LS: Tell us about Rebecca Collingride wallpaper, textiles and bespoke designs?
RC: For around 2 years I've been creating bespoke designs for domestic and healthcare interiors. Having just launched a new collection (in April) it's time to crank things up a notch!
My studio is based in rural Northamptonshire surrounded by rolling hills, beautiful landscapes and nature aplenty.
The purpose of my business is to capture the exquisite craftsmanship in nature, and bring it indoors. Engaging in nature is proven to lower stress, increase productivity and can even speed up recovery from illness. Colour can also affect our mood and performance. Bringing these concepts together, I have created a range of 'healthy' wallpapers and fabrics which are designed to make you feel good in the space you inhabit.
I also want to make it easy for people to use the designs in a stylish way, which is why I've created them to work well when used together. I'm inviting people to curate a mood for their home, and create a look which is right for them.
LS: What was your inspiration to create your business?
RC: On leaving Bath School of Art and Design, I was commissioned to create a design for Southmead Hospital in Bristol. It kickstarted my research into what kind of environments are beneficial to our health. The botanical work I had been producing at University lent itself to this idea of creating fresh, natural spaces. It was fantastic to design something which I knew would be used in a good, lasting way and would benefit many people everyday.
All of the work I have done since has followed this theme. When designing for a domestic space, I consider the natural space around the home, and what mood the client wants to achieve. The outcome is always personal and unique, something which the client has had a hand in creating.
Most of my designs tend to be relaxing and uplifting, reflecting the detail and decoration in the natural world.
LS: Are there specific features which you included in the designs?
RC: Flora and Fauna are the common strands through my work. When in nature, we feel relaxed and at ease and Albert Einsten said "The joy of looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift." I relate to this idea of joy and believe that nature is something to be celebrated. In a world fixated on technology and screens, there is a need to go back to basics and get back in touch with where we came from. Through my work, I hope to breakdown the barriers of outside and inside, and maybe inspire people to enjoy the world a little more.
Colour is a vital element to the designs. Different combinations of colour make us feel different things. Yellow can help us to concentrate, but used next to a little lime green, a design becomes more stimulating. Add white to any colour, and you get something much more relaxing. There are endless combinations, and this fascinates me.
LS: Have you encountered difficulties in the planning of your own business?
RC: It's been a bumpy journey so far. I began with no money whatsoever so had to work extremely hard to generate the funds for my start up costs.
In the beginning, I was very excited about all the opportunities which lay ahead of me. This did mean that I got distracted very easily by different options and ideas. I had to find the balance between not putting all my eggs in one basket, while staying focused and realistic.
LS: How have you overcome them?
RC: There are always stumbling blocks along the way and details which are easy to miss. All I can do is take it as it comes, while doing my best gather as much advice as I can! I've come to where I am now through trial and error- the hardest way to learn, but the most effective.
LS: How do you run your business?
RC: Thinking of it as my 'business' can feel a little daunting sometimes and makes me think of spreadsheets and statistics. That's why I stay focused on the designs and concept: I don't want to lose sight of why I'm doing it. I may be an entrepreneur but I'm also a creative- a hardworking creative!
I keep things organic, innovative and fun wherever I can. I want to communicate the brand through leading by example. Going out for a walk every day helps me to feel inspired. I always get my admin done in the morning so I have the rest of the day to work on projects. I've also learnt to not put too much pressure on myself. It's easier said than done, but too much pressure can be paralysing.
LS: What added extras contribute to the smooth running of your business?
RC: It's a privilege to live in a beautiful area and this helps my practise hugely- not just with designing but with staying in touch with the ground beneath my feet. The clouds can be a nice place to be, but won't get you anywhere!
Supportive friends and family are of course a wonderful thing, especially to bounce ideas off and get advice and support from.
The wonderful thing about my designs are they sell themselves. I don't worry about what the future holds, because I have confidence in what I do and what I create.
LS: Do you have consultations with clients or home visits?
RC: When designing something bespoke, I prefer to meet a client in their home. It helps me to see their design and colour preferences and I 'read' their home through visual cues. Viewing a space allows me to know what will work well in the area with the existing details and light in the room. I take a camera and photograph the space so I can provide the client with a visualisation of the design. I also take photographs in their garden so I can use those personal details in the design.
Of course this can be done without a face to face meeting, but I have to rely only on what the client verbalises.
Again, with commercial projects it's ideal to visit the space. Often I have to use colours already existing in the space and work to a more specific brief. It's such an enjoyable process talking to a client and birthing those first ideas.
LS: And finally, is having your own business exactly as you hoped it would be?
RC: It's been an exciting and surprising journey so far, but having said that, I feel like It's hardly begun. There is always room for expectations to be exceeded.
A very interesting and inspiring take on the thoughts, ideas and planning that go into the design behind interiors. Rebecca has it spot on in our eyes. Space is so very important to daily life...why shouldn't we be able to have the best for us.
To visit Rebecca's website click here: Rebecca Collingridge
Keep in touch monthly (or even more frequently with us*).
* We promise not to virtually stalk you, it will be (at max) weekly round ups and elements that it would be rude not to tell you about...