Have you met Clare Weeks?
This weeks Métier Member story follows Clare Weeks, founder of My-Studio, which was established in 2012. Having trained at London’s The Interior Design School, Clare has previously worked with high-profile clients alongside top London designers such as Suzy Hoodless. Clare’s aim is to help those with immense style achieve their vision within realistic budgets and time frames.
Read on to find out more about Clare’s advice, her inspiration and much more!
1. Clare, How long have you been a Métier Rendezvous member?
I’ve been in the group for over two years.
2. What have you been most surprised about being a member?
People think interior design is a closed shop for snobs. Siobhan’s group is open, inspirational and brimming with talent. It’s full of insights and energy.
3. Who has been your most memorable Métier Rendezvous Guest Speaker to-date?
The amazing Dextene from Ellinis Interiors. When curtains, blinds and window treatments sound like new wave punk, you know you’ve come to the right talk. No chintz in sight.
4. How different was your life / career before you set up My-Studio?
My life has changed beyond all recognition. I worked with some of London’s best interior designers, designed some of the city’s most breathtaking houses and handled some of the world’s most demanding clients. But it wasn’t my business. Now it is my business; my responsibility. And that changes everything. Even if I’m lucky enough to say the rest is still the same.
5. Thinking back to long before you began your studies, what would you describe as your earliest memory of interior design and what inspired you to launch your own design firm?
Elle Decoration. I picked it up… read it … and immediately fell in love with the Scandinavian style. I learned the name Ilse Crawford. I’ve been hooked on the magazine, the style and the editor ever since.
6. What do you think has been your biggest business obstacle or hurdle or business fear to date?
One day you’re working comfortably from the living room. The next day you’re in meetings in Hammersmith, Kensington and Notting Hill (on the same day). Nobody can prepare you for the lift off button: learning to scale the business in a matter of weeks. Thankfully I have some of the best suppliers and builders in the business on my side. You can’t do this job by yourself.
7. Knowing that sometimes the lines blur between balancing a work life and personal life – What are your own non-negotiables that you stick to in your business and home life?
There’s a line. It’s usually called Saturday. But sometimes Tuesday. My clients understand that letting their designer walk the coast, relax in a spa or visit her spiritual Nordic home (Ett Hem, Stockholm, if you’re asking) is good for us both. A day a week is a minimum, even if you spend it with your nose in your iPhone.
8. What were the 3 things that happened in your life that made you realise you wanted to run your own business?
It’s the three Ms:
- Mentors: Ilse Crawford and Suzy Hoodless are my design heroes. Working first hand with that calibre of designer gets you addicted to style, pace and transformation.
- Motivation: Turning tired, unloved spaces into something spectacular is a designer’s job. Looking at a client’s face when it’s all done is our reward.
- Management: Working with a team of experts (all experts in their field) from plan to photo-shoot is something I love. It’s a thrill from start to finish.
9. How would you describe your own design/signature style?
Say no to ‘beige’! Not literally. It stands for pushing yourself to be humorous, playful, unexpected, timeless and beautiful. We specialize in transforming Victorian townhouses in the Scandinavian style. Mix in some vintage and colour and it’s a bespoke interior for every client.
10. When thinking about your favourite projects over the years, how would you describe your favourite clients to work with?
Adventurous, discerning, liberal and fun. A home is meant to be fun: come at it with the right attitude, be yourself and enjoy your home.
11. Looking forward into the next 3 years, what do you believe is next for My-Studio?
In my mind, working with clients who share our style – a cool head and a warm heart. When you’re working with people like that: who knows where it will take you? A gig in Ibiza would be nice though!
12. If you won the lottery last week, looking at your own home that you have right now – what is the first room you would redesign? And what favourite long-wished-for item of furniture would you purchase first?
I would splurge the dosh on a piece of vintage furniture by Charlotte Perriand, Hans Wegner or Borge Mogensen. They’re beautiful. Timeless. And, if it floats your boat, still a financial investment of a lifetime.
13. When you are in creative mode putting together ideas for your client – where do you like to take your inspiration from?
Wardrobe! A quick glance is better than an hour discussing shape, colour and form. It’s worth a day of discussion. The next step is to explore how people and fit with their environment. Personalization x Position = Design.
Watch this space for more exciting Métier Member interviews and for more insights into the Interior Design industry.
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