We sat down with Sophie Robinson to get the lowdown on Etsy Global Design Awards 2019. Aspiring interior designers and creators, take note.
Image: Luca Sage
Can you give us a quick snippet of your background in interior design and your career thus far?
I’ve been working in interior design for twenty years. I studied craft and design at university then worked as a magazine editor for 5 years before going freelance. During my freelance career I’ve enjoyed working across a wide range of interior design projects, from designing BBC’s DIYSOS Children in need special to judging The Great Interior Design Challenge, currently showing on Netflix.
What are the Etsy Global Design awards?
The Etsy Global Design Awards is a competition that recognises the work of extraordinary creatives from around the world. Etsy is home to a diverse range of products, so it’s exciting to be able to recognise the talent and unique craftsmanship behind each one. As a designer, I can relate to the importance of innovation and personal story behind a product, which is something The Global Design Awards will showcase and look to reward.
Why did you want to be a judge and what do you think you bring to the judging panel?
As a journalist and designer I have been lucky enough to have worked across a wide range of design from high end to high street, from mass produced to tailor made.
However it’s the handmade and bespoke that I really love to champion as that’s what keeps our industry interesting so by judging this awards is my way of supporting and celebrating the great contribution that small businesses and designer makers bring to interior design.
Image: Luca Sage
Tell us your view point on ‘buying for life’ and what this means to you?
Buying for life is important for two key reasons. First of all when you truly discover your own sense of style and colour palette then you can really invest in things you love. I’m always championing people making bolder more confident choices in their homes and once you are confident in what you like you can make more considered purchases that you won’t just throw out because the ’trend’ has passed.
The other reason to reject throw away fashion and buy for life is for sustainable reasons. It’s become apparent that the planet cannot sustain the amount of stuff we are consuming so it’s time to make more considered choices and hold onto things for longer.
What are your top tips for people wanting to bring colour into their home?
We have such a personal relationship with colour it’s really important to tap into your gut and find a family of colours that really resonate with you. I’d encourage people to really invest in this discovery.
You could begin by taking a look in your wardrobe or jewellery box and looking at what colours you are naturally drawn to, that lift you up and give you joy! Then buy a tin of paint in it and roll it on the walls!
Can you tell us a bit about the latest design trends that you're keeping your eye on?
I’m loving this new passion for bold colour that the interior design world is currently rolling with. Long may it continue to ban the beige!
What advice would you give to any small maker trying to grow their business?
You need to play to your unique strengths of being a small business. You can speak directly and personally to your audience and quickly build up an intimate rapport. The best place, I believe, to do this is on Instagram.
You can use the grid to showcase your talents and products and then use stories to show the heart and soul of your business and any messages you wish to communicate with your audience. My advice is keep your eye on what’s happening in your industry and don’t be afraid to try new ways of promoting yourself and your business.
Sophie Robinson is speaking as part of the panel of judges for the inaugural Etsy Global Design Awards, which recognises the work of extraordinary Etsy sellers from around the world. Discover more from the finalists here.