For the longest time now, I’ve been contemplating writing this blog. Like many I’m sure, who have gone before me, I had the fear! Will anyone read it? Is my design style good enough? Will anything I have to say actually be interesting or even relevant to anyone? Can I avoid spelling and grammar typos without the help of my trusty proof-reader? But, the only way to know the answer to any of those questions of course, is to try! So, I’m grabbing fear by the scruff of the neck, looking it straight in the eye and doing it anyway.
When I decided to take the plunge and turn my personal Instagram account to an interiors’ one last year, one of the unexpected by-products, was how much I enjoyed the writing process. But there is only so much you can write in an Instagram post.
The aim of my blog here on the website is simple, to share with you my love of all things house and home. Be it sharing projects we’ve finished in our own home or projects I’ve worked on with clients. Perhaps it will be talk of my latest vintage or charity shop find; or sharing beautiful homes I follow on Instagram. I might even start some home tours, watch this space! The possibilities are limitless.
But how did I get here? Well, let’s just say, my journey to making interiors my career has been a ‘round the houses’ type. Having studied Hotel & Catering Business Management at college, I knew fairly early on that wasn’t the career for me. A few admin jobs later and I began working for an executive search consultancy in London, and a career in the head-hunting industry began by default more than design. It paid well, I liked the people I was working with and I progressed the ladder steadily.
When I took the decision to follow my heart and move to Ireland to be with my now husband Gavin, my career options were somewhat limited. The executive search industry here was understandably minute compared to London and comparable jobs were not really an option. A considerable salary-drop later, I found myself in a recruitment agency, learning at the coalface of mass market recruitment. It wasn’t for me, but I learned so much. The part I loved, was coaching candidates to be ready for interview, helping them to make their CV more marketable and in general the interaction with people.
In a lightbulb moment I decided to go back to education and study for a Life & Business Coaching diploma. Pregnant with our first child, I knew whatever happened, I wanted to develop a career which allowed me to prioritise family life; yet earn enough to keep up my shopping habit. After graduating from the course, I set up a coaching business, mainly focusing on career coaching and preparing candidates for interviews. I had a slow but steady flow of clients, thanks mainly to an affiliate link with Monster, the online recruitment site.
Sadly, when the Monster relationship ended the work dried up. To be honest, with baby number two having arrived, I had my hands full anyway. Then one day over a cup of tea and chats with a school Mum, the idea for a new venture was born. We shared a passion for interiors but also a love of vintage. Ireland was in deep recession and the days of buy everything new were over. Her husband’s Grandparent’s house was being cleared as sadly they had both passed, and the family just wanted rid of everything. We persuaded them to let us take some of the furniture and bits and pieces they didn’t want.
So began Treasure Palace Designs, a fledgling upcycling and vintage business, doing up pieces to sell at markets. This was at the start of the zeitgeist, when the term upcycling had only just begun to enter people’s psyche. Annie Sloan’s chalk paint had become big news and the possibilities were endless. Between us we began learning new paint effects, made things like cake stands out of vintage plates, learned basic upholstery techniques and generally had a lot of fun. It was hard work and it didn’t really make us any money, but we loved it.
Finally, I had found a way of tapping in-to my creative side. When my pal went back to work full-time, I carried on, albeit on a smaller scale. Mainly doing pop up shops and the odd market.
A few people had asked me along the way if I also advised on interiors, yes, I said, yes of course I can do that! So, I bring you back full circle to the concept of winging it! I was most definitely doing that!! Learning as I went along, but also realising I had a natural eye and flair for interiors. My coaching skills were coming in very handy too, as I quickly learned, much of the process is about hand holding and gentle encouragement to make braver choices. I needed to come up with a name for this fledgling interiors’ business, thus ReTwiggd was born. An amalgam of my maiden name of Twigg and the idea I can help you to reimagine your interior.
The growth of my Instagram account definitely took me by surprise. The doors it has opened up, beyond anything I could have imagined. The events I’ve been lucky to be invited to, the people I’ve met along the way, with new friendships formed. Getting to meet your industry idols, not to mention the excitement of award nominations. Instagram as a platform may be changing, but I will always be very grateful to it and the path it has taken me down.
I have been very lucky throughout it all, to have the amazing support of my very patient husband Gavin. He’s also leant considerable amounts of elbow grease along the way, not to mention allowing himself to be roped in to the odd Instagram post. He always believed in me, even when I didn’t quite believe in myself! Encouraging me to go for it and not limit my horizons. Plus, he’s become a dab hand at turning my mad cap ideas, usually involving power tools and pallet wood in-to reality!
So now the next exciting phase of the ReTwigg’d journey. A beautiful website (thanks Sika Media), a fancy business card and a bucketful of determination to make interiors my full-time paying job.
I used to make collage art prints to sell at markets with the phrase ‘Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life!’ Never has there been truer words spoken.
Thank you for reading!