LADY BOSS: Sasha Titchkosky

If Sasha Titchkosky were a plant she’d be a Eucalyptus macrocarpa. But she’s not, she’s a wonder woman instead. Over the last 16 years Sasha and her partner Russel Koskela have developed a furniture and design business, Koskela, with strong reputation for all the good things – beautifully designed and locally made products and a strong program of social enterprise projects. It’s clear Sasha truly lives and breathes the company’s ethos – follow your heart, trust your judgment and do it with joy – so we thought it’d be great to chat with her as part of our Lady Boss series!

Sasha Titchkosy and her partner Russel Koskela

Please tell us about yourself and what you do
I am one of the co-founders and co-owners of Koskela. Koskela is a furniture and homewares design company that makes all its products in Australia. We have two main parts to our business – the retail arm and the workplace arm. The retail arm comes to life in our 2000 square meter store in Rosebery, Sydney, which showcases our furniture and a range of products made by other Australian artisans and designers.

The workplace arm of the company works with most of the major Australian corporates, universities, and schools to create and deliver furniture for their offices and learning environments that is tailor-made for them.

My role within the company is many hatted – I steer the company, manage its HR and finances, hire all our staff, select our retail products and drive our social enterprise programs.

What is the greatest thing about being a woman?
For me, it’s probably to be lucky enough to be a mother. It truly is one of the most amazing and exciting parts of my life.

What has been your most significant personal achievement?
For me, getting the Yuta Badayala initiative off the ground and keeping it going for seven years. This is a collaboration we have with the Yolngu weavers of Elcho Island to create contemporary design products. It was three years in the making. It will be the first of many of these types of collaborations.

What’s your worst habit?
I have become a worrier and more anxious, which means I sometimes have patches of not sleeping well.

Which female in history or the present day do you admire and why?
I truly admire Dr Jane Goodall. I love the way she has remained true to what she believes in and is now using her influence to create awareness about climate change and the extinction of species. It could not have been easy to go off and live with a chimpanzee colony in Tanzania in the 1950s.

Do women really have it all?
No, I don’t think so at all. Sexism still abounds, women still do the lion’s share of maintaining a household even if they are working full time, and there still aren’t enough women in senior roles within established corporations or politics.

If you were a plant, what would you be?
I’d like to be a Eucalyptus macrocarpa. I love that plant!

What is one characteristic or trait that you inherited from your father/grandfather?
My German grandfather was a soccer nut and I have to admit its rubbed off – I love this game! The skill of the players is astounding and I love the strategy of it.

From my dad, I wish I could live life as freely and easily as he does – he plans his life and lives it to enjoy it. I take things more seriously than he does which is good and bad.

If you had to make a garden with three plants, what would they be and why have you chosen each of them?
Firstly, a frangipani tree. They remind me of summer, are beautiful in form even without leaves and flowers, and their smell transports me.

Secondly, old man banksia – their crazy gnarled trunks are so beautiful and I love the shape of the leaves and the banskias both in nut form and when they flower are just beautiful. They also area a great native habitat and bird attractor.

Thirdly, I’m going to cheat a bit here and say herbs – food is just so dull without them. You can make anything taste great with some fresh herbs and you get the pleasure of growing them.

Name one thing you couldn’t live without.
My two sons. They mean the world to me and fill my life with joy.

What cheers you up?
Great music, conversations with friends and getting out in nature.

What would you be doing in an alternate life or career? 
That’s a tricky one – my dream when I was growing up was to be a doctor and work in Africa helping people who needed it. I think I’d probably be doing something like this.

What’s one lesson you’ve learnt from the plant kingdom?
I think that big trees in particular make you realise how you are just a microscopic part of life on this planet. They are a great reality check.


All images supplied by Koskela.

Koskela Showroom
1/85 Dunning Ave
Rosebery NSW 2018
02 9280 0999