2 weeks ago I had a chance to interview a fellow interior designer/past lecturer who is basically approaching design/interior design from her own unique point. One of the things that I most enjoyed about the interview was the realisation that labels don’t really matter, in terms of the kind of design you studied. Tharien does everything from event styling to graphic design, this way of thinking not only broadens one’s horizon in terms of design related entrepreneurial ideas but also frees you up from having to fit in the mould of whatever type of design you studied.
I felt inspired by this realisation and I hope you are left inspired by the interview of this dynamic designer.
Q. What are your qualifications?
A. BA Interior Design (Design School South Africa)
Graphic and Advertising Design Short course Certificate (Intec)
Finishing my Honours Bachelors of Arts in Art History (Unisa) this year.
I have also done 3 short courses in Photography and I am also lecturing part time
Q. What is your current job?
A. I have my own company called Swagger Products. It started off with accessories for myself and friends, and then when I saw all the opportunities I developed it into a homeware range. I create nice to have products/homeware, as well as décor. I also do freelance design work – mostly graphic design (pamphlets, invites, flyers) and occasionally I will help with interiors.
Q. What projects does the brand/company focus on?
A. For the past 3 years I was focused on doing markets, almost doing a market every second week. This year I am taking a market sabbatical. I am busy transforming my website into an online store, just wanting to focus on online orders. I also do custom projects – corporate gifts, wedding stationary and accessories as well as décor. I am busy developing a new range, because babies are everywhere (hint-hint) I also cut projects for students.
Q. What are some of your recent projects that have been creating exciting opportunities for your company?
A. By doing markets and getting your products out there, you meet a lot of creative and you get to know the market. Recent project that got a lot of attention is my planter series – hanging, standing and even solid wood planters. It is trendy and have been featured a few times – opening new doors and opportunities.
Q. Describe the design scene in Pretoria?
A. Intimate and friendly. Yet loads of space for growth, especially for collaborations. Up & coming!
Q. How does Pretoria compare to Johannesburg in you opinion (in terms of design/designers)?
A. Pretoria has a lot of potential, a lot of creative and a lot of artist/designers seeking a platform to exhibit/present their art/design. Pretoria lacks in venues and ideal spaces, where JHB has the right infrastructure for artists to boom. Pretoria s definitely experiencing a change, and South Africa should know that the Capital is ready for business.
Q. What are the future plans for your company/brand swagger?
Creating a successful online store, focusing more on events and styling and obviously trying to make Swagger your go to gift store.
Q. What is your approach to interior design?
A. Keeping it functional and simplistic, making use of the given space and creating creative spaces through art and design.
Q. What/where do you draw inspiration from
A. Design Sponge Blog, Design Lovefest Blog, Pinterest as well as a few Instagram accounts. Local magazines such as House & Leisure and Visi.
Q. What is your design motto?
A. Don’t just run with your first idea. Also, have focus areas, don’t try and focus on too many elements at once.
I hope you are left inspired by the interview of this dynamic designer I know I did. Happy thursday…