I'm Chloe Bullock of Materialise Interiors.
On Friday I won Business Women Excellence Awards - Sussex 'Woman in Property' at Brighton's Hilton Metropole http://businesswomenexcellenceawards.co.uk
Presented by Dee Simson, Mayor of Brighton, Hove and Portslade. Sponsored by Sussex Chamber of Commerce and Purple Brick.
This is some background about me...
- I'm a Brighton based interior designer of 23 years with an early passion ignited by my positive experience being part of the retail design team for the Body Shop after graduating 25 years ago. Being around Anita and her values has led to a life commitment to ethical, sustainable and cruelty free (vegan) finishes use. My mission is to get people, businesses and other designers thinking about how they can make a positive impact through their choice of materials.
- After 12 years trading, last year I became the first UK interior designer to become Vegan Design Certified to formalise and top up my learnings. I don't think people are aware of some of the practices that go on. For example, many paints are tested on animals or have ingredients that are tested. It's much the same as our choices when buying toiletries and cleaning products. This is something many people do and not just exclusive to vegans! Conscious consumption is something we are becoming more aware of in fashion. I want to encourage that awareness within the furniture and furnishing industries.
- My USP is I'm one of a handful of interior designers in the UK doing this and the first to be certified. I have lots of experience in commercial interior design so can deliver beautiful business interiors as well as homes. Choosing ethical materials doesn't mean sacrificing style at all. I have recently completed a restaurant design in Brighton (and have just received the professional photos) - the client did not ask for an ethical specification, but the alternatives are often better performing as well. It was really nice to be about to tell my client at the end of the project the interior was cruelty free and it was achieved at no extra cost.
- The natural progression was to carry on my study to learn about health and wellness in buildings - WELL Building Standard (as loved by Leonardo DiCaprio and Deepak Chopra who are both on the advisory board). It's the most fantastic structure for designing buildings that really work for the people using them and encouraging good health and wellness. It's an America standard that's international and pretty new here. As soon as I heard about it (on a podcast... I'm a keen podcast listener!) I got studying!
- I really feel that aesthetics are not enough anymore - better, more conscious specifications are what designers should be striving for as well.