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Founder Focus – Topic 4: Eliza’s General Advices

Founder Focus: Meet Eliza

Topic 4: Eliza’s General Advices


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What types of training do you need to enter this field?

Training at a reputable university or college for your preferred subject seems a good start, where they try to cover most aspect of the technical side, so you’re equipped with the appropriate knowledge and tools to start you off.

During my training, I had my grounds covered pretty well in the sense of technical knowledge. I was taught about the construction of textiles, from its raw form to the yarn process, then other technical side like dyeing fabrics and screen and digital printing, all to industrial standards. I was taught the basics for all the textile design disciplines like knit, weave and print prior to selecting my speciality and focusing on that until graduating. Then I topped up and polished those skills through work-placements, by getting hands-on experience, learning from people I admire and respect, even if I did start off just observing and doing mundane tasks.

Although professional training with a reputable college or university seems the obvious route to a very skilled subject such as textile design, I don’t think it is the one and only training route there is.

If you can demonstrate a genuine interest and passion in your chosen subject, you can get your training through other means; this applies to any subject, not exclusive to design. You can teach yourself through lots of reading on the subject and then get training through apprenticeships and work experience with your admired skilled crafts-person or design studio and get your hands-on training. Skills are learned and perfected through constant practice and dedication to the chosen subject. This is why you need to have a genuine interest and true passion for the subject, or else you won’t have the energy and drive to push yourself and be better. Also, you need to have an open mind, so you don’t limit yourself too much in the sense of ideas, although you need to be more selective at the more progressive stage.

Working as a creative practitioner is a way of life, not just an occupation. It’s who you are.


What advice would you give to young people who might be thinking of starting such type of business?

  1. First and foremost, ALWAYS treat others with respect, no matter who they are.
    Starting a business is very challenging and takes a lot of hard work, so you will need as much support as you can get. Therefore, you want people to be rooting for you, NOT against you. Helping each other is also a habit I highly encourage to get into.
  2. Get advice as soon as you’re thinking about starting a business.
    There are a lot of organisations that can help in giving support and advice or at least point you at the right direction. Speak to people and communicate, people can’t offer advice or help you if they don’t know you need it.
  3. Be patient yet persevere, armed with steely determination.
    Creative business can be a slow process. You will probably have more bad days then you do good days; but one really good day tends to over-write the 10 bad days you have and makes it all seem worthwhile. This is why if you don’t love what you do with all your heart, you should probably reconsider your options. You’re in it for the long haul.


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Founder Focus – Topic 3: About Eliza’s Work

Founder Focus: Meet Eliza

Topic 3: About Eliza’s Work


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Where do you generate your ideas for new designs?

I take inspiration from practically anything that’s around me. As there are so many visual clues around you and you just need to be tuned in to what you see and how you feel about them. If something peaks my interest, I either start doodling or then start to photograph a series of shots to then draw from. Many drawings later, I then start having ideas of the design direction it’s heading. Sometimes I might even discover that there’s no chemistry there and I should just bin it and start over!

I mostly decide on an idea that either challenges me or challenges people’s common perception of them, that’s why a lot of them end up being quite subversive. Because it’s design, it needs to fulfil a purpose; surface pattern design tends to be about beautiful looking patterns, as it is meant to decorate a surface. So I make sure that the designs are beautiful and people can appreciate them even at the most superficial level. I don’t expect people to think too hard to work out their wallpaper or soft furnishings, I appreciate that it is difficult enough deciding on a colour scheme for a room. But, you do have the option of appreciating it beyond the pretty surface, if you want to. Hey, it can even be a conversation starter at a dinner party!


Who has been your greatest inspiration in choosing to orient yourself in contemporary design?

There are many inspiring contemporary designers and artists that I admire and am inspired by. I find that I am always learning and inspired by my fellow peers; from my more senior contemporaries and from the most unlikely people I meet along the way.

Two (or three even!) particular figures that I find resonates with me most throughout my creative journey though have to be Tim Burton and Timorous Beasties. I admire them for embracing the fact that they are different, that is who they are and they’re comfortable with that. They don’t try to be different, they just are.

Like everything else in life, being different or doing things differently will almost immediately attract objections at the beginning. But they persevered and look at them today; they are the leaders of their field.

I read once that Tim Burton’s drawing style was criticized as being ‘incorrect’ by one of his teachers in his much younger days, until another teacher came along at a later stage and advised the young frustrated Burton that he can draw however he likes to and that there isn’t a right or wrong way to draw. Today, he is known for his distinct style of drawing and his surreal animations and film work.


What is the next step in your career?

I aim for world domination – to cover the world with beauty and design!

Just kidding! Although covering the world with beauty isn’t such a bad goal.

Next step is to come up with a new collection of wallpaper and our first fabric collection; attend trade fairs and shows more regularly and to do more collaborative projects.

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Founder Focus – Topic 2: Eliza’s Background

Founder Focus: Meet Eliza

Topic 2: Eliza’s Background




What is your background in terms of education and work experience?

