#YemziGirl Feature 34 (December) - Zara, Textile Designer from Islington
#YemziGirl Interview December, Zara, Box Of Prints founder
Please describe what you do, where you are from (and your age if you feel comfortable)...
2. Tell us about your company Box Of Prints
I founded Box Of prints in April 2016. The company specialises in creating uniquely printed fabrics, providing customers with confidence to also build their own print design from concept to final piece.
3. Where does your inspiration for your print design come from and which processes do you use to achieve the outcome?
I'm inspired by stories, culture, life experiences and day-to-day travels. Personally, I love to note down experiences and write spontaneous reflections throughout the day. I transform those writings into designs by decoding the emotions that I must of felt at that time and simply meditate that leads to imaginations to something much deeper than a story. These emotions are then interpreted to shapes or colours which create the first initial stage of my designs.
4. We both graduated from UAL for Surface Design, myself at LCC and yourself London College of Fashion campus. How was your experience of studying this course?
Going into University there was no strong surety of what I wanted to do. To be honest I wanted to do everything.
The course itself was quite challenging, I was not use to the independent study, self taught type of lesson, where teachers were present about twice a week and you were left alone with a brief. Techniques taught was also something I never experienced.
However, It was those moments turning up to open access to construct print samples where I realised that I'm beginning to grow a great love for this Textile field and something I want to pursue. The course had exposed me to print and allowed me to grow with understanding of the print processes.
5. Have you gone on to study further?
6. You made your first lot of sales from friends and family, how did you establish a customer base independent from your immediate network?
Firstly by those friends & families sharing the company by word of month. Then presenting my company at trade shows which lead to collaborations. Lastly, looking into the community around me e.g. Local charities, council, schools and more.
7. Do you have a very popular print or product which everyone loves?
Yes, my launch collection 'Lost Memories' was the most popular print sold. I believe it had to do with my personal experience of my Grandmas diagnoses of 'Alzheimer's disease' reflected in the print, which had drew an interest to the prints.
8. The new year is fast approaching, what should we expect to see from Box Of Prints in the new season?
Parallel to constructing in-house and bespoke prints for fabric we put a number of print workshops, mobile and in studio. Next year we hope to not only be known as print design specialist but, also as print educators, sharing print to all those interested in print design. We look to continue to have innovative, interactive and fun sessions.
9. What's been your greatest achievement since starting your business journey 3 years ago?
My Greatest achievement is ....starting the business! The greatest hurdle of the whole journey
10. What are your 3 tips for succeeding in the creative industry?
There are a series of tips linked to being successful in the creative field but, I stick with my three below which is also our companies 3 step motivation.
Be Bold - Don’t be afraid to state the things you stand for.
Be Optimistic- Keep High Spirits and cast all negatives away.
Be Passionate - Let all that moves you, shine through.
11. You are a very busy lady, how do you find balance between work and non-work activities?
Yes, 110% I agree with you! Well, honestly it's not much of a balance. More like a percentage share between work and non-work activities. I understand what reigns as importance in my life from the most to the least, and divide my time based in accordance. Apart from running Box Of Prints. I project lead for two amazing charities London Youth Support and StartUp Kitchen. I run the operations & events for Jamaican Inspired board (JamIn). Part-time Hairdresser, Seamstress, baker to customers I just can't seem to shake off!
Being a woman of faith stands first! And gives me the liberty to de-clutter my mind and work on building internal energy. I conduct my local church choir and squeeze in quick exercise lessons during the week. This is what keeps me going through the complexity of work.
12. And finally what is your favourite quote?
"Is not what you know, It's who you know!" .....Don't ask me who this quote is by. I guess I know too many people to remember!