As an interior designer or brand, how has the pandemic affected your work?
As an interior designer, this pandemic has not overtly impacted my business. I am still on target for my launch date of June 1st and, as the majority of my business is run online and in my studio, I am still able to carry out my tasks unhindered.
Further to that, how have you responded to the challenges? What measures have you put in place to not only ensure safe practices but to safeguard your business?
The greatest challenge for me has been attempting to home school my children (x4 between 8-16yrs) whilst still finding time to fit in all the tasks I need to do to build my business. Attempting to do both at the same time means neither is given 100% of the focus required. In our house, we work to a school day timetable and from 4pm onwards it’s my time to focus on my work, and again after dinner in the evening. The days are long but this way everyone achieves largely what is required.
We are all trying to find silver linings to this crisis. Some are finding more time to be creative – with or without children! – to think about issues in a different way, to explore a new skill or to improve an existing one. What has been your experience so far in terms of creative thinking and output?
Having enforced time at home means I have been able to build on my existing skills as an interior designer, enriching these with further study. I have completed a diploma in Feng Shui and have just started a Colour Therapeutics diploma, both of which feed into my business model and the focus of Studio Ryder, which is to promote wellness through design.
Trying to stay on a positive note, we’d love to hear about any benefits you may have discovered amidst the difficulties?
Not design-related per say, but one benefit I have discovered is that spending more time with my children continues to make me see things from a very positive angle no matter what is going on in the wider world. Remaining young at heart is the key to happiness! Also, I have definitely had more time to practice my love of yoga and am now able to encourage the next generation to participate in this alongside meditation, which in these difficult times allows us to focus on the things that are important in life and strive towards our goals.
Looking ahead to the future, when this pandemic is behind us, we’ve been thinking about how this enforced shutdown might be an opportunity to do things – personally, professionally and as a society – a bit differently. We’re thus interested to know how, if at all, you might take your own business forward in a new way?
Following the pandemic, and as a result of enforced isolation, I see how key social interaction is. Spending more time with clients and really understanding and getting to know their motivations has always been paramount, but the personal exchanges that take place between designer and client are now more evident as the key to having a positive and long-standing relationship. I have also found the group interactions with the design community over group chat/zoom meetings, where we can share and exchange knowledge and skills, are something Studio Ryder will look to promote and pursue further, whether it be design, wellness-based or hopefully a mix of both. The Studio Ryder ethos is entirely focused on creating wellness through design; the desire and need for a feeling of wellbeing and overall wellness has never been more evident than through this pandemic. Creating environments that encapsulate wellness for the individual allows each one of us to be contented within our home space regardless of what the world throws at us.
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