this business. We have similar wants for the businesses future too. We are both passionate about preloved furniture and are learning new things all the time, this adds to our excitement with Didi and Dora.

What's next for you? C: We have some new and exciting things happening in the near future. We have designed a beautiful rug and we will be getting a very small number of these made. We also have a lot of other exciting ideas but things take time so they’re just in the works for now.

S: Hopefully collaborating more with young Melbourne designers. I would love to do collaborations with other small businesses. We have reached out to a cool fashion label to do a collaborative Didi and Dora cap together. So we will see what happens with that!


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