SIS­TERS BY DE­SIGN

They met by ac­ci­dent but since then every­thing’s gone to plan

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - RELATIVE VALUES - ELISSA LAWRENCE

YIOTA KOUZOUKAS, 28 MAN­AG­ING DIREC­TOR, COORPAROO

Thessy and I met at a party through a mu­tual friend in the Greek com­mu­nity. I was in Grade 11 at Bris­bane State High and Thessy was in Grade 10 at Somerville House (both schools are in the city’s in­ner south). We hit it off straight­away.

From our first meet­ing, we planned a shop­ping ex­pe­di­tion a week later and we found a mu­tual bond from shop­ping.

We’d meet up on Fri­day af­ter­noons af­ter school and go to the city to shop to­gether. It got to the stage where we had a lot of clothes and in 2010 we started a fash­ion blog show­ing dif­fer­ent out­fits and where we bought them.

It took off and from there we launched our on­line store in 2011, our own la­bel (Sabo Skirt) at the start of 2012 and we now have a so­cial me­dia fol­low­ing on In­sta­gram and Face­book of about 2 mil­lion peo­ple.

Last Septem­ber we launched our new la­bel Sabo Luxe at New York Fash­ion Week, and we are show­cas­ing an­other col­lec­tion there again this year.

We both have Bach­e­lor of Busi­ness de­grees from Grif­fith Uni­ver­sity.

Peo­ple al­ways as­sume we are sis­ters. I have two sis­ters but I love Thessy like a sis­ter too. Thessy and I al­ready felt like fam­ily be­fore Ge­orge and I got to­gether.

So­cially, we have ex­tremely sim­i­lar per­son­al­i­ties but at work we are dif­fer­ent, which is ac­tu­ally why our busi­ness re­la­tion­ship has man­aged to do so well. We com­ple­ment each other.

At work I’m very fo­cused and fast-paced while Thessy is more re­laxed. She man­ages to re­lax me and calm me down and I push her when we need push­ing. We are al­ways re­ally hon­est with each other and we’ve never had any dis­agree­ments.

Out­side of work, we are to­gether pretty much ev­ery week­end and we have fam­ily din­ners once a week. Our friend­ship has brought our fam­i­lies to­gether and our par­ents have also be­come friends.

We are all so happy to­gether. Over the years, our friend­ship has only strength­ened. We still have the same in­stant bond we had in our very first con­ver­sa­tion.

THESSY KOUZOUKAS, 26 CRE­ATIVE DIREC­TOR, MT GRAVATT

Yiota and I were best friends be­fore we be­came sis­ters-in-law, which is usu­ally the op­po­site of what ev­ery­one as­sumes.

We met at a birth­day party when I was 15 and Yiota was 16. I en­cour­aged a re­la­tion­ship be­tween Yiota and my brother Ge­orge (now 30) and they have been to­gether 10 years and mar­ried for two.

I knew it would be per­fect if they got to­gether. My brother and I have a close re­la­tion­ship, so it was my ideal sit­u­a­tion.

It was a win for me be­cause I got the best sis­ter-in-law ever. Yiota is such a nice hu­man be­ing with a pure heart. I don’t have a sis­ter but I can say with­out doubt that we’re as close as sis­ters.

As soon as I met her I knew we had a con­nec­tion, which was hon­estly a bit weird. We feel we are soul­mates. She has the same per­son­al­ity as me, our senses of hu­mour and morals are the same and that’s why our busi­ness (fash­ion la­bel Sabo Skirt) works so well also.

We have 14 em­ploy­ees in our of­fice and it’s full of fam­ily, in­clud­ing Ge­orge, Yiota’s two sis­ters (Rosie, 26, and Bik, 24) and her dad (Kosta Kar­alouka, 58). We’ve cre­ated this busi­ness that our fam­i­lies have come into.

Work­ing to­gether is seam­less. Yiota and I have never had a fight. If some­thing is both­er­ing us or not sit­ting well, we just talk about it. It’s a con­ver­sa­tion, not a fight. We all have each other’s in­ter­est at heart.

In our work­ing en­vi­ron­ment, Yiota is dif­fer­ent to me. I’m very calm and col­lected and if some­thing is not go­ing my way, I take it on board but I don’t let it stress me. Yiota will take things to heart but I’m there to pick her up.

Yiota and I bonded over shop­ping and we still do. We’re best friends and we go on shop­ping trips and we wear our clothes (la­bel). In the fu­ture, I can see our style evolv­ing to­gether and I pic­ture us grow­ing older with big fam­i­lies. I ex­pect our kids and our fam­i­lies will be very close.

Best friends and sis­ters-in-law Thessy Kouzoukas ( left) and Yiota Kouzoukas, who co-own fash­ion la­bel Sabo Skirt. Pic­ture: Rus­sell Shakespeare

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.