1. What was the inspiration behind beginning Design Illustrated?
Blossom - It is everyone's dream to be known for what they are best at and this was the next stepping stone for us to be valued for what we love doing. Moreover financially this seemed to be the best option to go for considering the fact that sadly a set of creative companies here have taken it for granted that salaries can be delayed even if work goes on.
Samantha - After gaining experience with other talented and experienced designers we decided that creating a brand of our own was the next step in our respective careers and decided to go for it. A challenge is always necessary to grow.
2. How easy/difficult was the process from when you decided to start it, till the day Design Illustrated opened?
We had a little help from a friend! Our partner Adam who is already running a successful business of his own "Technobyte" spoke to us about the process of a startup. I would say forming the company was the easy part but keeping it afloat was and still is the challenging part. You need to reinvent your thought process for every project you take on and stay updated with growing market trends.
3. What's would you point as out red flags or things to look out for, to budding entrepreneurs?
Being a budding entrepreneur, make sure you always know the value of your work and worth especially when in a creative field. Always have your paperwork intact. Do not work for free! The rest all comes with experience. Be a good student and observer. It helps to understand your client, work and working /interacting with people better.
4. Do Bahrain’s economic policies and assistance make the journey smoother for women entrepreneurs when compared to other countries?
Being a woman entrepreneur is difficult in most countries. But I would agree to it being more progressive here than many other countries. Not just policy-wise, but also in terms of being welcomed to work on projects for both young and older local clientele.
5. What have been your milestones so far?
Every project we get to bring to life is a milestone as we are part of the process from when on it is just an idea on the sketchboard to when it opens its door for a business or becomes a home. Our first project "Crave" a comfort food joint in the Flagship is definitely one we would never forget. As well as our project "Eighty Eight Keys Music Academy" since music has always been close to our hearts.
6. What is your vision for Design Illustrated in the new decade?
To be able to grow as a company and work on larger more significant projects in Bahrain, Middle East, and India. Most important of all is to have a more sustainable approach to everything we design and to educate clients so as to the need of using more sustainable materials and methods during the mode of construction as that is need of the hour.
7. While choosing business partners, given how symbiotic your duo is, what would your wise adage be, to others?
Being a woman designer duo is our best advantage I'd say. It gives us a bit of an edge compared to the rest. We have very contrasting personalities which we think helps keep each other grounded. A ying-yang if you may. It is very helpful when we design and deal with people in general. Good cop - bad cop like they all say. Always works!
8. What would you like to see in the world of women entrepreneurs in 2020?
Taking more risks, being more business-minded and believing in their inner power. There's nothing women can't do!