One of the geat benefits that come with my job (if you can call it that when you’re having so much fun!) is having the opportunity to meet some interesting people, whether it is designers, customers, manufacturers, reps, etc.
Some of them have even become friends. One such person is Yvonne Potter of Y DESIGN STUDIO. I have loved hearing about her adventures in China where she travelled to find a manufacturer that could produce beautiful pieces that met with her high standards for quality.
With a Bachelor of Industrial Design, an apprenticeship in Milan and several years' worth of experience in designing, producing and marketing modern furniture, she is well versed in the realities of the furniture business in Canada (which are challenging to say the least), and has ultimately turned to China for the production of her pieces. Some designers will not put too much emphasis on the fact that their products are made in China, but she totally embraces it, even pulling inspiration from it for her designs. Her Vivian Stool, for instance, was inspired by 'working in China, specifically Mandarin characters which are little hieroglyphs.'
She feels passionate about this issue: ‘’It's a shame that the West ignores China like it doesn't exist....it has had so much bad press even with the Olympics... Their quality is improving rapidly (especially all the factories still in business during this recession) so it is exciting.’’ She adds: ‘’ A note to the critics of China - where do you think all the stuff from Pier One Imports and Home Sense comes from?! Not to mention Nine West, Armani Exchange, Canadian Tire, Coach, I could go on and on and on.......!’’
Enjoy the Q & A!
You’ve worked on several projects. Is there a project of which you are particularly proud?
Going to China, and producing my own line of furniture with a Chinese/American manufacturer.
Whose work do you find exciting?
Have you ever wanted to be anything but a designer?
Yes : architect, fashion designer, artist [not necessarily in that order !]
What are you going to design next?
Vivian with a back ! Then a chair version as well as matching cafe and kitchen tables. Oh, and a lounge chair called the "Relaxing Lady's Chair", inspired by Jasper Morrison's Thinking Man's Chair.