The Designers' Advisor Asks: Katie Longshaw-Pye

Katie Longshaw-Pye

Magpye Interiors

Katie Longshaw-Pye is Creative Director of Magpye Interiors. In the past, Katie worked at Harrods and Selfridges in Senior Creative roles on envisioning the interior and windows of the stores. Katie launched Magpye Interiors in 2017 and her imagination now creates interiors for homes and businesses, aiming to amaze and delight her clients.

Katie Longshaw-Pye
Photography by WM Designs

As an interior designer or brand, how has the pandemic affected your work?

I was working on the design of a bar in London, so we immediately had to pause all activity. We were halfway through production on various elements, so there has been quite a bit of tying up loose ends and checking in on suppliers until we get the go ahead. For our residential clients, sadly some have family members who are ill, some have been affected financially and others are in critical jobs with now little time to think about their interiors. Respecting that priorities have changed for the time being, I have stepped back to give them space to deal with their situation. However, I have great relationships with these clients and look forward to working with them when they are ready to pick their projects back up again.

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?

I’ve done digital consultations before, but this has now become the go-to for all initial client meetings, consultations and home tours. I can share my screen to show images I’m referencing and as always send these with a write up following any meetings. It seems to be working really well (bar the odd technical problem) and just requires a little extra input from the clients to obtain images, floorplans and some measurements to ensure I can illustrate images and plans clearly with all the right information.

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?

I’m always super busy and have never have the time to reflect on my business, update my website or work on my social media, so with the little extra time I’ve had, I’m concentrating on these areas. I’m also investing time in myself, such as watching Kelly Wearstler’s Masterclass and reading those design books I ordered and never got around to taking off my perfectly arranged shelves. I’m also thinking ahead for my social media content and creating some with a bank of images ready rather than creating as I go. This will give me something to put out there during my busier periods rather than falling off the Instagram radar as I have in the past.

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?

It’s highlighted the importance to me of future-proofing my business: investing time in building my brand, working on my identity, mission, website and photography.

Many thanks to Katie Longshaw-Pye

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