Name (s): Tara Watson
Where’s home? London
Profession: Interior Designer
Company: Spicer Interiors
Did you go to university? Yes!
Where did you go, what did you study and how did you do?
Leeds University studying Film and Photography.
Was it necessary in hindsight to what you’re doing now?
No it wasn’t necessary, but it definitely got my eye into what was visually pleasing and what wasn’t. It also made me more cut throat when making important decisions creatively as there’s always a surplus amount of material to chose from.
Was it a clear-cut path after you left in terms of what you wanted to do?
I had always been inspired by Interior Design and after University I thought I would join KLC Interior Design School which is where I fundamentally learnt the most I have ever learnt in solely three months. I really would recommend one to do a short course as you will come out the other side full of knowledge and confidence. I actually wanted to be a vet when I was younger, it’s weird how life takes you in different directions.
What pressures do you think many twenty-somethings are faced with?
Competition!! There’s so much out there. I wouldn’t call the internet secretive. It reminds me of someone who would otherwise be known as a tale-tale-tit as she knows everything which can be highly frustrating. It obviously has it’s perks though but a lot of people use your ideas for free, that’s what’s annoying with interior design. People can be so cheeky and ask whether they can ‘have your advise’ but that advise takes over a day’s work with no pay. I’ve now had to be really straight forward with people.
Exactly what is Spicer Interiors is?
Spicer Interiors is an interior design company based in London but we are flexible to move around the UK or abroad for the right job. It is actually my mother’s maiden name. I wanted to keep it in my family because it is my Grandfather, Paul Spicer, who I should thank the most.
How did the idea for your company come about?
I’ve always wanted to set up my own company and be my own boss. It’s the dream, isn’t it?! After my KLC course I knew exactly that this is what I wanted to do.
What has been the biggest challenges you have faced in setting up Spicer Interiors?
Getting my name out there really. It’s really hard to advertise yourself. Social media only helps a little but majority is word of mouth and that takes time.
Who did you seek advice from and who really helped you in the early stages?
You know what, I actually didn’t have any help from Interior designers! I actually learnt a lot about setting up a company by Henry Morley who has a company called True Luxury Travel. Here I learnt about social media, SEO’s and google AdWords, website designs, accounting etc. I worked with him over last summer so I cannot thank him enough for allowing me to see all sides of his business.
What do you have to remain consistent about in running your company?
Social media. This has to be a constant feed of inspiration and ideas but also recent achievements. You need to keep It live and fresh but it’s a challenge keeping this up. I have two interns working on this for me this summer, Fido and Molly; thank you!
Do you ever doubt yourself?
Yes all the time! I sometimes think ‘Crumbs what happens if this doesn’t work out?’ as many start ups don’t, so we shall have to see. I have my fingers and toes crossed all the time!
How do you market yourselves?
We have business cards, social media sites and website links but its all about word of mouth. I gave a woman on the train to Ascot races a few weeks ago, my business card, and we’ve been in touch ever since!
What do you wish you had known then that you know now?
That it always costs more than anticipated. Electronics and advertising come at prices that you don’t necessary envision.
Any mishaps along the way?
Not yet… :/
Any personality traits you never realised you had setting up Spicer Interiors?
Well I’ve always known I can get dreamy but having your own business really pressures you to be on the ball the whole time. It’s harder than expected to get up and do things on your own accord rather than someone else telling you how and when to do something by. I’ve always followed instructions, now I’m writing the instructions so I’m still trying to get my head round it all!
What advice would you give other twenty-something’s who are thinking of pursuing a career in this field?
Go with your heart. Don’t be confined or persuaded to stick with what people think is right. It’s important to have your own style. Trends are very easy to follow so don’t be mislead. A trend is what someone else thinks is the best. Do what you think is best.
What do you think the next steps are for you?
Having some beautiful houses to develop! I am thinking of even expanding my business to buy and sell properties in London and re-develop the interiors. The choice is endless but I do plan to take my business to Bali next year and hopefully have a project out there to complete, so keep your eyes peeled!
What has been your best moment so far?
My best moment so far has to be the article in 25 Beautiful Homes. They wrote a fantastic blurb and the house looked fabulous. I thought it was simply a two-page spread, but instead I found out that I took the front page and had a four-page spread!! I was over the moon. Words can’t express how euphoric that moment was for me!
What’s the dream?
End goal is just to have fun with it really. I want to be able to take my business to countries if I wish to move, or base it in London but to have a client base that trusts in me and my judgement will be my dream.
You’re stuck in a lift with Donald Trump- what do you say?
I wouldn’t say anything. Instead, I would place my beautifully hand made, creamy Victoria sponge in his face. Then leave the lift.
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