Creating Change; A Retrospective & Becoming International
So it’s been a long time since I’ve written to you. It’s been in the back of my mind to check in and let you know how things are going but honestly, this last year has been so break neck that I’ve been consumed with just keeping the machine going in the right direction!
A quick synopsis for anyone that needs it! At the end of 2017 I resolved to move fully into interior design. I had been doing projects for a number of years but more as a sideline. I didn’t account at the time for how quickly this would happen for me and by January I found myself spending most of my days working on a variety of projects that came knocking on my door. In the first half of 2018 the pendulum swung fully in the direction of interiors and my retro furniture business had to take a back seat(I had set this up in 2015). Of course, due to my compulsive addiction to furniture buying I wasn’t able to give it up completely! I just didn’t have the time to market my pieces like I used to. I also had to give up doing vintage furniture fairs because I found I was working weekends also on the interior design.
My first year in interior design hasn’t perhaps been the usual experience in that I had geared myself up for people wanting advice and guidance on how to do their rooms up and what I actually got was people asking me if I’d be able to do their entire house. Literally ‘here are the keys, send me mood boards and then get on with it’. So from the word go I was nose deep in working with all the trades, project managing whole house conversions and renovations and having creative control over the ‘look’. All of this I had done before on my own projects but nothing prepares you for the level of anxiety that doing it for someone else invokes(see all my blogs that focus on mindfulness!).
By July I had completed 3 whole house renovations and a number of lighter touch projects. The sands shifted again in the second half of the year when I was asked to come on board with a larger scale commercial project. I had worked commercially in the past but this one was unusual in that the company brought me on board at the same time as the build commenced. Normally I would have expected to have several months of preparation time for something like that. Talk about thinking on your feet!
That commercial project over ran and took all of my time up until leaving for my holiday in New York in early November. I had a chance over there to reflect on what the year had thrown at me and came to the realisation that I’d love the opportunity to diversify with the work I do, allow it to take me across borders and dare I say make use of the 4 languages I speak.. I resolved to become an international interior designer. I mean, why not?
Of course you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs so I knew that there would have to be a few changes and some decisions had to be taken in order to open this new avenue up for me. The trouble with doing the job that I do, is that there is no blue print for it. There are no manuals that tell you how to succeed in your career. If you are a teacher, then there are thousands of books you can buy that will help you create the correct flight path for your career with handy hints and tips along the way. For interior designers that also run vintage furniture companies? Not so much!
So I decided to take the bull by the horns and do what I always do in these situations- just make it the fuck up and roll with it. Step one was to ease the pressure with the retro furniture side of the business. I knew I couldn’t commit any longer to the amount of time it took to run the company successfully online but I also knew I couldn’t bear to give it up so I compromised, got a showroom and now open it once a week to the local community (12-3 Saturdays , M16 0BP. Come say hi!-shameless plug).
Step two was to put everything in place to be able to work continentally. My fiancee, who is also my business partner and I talked at length about where we wanted our careers to go and where we wanted to spend our time from now on, and with one eye on the political situation in the UK at the moment decided that actually now is the time for audacious moves. Tickets booked we set off to find a location abroad that would work as a base for us when we weren’t in Britain.
After 5 months of negotiation and MANY emails we are finally a week away for receiving the keys for our foreign investment. I’m so excited for the future and what it might bring. I feel I’ve created the opportunity now for my interior design to hopefully continue flourishing in the UK and also over the coming years on the continent and worldwide. I’ll maintain a base in Manchester, allowing me to carry on with all my projects and clients over here whilst raising my profile abroad and having a bloody good time whilst doing it!
I hope that you, and many more will come with me on this new journey and that in the fullness of time maybe some of you might even like to come over there and stay with us. There is plenty room for everyone and in the next week over on my instagram I’ll be sharing images and info about what it is we have bought exactly.