At Etienne Aigner, we are all about building on our classic heritage and expertise in craftsmanship. How do you use your experience and skill set to evolve your own unique brand?
You have to do what I call your “visual homework.” Immerse yourself in the field, read everything you can on the subject for background and context. I went to lectures, I read books, I reviewed technical documents. All of this gave me the background and expertise I needed, even if it wasn’t immediately put to use. Eventually this knowledge and the skills become useful. You absolutely have to pay attention and acutely observe the world around you.
From an interior design perspective, I want to create a home and lifestyle that is hospitable and inviting. I like to collaborate with my client to get a feel for who they are and what their end goal is. You can still have elegance and beauty without sacrificing comfort. Honoring heritage is key, but I think building on the concepts that work, and adding a modern twist or a new touch keeps it fresh.
What advice would you give to someone looking to take an entrepreneurial step in their career, particularly women?
I think that men tend to take big bold risks in business and not apologize for it. As women, we may play it safer and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We do our research and our homework and that prepares us well when we do need to take calculated risks which is an important part of any business.
I think now more than ever, women are open to these types of opportunities. Etsy, for example, has given women a creative platform where they can sell their goods and take the first step to business ownership. The time has come.