1. Why did you start your own business?
I’ve always had a passion for creativity. I had an opportunity to start my own business 9 years ago when I met the right person at the right time, I used to do freelance photography, curated art shows, and was a partner in an art gallery where I made this connection to do the interior design for upmarket holiday accommodation on the Cape Town Atlantic seaboard. I loved interior design all my life and it felt right, things moved fast and I started creating beautiful environments.
2. What are the hours that you work?
All projects have different requirements depending on the size and whether it is commercial, retail or a residential project. Location also plays a role, some projects are more demanding then others and I will often work after hours. I work long hours but the hours are very fulfilling. I start my day 5:30 and spend my mornings with my two lovely children taking them to school. I have flexibility and manage my time around meetings and attending my kids sport games and extra curricular activities.
3. How many people work in your business?
My business has only myself as the owner and I work with freelance professionals, as each jobs requires something else. I have built up a group of suppliers that I have worked with for 9 years and the business model works very well this way.
4. What are the goals for your business?
My goal is to have a bigger online presence with an online shop selling interior pieces and furniture I’ve design as well art and décor products. I am currently working on my ideas to get that off the ground soon.
5. How do you handle pressure?
I work very well under pressure, I feel more energised when things are moving fast and things are busy, I love being on site and seeing things evolve. Interior projects have 2 stages, design/concept and then the implementing of the concept; I love seeing spaces taking shape and love the change in ambience. There is nothing more gratifying seeing a smile on my clients faces when I have completed a project. I also keep active by doing stand-up paddle, jogging and walking in the forest to keep my mind and body healthy and stress free.
6. How would a man run your business differently?
I am a people’s person and really connect with my clients, being tentative to their feelings and personality. It is a job where you have to embrace each client’s way of thinking and have an open mind. I do feel a man will not always be so involved in the person but more on the business side of things. Working in peoples homes you get to know them very well as it is their habitat where they are letting you join them for a duration of time. Being organised and on time is one of the most important thing to have a successful business, so a man or women could run an interior business, all depends on their personality and so it’s not necessarily gender relevant.
7. How do you juggle being a Mom and running a business?
I relax weekends and spend time with my family. I am very lucky to have flexible hours so to plan my work schedule around my family life. It does get very busy sometimes but luckily I have a wonderful husband that stands by me and helps with the children and he loves cooking!
8. Would you ever go and work for a boss again?
I never have and I don’t think I will be able to take orders from someone. I will also not be able to work a 9-5 job, the work I do sometimes involves me working very late night but I do still prefer that as to having a job where I can be creative with my own time.
9. Do you ever take work home with you?
Yes I do, we live in a very fast life and there is not always enough hours in a day to get to everything.
10. What do you do to relax?
Love surfing with the kids, trying our different food dishes with my hubby, reading a good book and watching an art movie.
11. What would you like to know more about to run your business better?
I study online courses and keep up with the trends, “knowledge is power”. I do feel that I can always dig deeper into myself and overseas trends to elevate my work and get new fresh ideas. Creativity comes from outside influences and inner creativity, keeping in touch with your true identity as a creative.
12. If you had to start again what would you do better knowing what you know now?
I am happy with the way things evolved. I won’t change anything, I think things evolve into interesting paths everyday and I am still learning.
13. Did you have to borrow money and if yes what route did you follow?
No, I did not have to borrow money for my interior business. Once I had my first client, they loved my concept and I work with their deposit and have a good business model. In the future an investor or silent partner will be something to consider for my online interior business.
14. What satisfaction do you get from running your own business?
I love being in control. I do love textiles, paint finishes, art furniture design and conceptual development. I get great satisfaction from seeing the end result once the project is completed and I enjoy the business side of it as well, making money while doing something you love.
15. What makes your business successful?
Experience. Always treating your clients well and understanding your clients needs, a functional space is as important as the design. Always give 100 % in everything you do.
16. What form of marketing do you use?
Online marketing, website, twitter, facebook and word of mouth. I have been on the set of the Expresso Breakfast show on SABC television and newspaper articles.