There are two types of people in the world, those who’d rather sit at the front of the class and those who find haven at the back. Well, let’s just say that when I was in school I was always the one sitting right at the front and if you saw me at this year’s Design Indaba conference you’d have seen that nothing had changed. Attending Design Indaba had always been on my bucket list and I wasn’t going to waste any single moment sitting anywhere other than where I’d have the best view of the speakers. I think the sure way to get you to understand how excited I was is to compare it with how excited a Luhya gets in the presence of food. For all of you who aren’t from Kenya, the Luhya (of which I am one of) is a Kenyan tribe that is known for their EXTREME love for food and the way we take our food seriously is the way I took attending the biggest 3 day design conference.
After a dramatic day getting to Capetown (that included sitting next to an “acrobatic” baby for a six hour flight, a bomb scare at O.R. Tambo airport in Johannesburg, an Uber driver from hell and breaking my hotel keycard in the lock) I was excited to be where I had wanted to be for years, listening to the design greats surrounded by creatives from all over the world.
So there I was 5,200km from home, in a land I knew absolutely no one, but I felt completely at home. As I sat smack centre of the fourth row armed with a camera, notepad, pen and a million other things that as a women I just can’t seem to get rid of in my bag, I was ready to absorb as much knowledge and inspiration from all the speakers.
Speaking of speakers here’s a look at my favourite from the whole conference. Some of them were powerful speakers, others showed great works, other’s demonstrated passion like no other but what they all managed to do was make me believe in myself and my abilities not only as a designer but as a human. So with that said here are the 10 speakers that made Design Indaba one of the greatest experiences of my life. Oh, and let the record show that in the spirit of sharing my true and honest opinion about each of the speakers I shall be sharing the exact notes I took on each one, no editing done at all!
A couple of weeks ago I was having breakfast with some amazing women discussing our businesses/career paths and somewhere in that discussion we started talking about how when one’s business starts growing the little things they used to enjoy doing within the company slowly start taking a back seat. Reason always being that one doesn’t have enough time anymore. As we were all nodding trying to think of aspects of our business/careers that fit within this scope one of the women, my cousin and one of my biggest supporters, looks me straight in the eyes and says;
“Jordan, you’re culprit number one because you used to love doing your askTID sessions yet when’s the last time you’ve done one?”
“You see, guilty as charged.”
Then she takes a bite of her eggs and continues enjoying her meal as if she hadn’t just slapped some sense into me.
She was right though, I hadn’t done a session for 5 whole months and I should be ashamed of myself. For those of you who dont know what askTID is, it simply means ASK THE INTERIOR DECORATOR. It is 24 hours of me availing myself online, offering FREE INTERIOR DESIGN AND DECOR ADVICE. Whether one is having a hard time choosing a paint colour, or they don’t know where to find furniture or fabrics, or they just need help figuring out how to arrange their space, I am there to help them out. Check out the last sessions HERE.
To understand why having not conducted these sessions made me ASHAMED, you’d need to first understand why I do what I do (bare with me now). One of the reasons why I chose my career path as an interior stylist is because I place so much value on having a place to call home. I strongly believe that no matter how big or small, everyone needs at least four walls that they can call their own. Four walls that are a reflection of who they are! It’s therefore my life’s mission to help everyone achieve this either through my styling services or this blog. I will be honest, that sometimes I don’t feel like this blog is sufficient in helping people get absolute advice as it isn’t really as personalised to all of your individual needs and thus my askTID sessions. Now do you understand why not having done them in so long makes me feel so ashamed? It’s because I feel like I’m not being true to my mission of helping all of y’all turn your houses into homes.
So with that said and done, I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me (I sound like an unfaithful spouse who’s seen the error of their ways) and to prove I’m genuinely sorry I come bearing a gift like no other, the gift of knowledge. Knowledge of how to get the most out of any interior designer/decorator/stylist you may work with. I usually tell all my clients that it’s extremely important for the two of us to understand that we will be venturing into a very intimate relationship where the client has to open up their life-and dreams-to interpretation. Remember that when you hire a designer, especially for your home, you are entrusting them with your haven.
I have therefore prepared a cheat-sheet of the 7 best ways to get the most out of your designer, and if you follow ever single one I promise you will not only enjoy the journey but also guarantee a spectacular destination, that of your dream interiors.
Today, 8th March 2018, is a day that celebrates the most incredible, amazing, marvellous, spectacular (insert every other acronym for amazing here) people… WOMEN. Yup, ladies and gentlemen, it’s international women’s day. So in the spirit of acknowledging us I am dedicating this post to celebrate Kenyan women in my field, interior design and decor, who I admire and respect immensely.
Let the celebrations begin 🎉 🎊
So guess what?
No seriously, you have to guess?
Okay, I’ll give you three clues.
- It has something to do with a summit
- The summit has something to do with my passion and my livelihood.
- I have something to do with the summit
DING….DING….DING….you got it!!!
I, the one and only Jordan Awori, is a speaker at THE PAN-AFRICA INTERIOR DESIGN VIRTUAL SUMMIT 2018.
What will I be speaking about, you may ask? Well, I have more clues for you (I’m just joking!!)
I am excited to announce that I will be part of a panel speaking on THE MAGIC OF SOURCING, together with the amazing NANA SPIO GARBRAH (Creative Director Blueprint Africa from Tunis) and CHRISSA AMUAH (the creative director of Africa by Design and AMWA Designs). So if you want to know all about sourcing for design and decor items in Africa then this talk is just for you.