I became an intern in my mid-40s...I learnt about the Dutch, who are off the scale with good, bonkers creativity
I’m Yvonne Hope. I’m Senior Interior Designer at Stride Treglown.
What are your interests?
I have a blog which is called Curated Futures. My interest is the sort of cultural trends – as in the movements that are happening societally.
What inspires you?
So, what inspires me is the sideways take. The things that are not so obvious. Things that make you double take. Things that are emerging. Innovation; part of human nature which wants to keep discovering, keep moving forward.
How did you get to this point in your life?
It’s been a trip. As a child I was always creating. I was always on my own in my room on the floor colouring in, cutting out, playing with my doll’s house and just enjoying that sort of space of being creative and exploring that creativity. So it was inevitable that I was always going to head into the creative industries.
I went away to university, did my degree and then qualified right at the height of the early 90s when recession hit. There was no work so if you wanted to do work, you had to create it for yourself. So I set myself up as a freelancer and after sort of seven years that ultimately evolved into a business and I had some major named clients.
I did reach a point though, having worked for myself for so long, that I missed the sort of interaction and collaboration with team mates. Also, personal circumstances in my life meant that I reached a crossroads of basically what do I want to do next? Where do I want to go next?
I disrupted my career. I went off to the French Alps for five winter seasons, went off to train as a ski instructor and then basically decided that I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the lifestyle, so went off and set up a business there which merged together design and extreme sports. I won a design award for accommodation but it wasn’t going to be too long before I was missing sitting at a drawing board and re-designing.
I decided that I would go off to Amsterdam for nine months and I became an intern in my mid-40s where I learnt about the trends forecasting industry and learnt about the Dutch, who are off the scale with, you know, good, bonkers creativity. I came back into the industry feeling refreshed. Unlearning and relearning brought a whole different perspective to me as a designer and into the work that I do. Yeah, and here we are today.
What are your experiences working here?
Well it’s a company that encourages diversity and difference. I like the fact that it’s taking all of the different skills and personalities and bringing them together; then helping them work together or enabling them to work together. I like the idea of being able to nurture the team that I’m working with. Collaboration is a really big thing in this role and, as interior designers, we’re used to working across different disciplines. There’s a lot of cross-fertilisation and collaboration which I really enjoy.
What are your aspirations?
My aspirations are to be good at what I do and to continue evolving. Learning, unlearning and re-learning is something which I go out of my way to try and do, be it per project or be it on a daily basis.
What pressures do you face?
We are very much deadline led in this industry and things can change from one minute to the next, literally. We can have a phone call from a client wanting something which we have completed, sort of refined and changed and we might not have as much time as would be great to be creative in doing that. So yeah, it’s just a sort of a constant rolling and working towards deadlines.
What’s your foundation for support?
You know within the workplace it’ll be my colleagues. And then definitely at home, family – my husband and my Mum who comes and stays with us quite a bit of the time from Greece – although she lived over in the UK for 50 years. Family is really important to me and my friends. I have some very, very close friends that I’ve known for 20 plus years who I respect and whose opinion I value.