A million Insty followers and counting

By Larissa Ham

It was something like shopper’s guilt – not quite remorse – that first inspired friends Yiota and Thessy Kouzoukas to start their fashion blog Sabo Skirt.


Going on “wild shopping trips” after uni classes, the friends decided to share photos of their spoils online, says Yiota (who has the same surname as her friend because she later married Thessy’s brother).

“We didn’t expect anyone to look at it. I think it made us feel better having another avenue for these clothes.”
* Published on MySmallBusiness, Fairfax Media. To read the full story, click here.

Meet the Costa Rican miracle couple


By Larissa Ham

It’s a wild old day when I meet Australian Sarah Trinler and her Swiss-American husband Scotti in a small surfing town on the south Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

The tropical rain is thundering down, and we’re trading shouts to make ourselves heard. The town’s main, dirt road is turning into a sloshy mud bath.

Powerful things seem to happen in this part of the world – surfboards are snapped in two by unforgiving waves, rivers flood, kaleidoscope-coloured sunsets put on a nightly show and crocodiles swim among stand-up paddle boarders.

But last year something completely unexpected struck at the heart of everything the Trinlers – a world-travelling, thrill-seeking couple – loved.

* First published in Fairfax Media on October 13, 2014. Click here to read the full story.

Past tense, but the future’s bright

By Larissa Ham

True tales of surviving – and thriving – after the world has thrown its worst at you.


Rhondalynn Korolak (pictured above) was a bright law student about to graduate when she received a terrible phone call.

It was the dean of her university with the horrendous news that her 18-year-old brother and three of his friends had murdered her mother.

“It was a real shock that she’d been killed but it wasn’t necessarily a super shock that my brother was behind it,” says Canadian-born Korolak. “I grew up in a family of domestic violence, and violence breeds violence.”

* Published in Executive Style, Fairfax Media (click here to read the full story) 

Wild ride: the ‘Steve Jobs of yoghurt’ shares his secrets

When a young man from Turkey bought an old dairy plant in the US seven years ago, he didn’t imagine it would lead to a yoghurt empire on track to hit $US1 billion in annual sales.

In a lightning-quick expansion, Hamdi Ulukaya has taken his Greek yoghurt business Chobani from five employees in a peeling, rundown dairy plant, to a powerhouse with more than 1000 staff.

(See the story and video here)

3D printing reaches tipping point

By Larissa Ham

Once cost-prohibitive, 3D printing is now affordable and becoming mainstream.

King Kong

He’s now a mammoth, six-metre-high gorilla pounding the boards at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, but the latest version of King Kong had his features fine-tuned inside a small 3D printer.

“There was a lot of debate about how he was going to look – not only his body but his face as well,” says Domenic Di Giorgio, head of digital design at The Creature Technology Company.

“He had to convey so much emotion during the performance.”

Dentacast’s David Schwab says 3D printing is revolutionary.

Click here to read the full story.

Worker unfairly sacked after taking stray kitten, rules Fair Work

By Larissa Ham

A cleaner who was sacked after taking a kitten from a cleaning job – and giving it to a friend who refused to return it – was unfairly dismissed, Fair Work Australia has found.

Judith Montague was working as a cleaner for Chadvic Cleaning Services at the YMCA’s student accommodation in Carlton, and had received two written warnings for unrelated conduct matters before being fired by owner Chaminda Fernando on February 21 this year.

Fair Work Australia Commissioner John Lewin yesterday said that while Mr Fernando had valid reason to take action over Ms Montague’s conduct, he had failed to follow aspects of the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code and ordered the cleaning company owner to pay $3940 to her.

Click here to read the full story.