Anika Kalotay & Serena Pangestu | Class of 2010


Anika (left) and Serena (right)


Fulfilling a dream that began in their years at high school, close friends Anika and Serena now run their own business.

Graduating together in the Class of 2010, the friendship that began in Year 10 at the College evolved into a business partnership, which sees them use their life experience and eye for design in running Kura Studio.

We spoke to Anika and Serena about their journey.

What have the years since you both left Av԰ looked like and where did the inspiration for Kura Studio come from? 

Our inspiration for Kura Studio stemmed from our high school dream of starting a creative business and working together towards a common goal.

After high school, we both studied Architecture at Curtin University where we learnt about the fundamentals of good design.

We decided to take a gap year after completing our degrees and were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work for our tutor’s Architecture firm for a year.

We learnt about the realities of the working world & experienced Architectural theory being put into practice.

Following the year of experience at the firm, we both decided to continue our studies and took up our Masters of Architecture at UWA.

During this time, we also went on multiple road trips around Indonesia where we learnt about traditional craftsmanship as well as industrial manufacturing.

We were exposed to the many ways you could accomplish design even if you decided not to go down the traditional route of working in the Architectural industry.

This was really encouraging to us both as we graduated from our Masters during an architectural downturn - It felt like the perfect time to take a side-step, take the risk & start our own business.

Could you explain in more detail the work you do at Kura Studio?

Kura Studio is ultimately a lifestyle brand that promotes good design whilst encouraging a more mindful lifestyle.

We each started by exploring these concepts through both painting and through woodwork.

We would take prints and hand carved timber spoons to the markets and receive all important feedback from the public about what we were doing which encouraged us to think ‘what else could we do’.

It wasn’t until after we took a ceramics short course that we saw the potential in making small batch, specialty ceramic homewares to bridge the gap between cheap mass-produced homewares & high-end luxury goods.


How has your friendship together evolved since Av԰ days til today?

We have been close friends since Year 10 and have always shared very similar passions and wants from life.

Working together as both friends and business partners has left us feeling very fortunate to be in this position.

What are you most passionate about in the roles you’re currently in?

We love that we’re working towards something we both truly believe in.  As owners of the business, having full control and responsibility over Kura Studio also gives us an authentic sense of purpose.

How did the subjects you pursued in high school translate into your career?

We were both creative during our childhood and this was further explored in high school Art.

Our teachers Mrs Lynch, Ms Pannell and the then art technician Tricia were always very supportive of the both of us and gave us ample opportunities and responsibilities that helped shape us to be the people we are today - which included being joint art captains in our graduating year at the College. 

What are your hopes for the future for Kura Studio?

We hope we can continue providing & promoting good design to the world and for people to see how buying once but buying better can positively impact their lives.

We have of dreams running a shop-house one day to serve the community and maybe host workshops to share our skills and knowledge with the community.

What advice would you share with Av԰ students?

Follow what you love to do and let it naturally lead you toward a passion. 

Once you find something, be disciplined enough to work hard but also reward yourself with breaks and down-time to keep you inspired.

If you’re struggling to find your passion, it’s helpful to ask yourself what solution to a problem in the world you want to be a part of - this will help give you a sense of purpose.

To learn more about Kura Studio visit:

Av԰ Communications