The Zuster Sisters
Some say going into business with family is a disaster waiting to happen, let alone going into business with your sisters. But for talented sisters Fleur Sibbel and Wilhelmina McCarroll, it was a perfect match.
As daughters of Melbourne craftsman and homebuilder, Meyer Sibbel, the two sisters were born into a family with European style and impeccable craftsmanship.
In 1996, Fleur’s father, Meyer, invited her to join the family business, Sibbel Builders, to help manage an exciting new business venture. At the time, Wilhelmina was studying Furniture Technology at RMIT and observed a gap in the market for great bedroom furniture. Using their father’s cabinet factory, the sisters produced a new range to present to retailers in Melbourne. Within a few days they had four Melbourne stockists confirmed and orders flying through the door, and the Zuster brand was born.
Zuster, which suitably comes from the Danish word for ‘sister’ was founded by Fleur and Wilhelmina, and since its inception was renowned for creating hand-made, bespoke, contemporary European wooden furniture for both residential and commercial clients.
“Wilhelmina and I have a great working chemistry together. Wilhelmina designs our collections and I work behind the scenes to bring the range to market, ensuring it is commercially viable and organising branding, advertising campaigns and supporting marketing material, to the launch strategy.” says Fleur Sibbel.
2014 marks the 20-year anniversary for Zuster and an exciting chapter for both sisters.
“It’s a huge family milestone to hit 20 years in business. I’m very proud of my family and what we’ve been able to achieve. Growing up, people used to pity Dad with no sons to carry on the family business, but today he works alongside us,” adds Fleur.
There are plenty of exciting new ventures in store for the talented sisters. In addition to overseeing the manufacturing, along with the retail stores and financials of the company, Fleur also sources local and international homewares for the Richmond showroom. Fleur plans to expand the range of Zuster homewares to include products designed by Wilhemenia and manufactured in Melbourne.
There’s definitely no stopping these talented women with drive!
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