Our latest interview is with the textile designer Julie Kouamo, the founder behind the brand Kouamo that brings stories of traveling and colour into your home.
1. Why did you start your business in London?
After finishing my degree in London I started to freelance in this city as it was where I built up my business network. I also believe that London is full of opportunities and very multicultural which definitely fits my business.
2. What is your favourite spot in London and why?
I would say the top of the Shard at sunrise or at sunset. It will give you the complete view of London, its monuments, its architecture and you would feel on top of the world.
3. What do you love about having your own shop/brand?
Having my own brand enables me to bring creativity with my values. I really enjoy being my own boss and having different caps on depending on the days and on what we need to focus on as a brand: the social media community manager one day, the sales person the other, the accountant, the person in charge of recruitment and most importantly being able to choose which direction I want the brand to go.
4. Describe your brand/boutique in three words.
Travel-inspired, Colorful and Bold.
5. What is your favourite item from this season’s collection?
I love this print because it really reminds me of my time in Viñales where the time stood still and people were looking at the time passing by sitting on the Sillions, the traditional Cuban chairs with their dogs lounging in the sun.
6. What inspired your latest collection?
With the Viñales Collection, Kouamo takes you to a small town in North West Cuba. Cuba is an island full of fascination and under the surface, much is changing. Here in the countryside though, it feels that time is on hold.
Our designs draw on the beauty in the detail of everyday life in the Cuban countryside. The music in the air, a queue at the bakery, games on the outdoor football pitch and animals running free in the courtyard.
7. Three must-have items in anyone’s house?
9. A country you’d like to travel to and why.
Papua New Guinea: the country, the fauna and flora sounds lush as well as meeting the tribes there to understand their culture.
10. What do you do when you want to get your creative juice flowing?
I get my sketchbook out and go on and about in the city and start drawing. Or I take a life drawing class.
11. Proudest moment of your career?
Being stocked at ABC Carpet and Home in Manhattan in New York.
12. Best advice anyone’s given you?
Don’t give up on your dream!
13. An advice you’d give to a fellow business owner in this field.
Put your objectives down and do your market research.