Working in Europe for 17 years had finally taken its toll on Sandra. It was time to come home. She packed up her bags, her family and returned to Melbourne where she knew her life was destined for greater things. Her ambition of running her own agency soon became a reality when she set up office in South Melbourne, right beside the lake.
Next thing, find a designer. Enter Steve. No, there weren’t any lunch-table-type fireworks as the title suggests but there was an amazing chemistry between these two work colleagues and now best friends. The two Melbournites discovered they had a lot in common when it came to life and shared similar values which instantly developed into a strong work synergy and energy that poured out in the work they created. It was long hours, cheap rates and tight deadlines but the pair toiled away, often burning the midnight oil to hit deadlines and make a strong enough dent in the industry in the hope that they may impact on a few larger clients. It wasn’t long until they were working with the likes of Dr Oertker, Unilever and Hillier’s Chocolates which can be seen in some of their earlier works.
The strong relationship that developed between Sandra and Steve is unique and rare to find. If you dissect the pair and look at them individually, you will notice several differences, that on paper, make this almost impossible to believe. Let’s take a look:
• Is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for having taken the longest “Gap-Year” in history — “Mum, I swear I’ll be back in a year” she shouted to her teary eyed mother as she boarded her flight to London Heathrow in 1993 (you should have seen the look on her mother’s face when she returned in 2011!).
• Worked in advertising, marketing and communications in Europe for 17 years, working with global companies such as Johnson & Johnson (Consumer, Pharmaceutical, Medical and Vision Care), Pfizer, Abbott Pharmaceutical, Colgate Palmolive, Ford Italia, Renault Italia, Unilever and Bausch&Lomb.
• Travelled constantly for work and pleasure and doesn’t suffer jet lag ever!
• Is bilingual and can easily communicate in another 2 languages.
• Loves luxury goods (Louis is her favourite).
• Doesn’t really follow any particular sport but would follow Roger Federer around the world, watching ATP tennis tournaments for the rest of her life if she could….and has recently developed a passion for rugby.
• Is a fiercely intuitive person: her first encounter with Steve was to pass on a brief for a product pitch. She had never met him before, never worked with him before, but knew they would work well together and he would understand her method of Account Management. They didn’t win the pitch but worked so well together, they embarked on a journey to build theROQUEtogether.
• Loves funny memes on Pinterest.
• Lives in Melbourne’s south-east (bayside, no less).
• Can always be seen wearing a hat. Be it a beanie, a baseball cap, or even a client branded merchandise cap, seeing the man without a hat is a rare event.
• Was Creative Director at Strike Bowling for years before going freelance and branding much of Melbourne’s hospitality scene.
• Suffers ridiculously from jet lag. Talk about needing a holiday to get over his holiday!
• Speaks English and a funny version of gibberish. (Oddly enough, the gibberish kicked-in when his daughter started talking!)
• Only wears Nudie jeans. When looking for the characteristics of a loyal consumer, look no further. No one is more loyal to a brand than this man!
• Loves Lacrosse. Breathes Lacrosse. He plays, watches and coaches Lacrosse. He represented Australia in the Lacrosse World Championships in 2010 as the starting goalie.
- Had been telling ‘dad jokes” for years before he became a father. Just one of the reasons we all thought he would make a great dad.
- • Has renovated his own house from top to bottom with 3 years of blood sweat and tears…and secretly dreams of winning The Block!
• Lives in Yarraville, ‘Westside’!
Some might say chalk and cheese, black and white, right and wrong. We prefer to think Ying and Yang: perfectly balanced to bring out the best in each other. Together, they bring out the best in others.
Sandra and Steve are the foundation upon which theROQUE has grown and prospered over the last 7 years. They have provided us with the values upon which we continue to grow the agency. Respect, integrity, honesty mixed with a strong dose of creative and innovative thinking (and perhaps even a small-ish dose of inappropriate commentary to keep us all smiling!)
Living proof that relationships are at the heart of everything we do at theROQUE.