There’s a lot to be said for editing. In fact, it’s often more challenging to come up with a succinct shortlist, than it is to just offer every possible option in any given category. But, as joyous as shopping can often be, don’t you sometimes wish that someone with great taste would just round up the TOP 3 products in any given category, eliminating the need to trawl the internet for endless options, product reviews and comparisons? YES. You do. Well, I do anyway. I’m not into endless options. I want a shortlist.
It’s this premise that has driven Top3 By Design for 15 years since it first launched in Sydney. Driven by a passion for great design, Terri Winter launched her business in 2001. At the time, she was working as a graphic designer, running her own small design agency. In fact, when she took on the lease for her first store in Crows Nest, Terri was running her design agency upstairs and the retail store downstairs, but within a few short years, Top3 had taken over!
Like so many businesses, Top3 by Design was originally inspired by a personal quest. When expecting their first child, Terri and her husband Bernd, who is from Germany, were keen to get hold of the classic ‘Tripp Trapp’ high chair from Norwegian brand Stokke. Bernd’s family had always used these high chairs in Germany. When they struggled to find one in Australia, Terri and Bernd began to wonder what other European design brands might need a distributor in Australia. Before long, they were hatching a business plan.
Top3 is, in Terri’s words, ’an edited and researched selection of products from Australia and around the world’. The concept itself eventually became the name – Top3 by Design. ‘We stock up to 3 products per category, the best in the world by merit of design’ explains Terri. ‘Not by brand alone, and not by price – by merit of their design and quality, and authenticity’.
Fifteen years on, Top3 has grown to 4 stores nationally, the latest of which, in Melbourne’s Richmond, is the most impressive yet! The Richmond showroom is Top3’s largest store, and has given Terri and her team the opportunity to showcase furniture and larger design pieces in a ‘living context’. The store stocks an incredible range of international design classics alongside the work of independent designers and smaller Australian design brands.
‘Our collection is a mix of classics, from the Iittala Aalto Vase designed in 1936 and the Bauhaus chess set, designed in 1923 – both still incredibly timeless pieces – right through to kickstarter projects like the Memobottle, an Australian product by two Melbourne friends to tackle the issue of single use water bottles’ Terri says.
Though she’s been in the game a long time now, Terri still gets a thrill when she discovers a brilliant new product or designer worthy of the Top3 seal of approval. ’I am looking forward to another 15 years of unearthing incredible talent around the world!’ she says enthusiastically! She is also currently working on a very special project, a ‘sister concept’ of sorts to Top3 by Design, aimed at helping Australian designers gain profile and marketshare internationally. ‘I can’t say too much about it yet – but when it is ready you will be the first to know!’ she says. We’ll keep you posted…!
Top3 by Design
658 Church Street
(next door to Top Paddock, opposite Space Furniture and Baby Pizza)