I graduated from Heriot Watt University – School of Textiles, Galashiels after studying ‘Design for Textiles’, specialising in print. I had some training in fashion prior to that, because I thought I wanted to be a fashion designer. I studied fashion business for a year when I first moved to Scotland and then applied to Heriot Watt University for their fashion and textiles course. After the first year, I decided that I loved textile design much more to be swayed into that direction and asked to be moved to their textile design course for the second year onwards.

I got asked to do the odd commission work during my studies at Galashiels, I also applied to a number of design studios for various design-related work placements and ended up working at a few of them, in London and Yorkshire. I then proceeded to do my placement with Timorous Beasties in Glasgow shortly after graduation, whilst working as a freelance designer for a design studio based in Northern Ireland. I had a stint of freelance work with Timorous Beasties shortly after doing my placement as well, where I helped out with some of the digital drawings and artwork editing during a busy time for them.

I then got accepted for a job with a major interior company as a part of their interior design and visual merchandising team, whilst still doing the very occasional designing of my own work in my spare time.


How well did your college experience prepare you for this job?

As great as the universities are in training you in the world of design or anything else, I would say that no matter how good of an academic education you get, nothing will ever quite prepare you for the harsh reality of the real world experience! Where you have to work with and around quite challenging situations and limitations. This is especially the case when it comes to running your own business.

So, the most helpful aspect of my background in preparing me for my career in this field, has to be the work experiences I have had with all these design studios and commission work I got while I was still studying; and after. I am forever grateful to these places, the people and the bosses I have had in my journey, because they are the ones who have informed the decisions I made along the way, to where I am at today.


What initiated the spark in you to start your own business?

There were limited opportunities for a textile design job out there during the time I finished my studies. For those instances I got interviewed for, feedback was often that my style and ideas were too niche for their typical customers.

Disheartened but not beaten, I dusted myself off and saw that there were many designers with distinctive styles out there in which I highly admire and respect that made it on their own. This is in spite of everyone else thinking that they were too ’niche’ when they first started.

This just shows that there is a gap in the market for distinctive designs it just takes a lot of time, hard work, dedication and perseverance. People like to be different, but yet there is also a lot of fear of being different – because people like to be unique, but they also want to fit in (such a contradiction, I know). So it takes time to convince people you’ve got something great for them and that being different is something to be embraced and celebrated rather than feared. I think having a genuine passion for what you do is also really important in keeping the focus on what you want and need to do, and in communicating that to others.

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Founder Focus – Topic 1: About Eliza’s Career Field

Founder Focus: Meet Eliza

Topic 1: About Eliza’s Career Field


Colour and inks hand-blending in the studio


How did you get started in this business?

I got started in this business shortly after I got made redundant from my full time job with one of a major interior company; that was at the height of redundancy happening everywhere.

I had always planned on starting my own design studio, but at the time that it happened, I did not think I was ready for it. After some soul searching, where I started designing on my own accord, along with some cold hard calculations looking at how long I would last with monies I’d saved up so far (my start-up pot) and redundancy pay, I thought I should take the plunge – “it was a now or never moment!” It was time for change, as they say “The Times They Are A-Changin”.


When did your interest in interior design first aroused?

My interest in interior design first aroused when I got my first house; I worked for a few years prior to starting university and then enrolled as a mature student. This is the first opportunity to do whatever I wanted to; a place of which I could call my own.

My interest in interior design then bloomed as I started doing my work placements at the many different design studios, ranging from fashion to interiors. This is when I discovered that although I still really love designing textiles for fashion and I am suitably able to do them both (fashion and interiors), my temperament and pace is much better suited to designing textiles for interiors. This went hand in hand with my increased interest in interior design as a whole.


What do you feel unique about your career field?

I feel that you can have a childlike curiosity and inquisitiveness and still be serious and taken seriously in what you do; and that they both actually work hand in hand, despite it seeming contradictory. Also, the people are much more fun and nicer to be around working with whilst still being professionals.

You don’t get that kind of luxury in many other career fields.

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The Bespoke Colour Process

As some of you might be aware of, we hand-blend all our colours in house in order to create all of our bespoke wallpaper colours. How do we do it I hear you ask?

Well, think of it like a human version of the Dulux colour matching service, in a way.

Colour Swatches

We see the colour sample of what you want to achieve and we blend it with our industry expertise, plenty of heartfelt sensitivity and, a good eye for colour to give you the perfect colour that you deserve!

Colour and inks hand-blending in the studio

So, if a client comes to us saying, “I would love to have your ‘Black Keys’ design wallpaper in hot pink or duck egg blue on plain ground” (colours that we do not have as part of our main collection). We would ask you for a sample of this said hot pink or duck egg blue colour you have in mind and then go on our merry way to blend this for you, by hand.

We will use the example of us blending for our ‘Dance!’ wallpaper in reflex blue on black ground. This is what it would look like in the mixing pot:

Hand-blended ink

We then do some tests until we get the closest (almost accurate) match to it.

