Name: Zimkita Sidumo

Business: Blaque Pearl Lifestyle

Tel: 072 706 4949

Email: info@blaquepearllife.com

Location: Johannesburg

What is Blaque Pearl Lifestyle all about?

Blaque Pearl Lifestyle is a fully integrated interior, decor and design company focused on providing clients with a bespoke service that marries the core facets of lifestyle into innovative and beautiful designs. We provide bespoke design solutions for residential, corporate, hospitality and commercial clients, both locally and internationally.

Our service provision entails up-cycling, repurposing and refurbishing of our clients’ existing furniture pieces and home decor into top class modern design and decor styled with unique furniture and art pieces. Our services are not limited to styling and decorating interior spaces, we also provide events styling. This is also in addition to project management of residential and commercial interiors projects.

What design is to us is when form and function meet art. Our purpose is to give clients a new and bespoke experience to any residential or commercial property space.

How would you define your style of design?

My personal design style is luxe contemporary art décor with a pinch of transitional styling (laughs, I’m hard to please). My business partner Siyabesho Thutha is the mad eccentric one. We marry our different styles incredibly well and that adds a lot of uniqueness to our work and creates a niche kind of approach for our clients.

What are some of the biggest trends right now in the interior design & décor space?

Interior design and architecture, in general, are moving more and more towards organic and sustainable design. We see more materials being utilised in their natural raw element: oxidised concrete exterior walls, steel beams and tree trunk stools.

In interior décor, we’re seeing a lot of green plants and tropical prints in fabric, more so with Greenery as the Pantone colour for 2017. In addition, jewel tones are stealing the limelight, mixed patterns as well and pops of retro furniture design and accessories – retro lights are replacing the big bistro light look.

Why did you decide to take the entrepreneurial route?

Believe or not, I’m still captured by corporate as an Assets and Liabilities Committee (ALCO) manager. I do the entrepreneurial part mostly after hours and weekends. My business partner Siyabesho Thutha is on Blaque Pearl Lifestyle full time. The dream is to leave my day job and focus on Blaque Pearl Lifestyle on a full-time basis.

You were a finalist on the Win A Home Designer Challenge two years ago. How was that experience like? Are there any lessons you can share?

That was the biggest leap of faith I have ever taken in my life! Leaving the comfort of what I knew to chase a dream almost felt like a pursuit of some fantasy life. It felt so surreal that I had been chosen amongst the best designers in SA – that was already a win for me.

The experience was humbling, amazing and difficult all at the same time. I was exhausted for a full three months after that competition. I learnt to stretch my creativity, trust my gut, rely on strangers and believe in myself. The biggest lessons I learnt were that we are the ones who limit ourselves and it’s never too late to dream a new dream, and the scariest decision you make will be the most rewarding.

Who has influenced you the most when it comes to your work?

There’s no particular designer or one thing that influences my work. I enjoy opening myself up and exploring different currents. I’m an adventurer at heart. I look forward to new experiences but i can be a scaredy cat at times. I love learning and thrive off being creative. Also, I enjoy travelling and soaking up different cultures, trends and ways of doing things. I make a conscious effort to be aware and observant of what’s going on in the world.

Which project/s have you enjoyed working on the most?

The design work on the Win A Home show was the most fun and my most challenging projects to date. The deadlines were tight, budget constrained and I was in an unfamiliar city with no contacts which made it a little hard to operate with confidence.

What’s your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs who would like to get into the interior design?

Get into interior design & décor with your heart and spirit and be sure to make it a passion. All the hard work that you pour into that passion will show in your work. Don’t be over-ruled by your excuses. Go for it, study, put yourself out there and share your work with as many people as possible.