This week we’re back with another profile of one of our members: Georgia Cannon, director of her own interior design studio, which focuses on small-to-medium-scale boutique residential and commercial fit-outs. Enjoy reading about Georgia’s story and swooning over her lovely work!
What path did you follow to what you do now?
I remember designing geometric houses for friends and family on graph paper in Year 5, so I guess this path was somewhat predestined!
After faffing about for a bit post-school with a gap year and some indecision between studying architecture and interior design, I completed a Bachelor of Built Environment (Interior Design) in 2007. From there I worked in a couple of formative roles: one based in Brisbane for a multi-national, multi-disciplinary studio, with a quick stint in their Bangkok office, and another in a Melbourne-based studio that also involved a bit of time spent in their Sydney office. It was whilst I was living in Melbourne that I realised I would love to head home to Brisbane and do my own thing. That was at the end of 2012 and it's been a steep but ultimately rewarding learning curve since then!
What does a typical day involve for you?
Clients often think the life of an interior designer is all about glamorous shopping trips, but in reality there’s a lot of sitting in front of the computer! A typical day starts with going through my weekly to-do list and prioritising action items for that day. From there, it could be meeting with clients or reps; visiting showrooms or work sites; sketching, drafting, scheduling or responding to emails; bookkeeping or updating social media (which usually falls to the bottom of the list!).
What have been one or two favourite recent projects or commissions?
Pitch and Fork café is a recent project that was small but wonderful to be a part of. The tenancy is situated within a beautiful new building on a site that has great local history. My clients were fun to work with and really trusted in the design process.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your work?
Interestingly, when I first started out, all of the advice I received was to say ‘yes’ to everything. But as I’ve moved through the teething part of starting a business, I’ve really learned the value of saying ‘no’ when you need to. It can be nerve-wracking the first few times you do it, but if you say no to that project that doesn't quite fit with your ethos, it means you’re ready, available and enthusiastic when the right one does come along.
What are your plans for the future?
Mid-year we’ll be moving into a beautiful new studio space with some of our favourite Brisbane creative, so that will be super exciting! On the project front, I would love to have the opportunity to design a boutique hotel.
What are you or have you recently enjoyed…
We don’t have a television in our home but we do watch a bit of Netflix on the iPad and I tend to gravitate towards embarrassingly trashy TV for a bit of escapism.
I currently have three books on the go: Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell; Insomniac City, by Bill Hayes; and The Win Without Pitching Manifesto, by Blair Enns.
I listen to a broad range of music. If you were to take a snapshot from the last twenty-four hours, you would have heard the Internet, Tina Turner, Justin Timberlake, Diana Krall, Masego, Elder Island, Jose Gonzalez, Oddisee and Miles Davis, but in the car I usually listen to ABC Classic FM.
Can you list for us your top resources across any media that you turn to when you’re in need of creative inspiration?
I love Nowness [an online video channel], in particular the In Residence and Great Gardens series. I also love looking through old design magazines and books. Everything old is eventually new again!
What drew you to becoming a member of CWC?
I had recently returned to Brisbane to start my own business and CWC seemed like a lovely, supportive community of like-minded women that it would be a privilege to be part of.
What do you enjoy or value most about being a member?
I really enjoy checking in to the members-only Facebook group to see what other members are up to, hear about their triumphs and challenges and, most importantly, how other women have tackled those challenges in their own practice.
What is the best advice you have ever received, and what is the one piece of advice you would offer to a young artist, maker or designer?
Trust your instincts. Sometimes in the creative realm it can be difficult to explain to a client why what you’re proposing to make or do is right for them, but if you’ve fully engaged in the briefing process and done your research, sometimes you just have to have the confidence to ask them to trust you.
Opening photo: M4 House (image by Cathy Schusler)
Phoebe Miller is a member of the CWC Board. Her professional background covers experience in marketing and communications for the corporate, arts and not-for-profit sectors. She also ran her own creative side project, designing and making accessories under the moniker Simply Phoebe. Follow her on Instagram (@simplyphoebe).