GIRLS WE LOVE | TESS ROBINSON

Tess Robinson runs Smack Bang Designs in Sydney and looks after the creative side of small businesses, to make them shine. ZZ loves her work ethic, electric smile and go-get attitude.

GIRLS WE LOVE | TESS ROBINSON on Zulu & Zephyr
You grew up on the beautiful beaches of North Coast NSW - tell us about your childhood.
I feel super privileged to have had the childhood I had. Growing up next to the beach was an inherently relaxed childhood full of freedom and adventure. I was lucky my parents loved me unconditionally so I felt safe enough to dream. From a very early age it was instilled in me that anything is possible and I was capable of becoming whoever I wanted.
You’re such a go-getter - we love that you left University to follow your dreams and create your baby, Smack Bang Designs. What’s the best piece of advice you would give to aspiring young creatives?
I think constantly valuing significance over security and passion over profit will put you in good stead. And also just trusting in the process, often times we get so attached to the outcome that we don’t let the universe gift us the magic along the way.


What’s your favourite creative outlet?
I feel pretty lucky that I have so much creativity in my day-to-day at work, so that is still a huge outlet for me. Second to that, we’re currently renovating a little 80s brick house by the sea which is super fun and exciting to have an outlet that is so tangible and hands on.
In the past year you've accomplished so much. Produced two magazines and written a book - what’s next for Tess Robinson?
My next ‘project’ is a little baby girl who will be joining us in November. I’m excited for this next chapter of my life, a wild adventure and undoubtedly one of the most challenging roles I’ve had, I’m sure. I will take a few months off work to get to know her and get used to the new dynamics of our little family and then will be back to the studio next year with some grand new plans for the businesses I’m sure!
You work with such a hard-working and enthusiastic team. Give us an insight into a typical day for the team at SBD?
My team is by far my greatest accomplishment in all that I have achieved. They are a bunch of the brightest people and sharpest minds I’ve ever met. Together, we really do function like a family - the love I have for these people is endless. A typical day would depend on each of their roles, but it’s generally filled with creativity, meetings, brainstorms and a fair dose of coffee and hard yakka. We’re lucky to have built a system that allows us to work in an environment that is conducive to creativity, not burnout, and unlike most agencies, everyone is out the door right on 5:30.
We can only imagine how busy your Monday - Friday would be. How do you relax and indulge on the weekends?
I try to have a fairly balanced week. I work from home 3 days a week and head into the Sydney studio the other 2. I generally work in 3 hour blocks, with walks on the beach and cuppas in the garden in between. The weekend is spent with plenty of downtime, most often at the beach or getting our hands dirty with the renos.
You’ve been blessed with a little beach baby on the way. What’s your greatest hope/fear for motherhood?
Above all, I want my little girl to see me as a role model, someone who chases her dreams, but always puts her family first. That’s my idea of having it all. I hope she knows that she is capable of anything and that I will instil in her the confidence to stand up for what she believes in, inspire others to do the same, and treat those she meets with kindness and empathy no matter what differences might stand between them.
Your style seems effortless. What are your favourite brands at the moment?
ZZ, of course. I also love Arthur Apparel and Ozma for every day essentials and Assembly or Jac and Jack for easy-to-wear basics. My style is very laid-back and it takes a special occasion to get me out of the comfortable!!


Tess wears the Speckle Shirt Dress — Shop here.
Follow Tess on Instagram here.



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