Louise, Stephen and Liane started out in the mid 1980s selling handcrafted earrings and clothing at their local markets. The friends were looking for a way to combine their love of art and design with some kind of money-making venture. Louise and Liane invested $200 while Stephen covered his share by doing all the screen-printing for the clothing. The trio embarked on this new career without ever realising just how far it would take them.
In the early days of their partnership, Louise, Liane and Stephen spent most Friday nights in their parent's kitchens, painting and screening fabrics or t-shirts and making jewellery. Each Saturday morning, they queued for a $12 stall at their local markets in Paddington where they would sell their work. It was hard work but it was a friendly social environment where they had lots of fun and met great people. Some days were very busy and other days business was slow. Sometimes, they could barely afford to buy a coffee!
After two years at the markets, it soon became clear that it was the jewellery that most customers were interested in. By adapting their products to suit the market, Dinosaur Designs were able to take their creative ideas and turn them into a successful business.
Stephen, Liane and Louise all studied at the City Art Institute at Paddington (now called the University of New South Wales: College of Fine Arts). In 1983 they completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts, majoring in drawing and painting. In 1986 they also completed post-graduate degrees in Professional Art Studies from the same institution.