Colour samplingOnce we are happy with the results, this is the time for us to do what we call a ‘strike-off’ to ascertain that it’s all good for the final printing with the actual pattern of the design and its repeat. We do this to confirm the colour accuracy, ink consistency and that the artwork on the screens we are printing from is all ready to go as well.

See ‘strike off’ as the equivalent to a dry rehearsal for a play or show.

Example of a strike-off

As you could see, because the inks are hand-blended using our expertise and savviness, we can cater to any colour request you have in mind. We can even do a glow in the dark one for you, should you fancy a highly atmospheric room with a contemporary glow to it! (Tip: ideal for a trendy den idea or if you’re refurbishing a bar or club – our wallpaper are fire tested with a European fire certificate and suitable for commercial use)

With it being hand-blended, this means that it is done with so much more care and detail. And due to its hand-crafted nature, each one is unique – this is even though you decide to order from the same design and collection as the next person. Then again, if you want to be even more unique, you can ask for your own colour to be specially blended for you.

Or if you want to go all out with uniqueness, we can do a complete bespoke design service specific to your brief! How is that for all out bespoke?

We are happy to hear from you, so feel free to contact us to discuss about your unique project.

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Mix Magazine – Issue 34, December 2013

We’re so delighted and honoured to have our Black Keys, White on Black hand-printed wallpaper featured in Mix Magazine, which is the colour, design and trend magazine that brings you accurate information about colour trends, materials and products in quarterly instalments. Where our houndstooth check wallpaper featured as one of the ones who gives monochrome 60’s style Bridget Riley op art look a nod.

I remembered this magazine from back when I was still training, where this was one of THE trend-forecasting publications we were encouraged to look at and use as reference for a lot of our projects back in university. And now we’re in it! Oh the delight!

Mix Magazine - Issue 34, December 2013
Mix Magazine – Issue 34, December 2013
Mix Magazine, p.27 - Issue 34, December 2013
Mix Magazine, p.27 – Issue 34, December 2013
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DETAIL Magazine (Germany, English Edition) – December 2013 Issue

DETAIL Magazine (Germany, English Edition) – December 2013 Issue


We’re so pleased to have made our debut impression on the German press through DETAIL magazine and architectural digest. Many thanks to DETAIL for this.

Here’s what it looks like:


DETAIL Magazine (Germany) - December 2013
DETAIL Magazine (Germany) – December 2013


Find the featured wallpaper in our shop.

We would like to thank the many intriguing individuals, professionals and businesses that we’ve met and have given us such great interests in our designs and most importantly, their invaluable feedback and support during our time on our first show at 100% Design.


Much design love,

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Deco Mag – November 2013

Deco Mag – November 2013 Shopping Guide

Here’s another of our stuff kindly being featured (again!) by the lovely Deco Mag! A snippet of what they’ve kindly written about us (click on text to read the full article on their website):

“The design studio’s signature patterns are inspired by modern urban life and are an intriguing combination of the graphic and slightly surreal.”

Melamine Coated Mixed Coasters
” there’s nothing twee about the work of Edinburgh’s Moody Monday..”


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London Evening Standard – 100% Design, September 2013

Firstly, I would like to start by saying what a great honour it is to have met the highly respected and notable design journo, that is Barbara Chandler during our 100% Design journey in September 2013. She popped by our stand, directed me all over the stand for the best lighting (she seems to really know what she wants!) and snap-snap she went!

Of the brief encounter we had chatting briefly whilst she was directing me to get the best lighting for her shots. I got the impression that she’s one heck of a woman! At the fine age that she is right now, she’s still very much active in her chosen field – oozing passion for contemporary design and photo-journalism. Have quite the eye for it too I might add! Her decisiveness is also one to admire. She’s still very much busy buzzing around the London Design Festival with an exhibition of her own, also giving talks at the V&A during this period. I recalled her rushing away to get to that talk after her visit to our stand. Yet, with all that stripes to her badge, she still comes across a very down to earth and approachable person. Shortly speaking, she’s one cool cookie and what an admirable woman!

Secondly, I would like to thank this fabulous woman for including us in her ‘Best in Show – The pick of the fabulous London Design Festival’ as one of the must-have products from this year’s festival. And I am certainly delighted that she thinks highly of our debut collection! Here’s a preview of it:

London Evening Standard, September 2013

London Evening Standard, September 2013

The electronic version of the complete publication can be found here.

Find the featured wallpaper in our shop.

We would like to thank the many intriguing individuals, professionals and businesses that we’ve met and have given us such great interests in our designs and most importantly, their invaluable feedback and support during our time on our first show at 100% Design.


Much design love,

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Patternbooth – September 2013

Patternbooth Blog – 100% Design, September 2013.


What Cara from Patternbooth has to say about us on our 100% Design journey in September 2013.

You can find the featured hand-printed wallpaper in our shop.


Patternbooth Blog Post on 100% Design, Sept'13
Patternbooth Blog Post on 100% Design, Sept’13


We would like to thank the many intriguing individuals, professionals and businesses that we’ve met and have given us such great interests in our designs and most importantly, their invaluable feedback and support during our time on our first show at 100% Design.


Much design love,