Meet the Team: Gem & Damian

At Arlo & Co, each of our team members play an important role in ensuring the success of the business. Over the next few months on the blog, you’ll meet each member, learn more about what they do, and how we operate behind the scenes. We’d love your feedback on our ‘Meet the Team’ series.

To kick us off, we’re going to hear from our Founders, husband and wife duo Gemma and Damian.  Enjoy!

Gemma: Founder, Creative Director, Mum, Cheese & Wine Enthusiast, Connector, Wife

Gem founded Arlo & Co back in 2014, while on maternity leave with two tiny daughters, 19 month old Maeve, and 8 week old Greer. Her hobby of designing and making personalised products grew quickly and Gem realised she probably wouldn’t return to life as a primary school teacher. Her husband Damian, who at the time worked in the party hire industry, soon joined Gem, well and truly establishing family roots at the core of the business.

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Gem is energetic, and full of ideas. A typical day for her can be quite eclectic, though it starts with getting the girls ready and some play time. Someone is usually dressed as ‘Elsa’ by 8am, and then there might be a kindy run, a park stop, or day out with friends.

On her days in the office, as well as overseeing the business, Gem is involved with product creation, assisting with customer care, team building, and nurturing the Arlo & Co community.

Gem is at the heart of everything Arlo & Co does. Learning how to run a business completely from scratch, and scaling the business to match quick growth have been some of Gem’s biggest challenges so far. And the best thing about working at Arlo & Co? Being able to work creatively on a brand she is proud of, while focusing her attention on the things and values that matter to her – with family front and centre.

At the end of busy workday, the family gathers at home to eat dinner together, then have a jump on the trampoline, play with their Cavoodle ‘Annie’, and read books together. Later on, once the girls are (finally) asleep, Gem can likely be found on the couch, chatting on the phone to friends, down the rabbit hole of Pinterest, or scrolling socials.

Gem’s fast five:

  1. Visit anywhere in the world? New York
  2. Guilty pleasure? Online shopping 🙊
  3. Special skill? Can communicate in Auslan (Australian Sign Language)
  4. Pet peeve?  Tag dags, or when people let you be one!
  5. Favourite Arlo & Co product? Bamboo Photo Keytag and Bamboo Photo Card

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Damian: Workshop Director, Dad, Problem Solver, Boss, Husband

With a background in industrial design, joining Gem’s Arlo & Co venture six months after its inception, was a natural progression for Damian. Quiet and always busy, we all call him ‘D’ behind the scenes, and he flips smoothly between ‘Dad’ and ‘Director’.

A typical day for him begins with preparing warm Weetbix for the girls (Dad’s special method) before heading into the workshop. Most of the day is spent drawing up and making products, while managing overall production. Damian also spends time each day refining new ways to create, with research & product development being his true happy place.

To help him switch off at the end of the day, you might find Damian in the kitchen making dinner, or out in the garden. Sitting still is not his forte. The most challenging aspect of Damian’s role, according to him, is keeping up with growth and peak periods, while maintaining the everyday running of the business.

The best part? Working with his wife, of course.

Damian’s fast five:

  1. Visit anywhere in the world? Iceland (without kids 😉), Phillip Island (with kids!)
  2. Guilty pleasure? Lollies
  3. Special skill? Smooth driving, could drive a limo it’s that smooth
  4. Pet peeve? Protective phone screen coating left on
  5. Favourite Arlo & Co product? Round Bag Tag: simple, practical and just a great design.

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