Let's Talk: Bead Design Studio

One of the best things about blogging is getting to connect with readers in big ways and small so as you can imagine, it is always a treat to get lovely emails from you telling me about your wonderful businesses !

I recently received an email from Taryn Lamberti over at Bead Design Studio in Jo'burg telling me about her lovely business and not only did I want to share the pieces with you, but Taryn was also kind enough to answer a few questions I had for her.....

What are the first five words that come to mind when you think about Africa? 
Sunshine, lightning, grasslands, sunset, people

What is one of your favorite memories from time spent in Africa or around other Africans abroad? It has to be the time I sat with Nelson Mandela on 25 December 1995 as he ate his Christmas lunch. It was an incredible, humbling experience which will stay with me always.

If you could go to one place on the continent right now, where would it be and why? Medjumbe Island in the Quirimba Archipelago, Mozambique. It is picture perfect. White sand, turquoise water gently lapping up against the beach, a long sandbank to stroll along at dusk and seafood to die for.

Many people who have not been to Johannesburg (or anywhere in Africa) either have no idea what the city is like or have a lot of pre/mis-conceived ideas about the city, what is one thing that you think someone would be surprised to learn or see in Johannesburg? Well for a start they will be really surprised to see how amazing our airport is. It is one of the best in the world that I have seen. And I think the friendliness of the people is what really amazes visitors. We love hearing foreign accents and I believe we are a very welcoming city. I think our artists are one of our best assets, but that's me.

How did you first get interested in beads and textiles and what made you decide to pursue this as a career? I grew up watching my grandmother sew so fabric and patterns have always been in my blood. I have also always loved exotic textiles and ethnic prints so it is not surprising that I finally took the plunge and got my own studio. I love the fact that designers come into the studio with their fabric swatches and schemes and together we choose something perfect for their particular project. I love the design process which always ends up being a collaboration between me, the client and my wonderful team.  

When you are not coming up with amazing designs, what else do you like to do? I love cooking and eating and being at home with my family. That being said, we are big travelers and love nothing more going on holiday to a lovely new place.

Where is your favorite hang out spot? I love hanging out on the roof at Arts On Main on a Sunday. There is a casual bar area with long wooden tables with great views over the city and mellow music. But my all time favorite hang out place whenever I have a half hour to myself is the bath. I full it up, add essential oils and climb in with a décor mag. Bliss.

What is your personal soundtrack right now? I am loving Zahara Loliwe right now. She has an incredible voice.

Who or what has been your greatest inspiration? I find inspiration all over the place. Two colors together in nature or a piece of old embroidery at a market can spark something off. Lots of mistakes in the dying process have turned into some of our favorite pieces.

What has been your proudest achievement? Being a mother of two sons I would have to say they are my proudest achievement but I am also proud that I have managed to build my own business which brings me so much joy and personal satisfaction. I love what I do. Having your own business takes a lot of guts and it is no picnic in the beginning. I'm happy that we have made it through.

What is the best lesson you've learned so far? You can't take things personally in business. You can't be a shrinking violet. You need to have confidence in your self and your brand otherwise no one else will.

What dream do you still want to fulfill? I feel like I haven't even started yet! I want to come up with better and better designs for our textiles first and foremost. And I have always dreamed of one day having a Mama Mia style boutique hotel on a Greek Island. (my husband is Greek).

Thanks Taryn!!

{Photos: Bead Design Studio}

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