Have you ever felt that feeling of ‘knowing’… recognising a talent so real, raw and early, that you want to do all you can to make it grow and emerge for the whole world to see. And then when that talent happens to be so close, it would be a crime not to encourage it in a small way.
I’ve lived that unfamiliar path of owning an artistic talent, but not really knowing what to do with it. Fashion Design seemed the right thing to do in the early 90’s…something my farming family lovingly encouraged, and with wide eyed bemusement, they saw me trot off to London to pursue this acareer.
During this time and before, there was another little light about to beam her talent within our family. My niece Daniela, who I adore along with her sister Natasha. When I actually remembered birthdays, would shower with vintage Camden cast offs, books on fashion illustration and signed Spice Girls books, (bit of a name drop here, but I knew Ray Cooper, Co CEO of Virgin Records at the time which helped..BOOM!)
But here’s the most heart warming story of all, what with her gaining a first for her fashion degree, winning awards for her talent, travelling to Thailand, working for various London Fashion Week designers, Burberry and Matches, then meeting her handsome partner Callum, and bringing two VERY beautiful children into the world, at the same time living and developing properties in Ibiza AND Mallorca…you can probably see why not much contact was made…
Until that is, the TV programme the GREAT INTERIOR DESIGN CHALLENGE were recruiting candidates for the show. Now my brother, (Daniela’s father), has never really known what I do…EVER! Or asked, but then I doubt fashion and interiors PR would ever interest someone from the RAF regiment and who has an obsession with motorbikes!!
So when he mentioned that she was doing really well, and because I hadn’t seen her for 15 years, I didn’t really relate to the news. But then he told me she’d won…I was a mix bag of emotions! First it was jealousy, because it’s the sort of thing I’d always wanted, but then slapped myself out of that and realised how incredible this all was…and then the pride took over and my heart just filled with pure love, exactly the same as the first time I saw her.
This beautiful niece of mine was back and now playing in the same field as me, somewhere I’m so familiar, that again, it would be a crime if I didn’t get back in touch and offer all my encouragement and mentoring in a world where I know the pitfalls and contacts.
And let me say now to any who may doubt her magical talent, I have seen it right from the moment she brought home artwork from school, and my brother and sister-in-law held up one of her projects at the age of 6, and questioned whether it was ‘normal’ for a child so young to be able to draw like that! See her illustrations for her final project at Uni – it’s obvious her light is so spectacularly bright, that I have absolutely no doubt she will be ridiculously successful – but not only this, I want others to enjoy and celebrate her talent, please try not to put her down for it (*cough TWITTER cough*)!
So here’s to a new star in the world of interiors, and thank you to The Great Interior Design Challenge – you brought us back together and I couldn’t be more grateful x