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Gail Race Interior Design is an award winning interior design practice, known for creating elegant, contemporary interiors that express our clients personalities and aspirations.

How did it all begin?

I should have read the signs early on, painting murals on my bedroom wall when I was 10yrs old and always rearranging furniture, but it honestly wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I discovered there was something called interior design, and you could actually have a career helping people make their homes beautiful. I had followed my creative instinct and did a degree in graphic design, followed by a graduate position with M&S as a range selector at the then Baker Street HO. I managed to wangle my way into the Homeware department were I worked for a brilliant 5 years developing a wide range of home accessories. I then worked for Mulberry, creating a range of homeware to compliment their famous fabrics. I’d spend my weekends ‘doing up’ the home we were in and before I knew it, we were looking for ‘projects’ to renovate. We moved out of London when we had two small children and I gradually started to help friends with their homes. We were selling a property that we had renovated and extended which was featured in The Times, this started a flurry of enquiries and I took on my first official client. That was 15 years ago!

What sets your business apart?

We don’t do cookie cutter design. We spend time listening to and getting to know our clients and really understanding what they need from their home. Combining both the practical element so everything physically works well combined with great design. No two projects are ever the same.

What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?

Your environment has such a direct impact on your life, but often its hard to see why your home isn’t positively supporting you to step up to where you want to be. By understanding what makes you tick we can design your home to be a place that you love, where you recharge your batteries and a place you enjoy entertaining.

Where to next/What is your brand vision?

I’d like to grow my team and work on larger projects, both in the UK and abroad. I’m working on how to develop the Creative Direction part of the business, helping brands build interiors that reflect their vision, especially in the hospitality and well-ness sector. I love to work on a hotel or villa.

Gail Race

Founder of

Gail Race Interior Design

What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?

Chasing your butterflies. Noticing what makes your heart beat faster and recognising that means something.

Share an example of early life that has shaped you?

My parents had their own business manufacturing and selling ice cream, so from an early age I was learning about running a business. It was very hands on, seasonal and weather dependent. There was no such thing as a regular day.

Highlights of your business journey so far?

My clients. I’ve met some really interesting and inspiring people.

Key lessons you have learned along the way?

Listen, then listen more carefully. The gold that really makes a client delighted with their home is often in the small things that you have picked up on on a subconscious level.

Best piece of advice you have received?

Be you.

Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?

Learn as much as you can, be the expert in your field. Be open minded but stick with your gut instinct, it’s there for a reason.

What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?

Self-funded.

Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?

Whilst I have a design degree I didn’t study interior design or work in an interior design practise before setting up on my own. Though I had renovated quite extensively my own homes I didn’t have any formal interior design training. Working with clients, contractors, craftspeople, taking the brief, managing the budget and all the steps from creative concept to completed project is complicated! You need robust systems in place plus a huge amount of emotional intelligence to manage your clients and everyone involved on the job. I have been a sponge and learnt so much on every project. I listen constantly to industry podcasts and have a weakness for business books!

Why is it important to support women-led business?

We have to readdress the balance of power. The more women there are in business the more female voices will be heard, the more gender equal decisions will be made.

60

Seconds

with

Gail Race

My inspiration is...

Travel.

My greatest fear is...

Being open and proactive about seeking new opportunities that excite and challenge me and finding that nothing interesting comes my way. When I start to contemplate this I move into a new frame of thought “What can I create that excites me and pushes me to the next level?”

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...

Trust in myself.

Guilty pleasure?

Chocolate with salt.

Mantra you live by?

If not now, when?

Female role model?

Not one person but I always admire strong women who wear their passion on their sleeve, who don’t swayed from their course by others opinions or agenda.

Women-led brand you love?

Anya Hindmarch, Designers Guild and Malene Birger.

Top productivity tool?

Everything on my iMac.

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Gail Race Interior Design

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