• Andrea Gillard

Eureka! My Way...

We don’t often really consider why someone has set up a business or has a specific vocation in life.

I know on chat shows we often find the guest being asked “How did you get into…?” or, “If you weren’t a … what would you be/do?” but when it comes to normal ‘everyday folk’ we rarely think about what – unless it’s something completely ‘left-field’ – got them started.

My journey has been rather unconventional but, looking back, was something I was always destined to do.

I remember sitting in a personal development session with Claire Cahill (Accendo), in 2013, and was asked “What are your goals?” Well, I burst into tears and replied, “I don’t have any. I’m just the glue that holds everyone together…” Wife, mother, daughter, full-time employee… Everything I’d ever wanted to do, or places I wanted to go, came second (or third, or fourth) place to whatever anyone else wanted to do – can you hear those tiny violins …!

Fast forward 3 years and I’d been on a Napoleon Hill, ‘Think and Grow Rich’ Mindset workshop, run by my own wonderful husband, and, being the conscientious student I am (ahem!), was doing my homework of reading a chapter the following morning on the bus then suddenly burst into tears – there’s a theme going on here, isn’t there?! However, the difference this time was that the tears were a Eureka! moment of ‘I know what it is I’m meant to do! I’m meant to be a designer!

This was a complete turning point for me and instantly I knew ‘my place’ in the world and how everything I’ve ever been interested in since being a child would be my own vocation and legacy.

Memories, of the way we were

Since as young as I can remember I always hated my Mom cleaning my bedroom – strong terms I know, but it really wound me up! You see, although my Mom’s always kept a beautiful and welcoming home, she never put my things back where she’d found them.

Okay, so I’m not even talking moving locations, or even a different shelf, I’m talking real semantics here, almost millimetres..! These were my treasured possessions, little souvenirs from visits I’d made to historical buildings, or a collection of miniature trinkets. I had a specific way of placing these ‘treasures’ in such a way to create the best overall effect.

I even ‘converted’ two shelves in my wardrobe to Sindy’s bijous apartment and would painstakingly set up a floorplan and scenario of what’s happening – I even designed a ‘glass lift’, years before I’d ever seen one, using a single rose delivery tube, cutting out a hole between ‘floors’ (shelves), just so she had actual access to the next floor and that the space was utilised to the best of its ability.

Looking back, it’s all pretty anal really, but I knew even from this tender age of 6 about aesthetic arrangements, colour co-ordination and spatial planning.

Even, as a teenager and young adult, I realise that the only magazines I’ve ever bought are home or property ones. I’d thumb the pages and turn over the corners of my favourite themes or inspirational pieces of furniture, accessories or suppliers, then look through them again and again. Often, thinking of ways I could either incorporate these ‘little finds’ in projects, or consider ways I would improve them.

All in all, I love anything to do with design and if you take that away from me, you take me away from me.

My ultimate aim is to create everyone’s own sanctuary in their own space, be that at home, or in their commercial environment – life is too short to not have your own piece of peace :)

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