Fiona Parry-Jones has a beautiful eye for design. When we first started working together and Fiona told me about her idea for colour workshops, I knew I’d be a participant one day. Fiona’s business is Von-Haus and as you’ll see from the beautiful imagery on her website, she really knows how to make a space look stunning.
I asked Fiona to share a little of her story here.
Can you tell us a little bit about your business?
I am an interior designer and colour consultant specialising in residential and small commercial projects. My philosophy is to bring spaces to life with a focus on creativity and detail. It is important I help clients express the true personality and vision of the space they want to design.
I also hold colour workshops for people who want to have a go at decorating their own spaces. This involves making mood boards to solve a decorating dilemma. It’s a fun half-day event that gets people inspired and excited to decorate their homes and have the confidence to use colour with a combination of paint, textiles and furniture.
What do you love about your business?
I love working with clients to help them discover what they love and how they can bring a space to life with my creative input. I also love the magic of seeing a space evolve over time into the finished result. It’s an amazing feeling to make my clients happy and inspired. I also love sharing my ideas and knowledge and I think it’s important to do this as a designer and a business owner.
What achievements are you most proud of?
I am proud of achieving the brand I always dreamed of but never knew how I would get there. I had a vision of how I wanted my business to be and I finally feel like I am making my way to that goal. I am also very proud of the first big project I completed in Brighton where I worked with the loveliest family to create the home of their dreams. This house has been my lucky charm and has put me on the map as a successful designer.
What’s one thing you would do differently if you had your time over?
Gosh so many things! But saying that I don’t have any regrets. The one thing I wish I had done sooner was to engage a mentor. Having recently used two different mentors to help me with my business I have realised how important it is to have someone who can take a look at your business from a different perspective. It has made me appreciate what I have achieved instead of being so hard on myself but at the same time it has also given me the kick up the butt I need to make changes and grow. I would recommend this to anyone starting out.
As a designer I am inspired by the likes of Kathryn M Ireland and Kelly Wearstler , they are two very different interior designers but both icons in their own right to me. I love how they incorporate their own range of products and I secretly dream of designing celebrity homes like they do.
I am also really inspired by Valerie Khoo. She is an amazing entrepreneur who has really helped me express my story as business woman and passionate designer.
Her book Power Stories has become my bible.
What’s been the most effective marketing tool / strategy for you?
Getting to grips with online social media has been the most effective tool along with starting a blog. I must admit it’s hard to keep up the blogging with everything else going on but I am progressing more with my strategy as weeks go by in order to get my stories out there and help inspire others. In particular I love using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I have not only made amazing contacts and networking opportunities through these channels, but I have also found an easy platform for me to share my ideas and enjoy some conversations about colour and design.
What are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to being recognised more for my style and talent in the industry as I grow. I am also looking forward to developing my workshops more and making them a big part of the business in the future. I feel strongly about making interior design accessible to everyone and this is a project I have dreamed of doing for a long time. I can’t wait to see where it leads to.
How do you maintain a sense of balance while running your business?
Now that I have an 8 month old baby, balance has become such an important word in my life. Having spent the last 5 years building my business I now have another important role that requires a lot of devotion and energy. Maintaining balance is a bit of a circus act for me now but nothing I can’t handle. Being super organised is the only way I can survive.
What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone wanting to go into their own creative startup?
Just get out there and start doing what you love. I recommend getting on board with all social media platforms as soon as you can and spread the word about your service or product. People will help you so don’t be afraid to ask for advice and network like mad. Most of all stay open-minded and don’t lose sight of your dream; it will come true if you work hard enough to get it.
We would be delighted for you to reproduce our articles as long as they remain intact and contain the author’s details as follows: ‘Kate James is a coach, speaker and writer. She works with people who want to live confident, creative lives. Kate can be contacted at www.totalbalance.com.au.’