Tell us about your creative path so far and any milestones that you have?
I started my career working in Fashion, as a stylist and visual merchandiser at Topshop and then moved into buying, working for various different companies including White Stuff, Coast, River Island, and M&S. After numerous years in fashion, I was starting to feel unfulfilled and my partner and I were getting itchy feet and wanted to take on a renovation project. ( we had been watching far too many grand designs programs) We ended up buying a house back in Wales that needed a complete renovation. We spent 3 years ripping it apart and putting it back together with the builders whilst I project managed and helped out on-site where I could. It was after this project that I finally admitted to myself that I wanted to work within interior design. I enrolled in a course with the KLC and took a job in a kitchen and bathroom design company to gain some technical experience. After a year in this job I decided to take the leap and go self-employed with only 1 client to my name, luckily it worked out well for me and I haven’t looked back. I’m very privileged and thankful that I get to work with the clients that I have.
The biggest highlights of my career so far are winning the Readers Choice Award and Highly commended for best renovation in the Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Awards 2019 and also featured in Grand Designs Magazine 2019.
What are other creative art forms that you enjoy?
I love the theatre, I try and go as often as I can, I’m loving the fact that we have access to lots of free shows online at the minute. I’m also starting to get into gardening, which I was adamant was only for old people, and designing the colour scheme and how I want it to look. It’s something I have only really started doing because of this lockdown but I’m now excited to see how everything turns out and looks once it’s all planted and blossoming.
Tell us about one piece of work you are not proud of, and what did you learn from it?
There isn’t anything specifically that I can pick but looking back on previous work I think we can always be a little too critical and wish we had done something differently.
What is your best self- care technique?
I don’t check my emails on a weekend. I try and disconnect as much as I can and take some time away. Before the lockdown, I would take time away from my desk to go for facials or massages in the week as a break. Working out most days also helps keep me sane. I also like to take time out of my day when I can to go for a walk, I have found this always helps me clear my head and I can come back fresher and with a bit more focus. I also journal and meditate most mornings to help clear my mind of the million and one things I am constantly thinking about.
What are some platforms that creative’s and freelancers should be using right now and why?
I use tailwind to help plan and post my social media, you can plan a couple of months of content at a time, so it takes that worry off needing to find an image to post every day.
If you were on a desert island and could only take one piece of creative material to help you with your work what would you take and why?
I would have to take my computer; I couldn’t do my work without it! How depressing!
How do you seek out opportunities?
I am part of a couple of different business networks with lots of other creatives in it and we regularly talk to each other and reach out if we hear of opportunities.
What does support mean to you?
It means having someone to bounce ideas off, someone who inspires me to push myself out of my comfort zone so I can achieve all the things I want to in my business. I also like to surround myself with other businesswomen who provide support and we help push each other forward, we are all self-employed so we all understand the highs and lows that come with that.
What are two useful pieces of advice that you have received from people about your career?
‘What’s the best that could happen?’ – I’m a natural worrier and a bit fatalistic so now instead of worrying about what could go wrong I imagine what’s the best that could happen. This has been an especially useful bit of advice to help with this lockdown, I have written down a list of all the positives and the best outcomes that could come out of this situation to help me feel grateful ( as much as you can!) for this time. “You will never be criticised by someone doing more than you. You will only be criticised by someone doing less.”
What are the next steps with your work that you are looking to take?
I would like to do more commercial work, be that cafes/restaurants/boutique hotels as well as continuing to work on interesting residential properties. I am also looking to launch a small lifestyle collection, to begin with, this will be selling other artists and makers work but eventually, I would like to add in my own designs. I helped launch the homeware range for White Stuff so this is really going back to my roots.
Could you share with us some support materials that you have found useful during this period?
I’ve been listening to lots of meditations on apps such as Omvana and Grace Space which have been really useful for staying calm and focused.