Jess Viscarde is the Creative Director behind Eclectic Creative, a Melbourne-based interior design studio that’s all about injecting personality into your home’s decor. Jess shares her eclectic style on her Instagram @jess_eclecticcreative and gathers inspiration from across the globe via the popular @pocketofmyhome.
Tell us a bit about what you do now and your journey there.
I launched my own business Eclectic Creative a few years ago after being in the design industry for over a decade and moving to Melbourne. When I look back on it, it’s crazy to think that, having just moved to a new city and not knowing anyone, I decided to launch a business.
What it did do was push me out of my comfort zone, it made me meet new people, work out what type of designer I wanted to be and the services I wanted to offer. I have studied Industrial, Graphic and Interior Design and have combined all my knowledge and skills into my small business.
We’re all about collaboration, offering Interior Design, Styling and Photography alongside my hand-picked bunch of talent.
Our style is approachable and non-pretentious - kind of a ‘middle finger’ to how the industry can be perceived - as I believe good design should be for the many, and something that is attainable to us all. I like to help people work out their personality of their home or their business and do it in a friendly and encouraging way. We pride ourselves on the eclectic style - blending classic and contemporary while injecting a sense of realness and personality!
How do you set goals? Do you follow a specific process?
I am a big picture thinker, so having a visual in my head of what I want to achieve and what the end result looks like is what drives me and motivates my goal setting. In terms of specific goals, with me, being a big picture, end result kinda person, I like writing lists and having tactile vision boards (dream boards work well for me) so I can stick them up in my studio and keep focused. I don’t follow a specific process as such - that’s my weakness, and I am working hard on instilling different procedures - but I play to my strengths and know that visuals and lists capture my goals and aspirations, so I run with that.
What do you do when you hit a roadblock or things aren’t going right?
Taking time out away from the computer is a must for me: going for a walk, grabbing a coffee or catching up with other creatives. As a sole trader (and working with my awesome assistant - my black rescue cat Peg) things can kinda get lonely so creative sessions and meet ups are a must.
Learning to outsource areas that aren’t your strengths is a good idea too, it frees up time for you to focus on the things you love and can pump out with little thought or effort.
What’s one habit you credit with getting you to where you are now?
Talking to people! Networking is so important in the line of work that I do and you just don’t know who you will meet by simply striking up genuine conversation. I have always been quite bubbly and the art of good communication is integral as an Interior Designer and Stylist so I really think this habit of mine (lovin’ a good chat) has helped me get where I am today.
I moved to Melbourne not knowing one person, in an industry that does have a hard shell to crack. Collaborating and working with like-minded people is what I have been about since day one, hence by business name - Eclectic Creative. I’ve always seen my business as a collective of creatives coming together to work on exciting multi-faceted projects.
What keeps you awake at night?
Cash flow. As I am relatively new to business, entering my third crucial year, managing my time, working smarter and getting on top of cash flow can keep me awake at night.
The design industry and small business life has its ebbs and flows, it’s highs and its lows. As I am a true creative and ruled by the right side of my brain, I am hard wired to just run with creative projects and not charge my true value and worry about the financials later. I have learnt quick, this is NOT how to run a business and have been working hard to improve this side of my business, through outsourced help, bookkeeping programs and working on my business plan… and thankfully I am sleeping a lot better!
Who or what inspires you the most?
I am inspired by hard workers and genuine people, people going out and giving it a damn good crack. I am also incredibly inspired by Mother Nature. I find colour palettes, textures or ideas just from walking outside, or watching the rain fall. I am a hopeless Pisces, completely inspired and motivated by a ‘vibe’ or a ‘feeling’.
Do you have a favourite quote or saying?
I regularly use “Just Be You.” and “Baby Steps” as my mantra of late. Authenticity is integral to creating a strong, honest brand and business and people see through you straight away when you’re not being true or adding an extra layer of B.S.
As I am forever running into the future and prone to anxiety I like to whisper ‘Baby Steps’ as it reminds me that Rome wasn’t built in a day and stepping stones to your BIG goals is what it’s all about, it’s the journey, and something I have always said, it’s the journey of inspiration.
What tool, tech or app are you loving right now?
I have just bought myself a Bosch laser measuring tool, so I am completely all over on-site measure ups, no longer battling with the tape measure. Just point and shoot. Completely professional, and fits in my handbag. What more could a girl want?
Describe one big goal you have set for 2017.
A big goal I have is launching an online course to help people understand the design process behind decorating and styling their homes and sharing all my knowledge and tips I have learnt along the way. This is huge for me, but something I have been working towards ever since I launched Eclectic Creative.