What’s your name? Sarah Wakefield, I work under my maiden name Parris

How many children and old are they?

I am blessed with two gorgeous children, a boy and a girl aged 7yrs and 5yrs

What is the name of your business? Parris Wakefield Additions

What is your business and when did you start it?

Additions is our range of contemporary interior accessories – cushions, lampshades and wallpapers.

​​We specialise in bold, colourful, graphic patterns, we are huge lovers of colour and all our designs are inspired by the colour palettes we see around us; ​​from nature, to art and fashion. We are proud that all our products are manufactured in Britain.

We launched with our first collection in September this year, we were fortunate to be accepted to exhibit at Tent for the London Design Festival and we have been flat out ever since.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

Additions began out of a frustration of not finding colourful contemporary accessories for our home. Shops are swamped with ‘vintage’ with many designs simply regurgitating past styles; ‘retro’ and ‘mid-century modern’ which run the danger of becoming a pastiche. I enjoy experimenting with craft and technology and by combining the two, we hope to show that digital design is a skill that can be beautiful. Technology isn’t the enemy of craft it is its future. I hope that the work of artists such as David Hockney and Gerhard Richter who have both embraced digital technology in their work helps to dispel the myth that digitally created art / design is a simple ‘press of the button’. We create all our designs digitally, which involves a complex process of layering and interactions. Our designs are also printed digitally which enables us to achieve the vast number of colours, fades and interactions which just would not be possible with other printing methods. As a bonus, we found digital printing to be more environmentally friendly too, using half the ink and water compared to screen printing.

Can you share 3 positive aspects about being a business mum?

Simply doing something you are passionate about makes you happier and a happy Mum means a happy family.

I am able to work from home, which means I can work around the school run, giving us a good work / life balance.

It is also great to be able to involve the children in the business, they are the first people to see new designs and they are not backwards in giving their opinion. It is really interesting to hear what they think, they are becoming quite the design critics and I have learnt it is wise to listen to them.

Any downsides?

My children are used to me being around and the trade shows mean we have to be away for 4 or 5 days which is hard for them ……and me.

How do you keep motivated?

I am fortunate to work alongside my husband, Howard, who is always brilliant at encouraging me when those moments of doubt creep in. Also, meeting people at events like Tent are fantastic, to hear what they thought and to see their reaction is the best motivation. Having people literally stop in their tracks at our stand and just smile is what is all about.

Would you change anything you’ve done in building and developing your business?

I wish I had done it sooner, Howard and I talked about it for so long before having the courage to go for it. Then once we did make the decision we had a very short timescale to get everything ready for the launch, so with hind sight I would have definitely built in more contingency time.

What tips would you give anyone wanting to start their own design/craft/interiors business?

You have got to love what you do and be passionate about it.

Ask yourself what is special about what you do? What sets you apart from the rest?

Know that and you will be successful.

Never assume anything, always admit if you don’t know something and asks loads of questions.

You can follow Parris Wakefield Addition on Twitter or Facebook and Pinterest

I can’t tell you how much I love these bright, colourful designs. So much of what we see for contemporary homes is muted and monochrome; Additions is a welcome breath of fresh air.

Thank you to Sarah for sharing her story so far and we wish her lots of luck for the future.

If you would like to be featured on the Design Divas page drop me a line at jen@lovechicliving.co.uk

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