In our latest instalment of The Dream Team, we sat down with our earth mother.
Introducing the calmest person you will ever meet, our Production Manager, Carissa. When she's not ordering beautiful new designs for our showroom or liaising with customers, Carissa can be found hanging out with her son, most likely outside, surrounded by animals and nature.
Read on to find out her Sunday morning routine, current wishlist and her creative inspirations.
Where are you from and where are you now?
I was born in country Victoria, then grew up in Melbourne. We lived in Queensland on a farm for two years which was a nice break. I'm living in the West now. Though I am yearning for a sea change, this is a while away.
How did you get started in the world of interiors?
I studied graphic and fashion design and then went to work for a branding company. When I was there, my boss and I did a fun interior design course. My eyes opened up from that experience. I would spend my lunchtimes reading Belle and Real Living Magazine. Then, I started a diploma in interior design.
To be honest, I went into furniture retail thinking it would be boring. I was wrong. It’s so varied and ever-changing! Sales weren’t really my thing and I found I more enjoyed the administration aspect of the store.When I found the position at Curious Grace, it was a perfect fit.
Talk us through a standard day in your life.
In the mornings, I start a bit later so I can spend some time with my son, Chase. We have a nice breakfast together and get ready. When I get to work I’ll have a chat with the team about the Order Fulfilment area, then start working. I try and break my days down into the various hats I wear such as Order Management, Order Fulfilment and Accounts.
Evenings are spent at home doing the routine dinner, bath etc. But, these moments are just as precious as the exciting ones.
What's the most rewarding part of your job?
I love putting together the furniture containers to come from overseas and forecasting what we may need for the next quarter. Straight after we’ve ordered one container, I’m keen to get onto the next!
I love fulfilling an order and sending beautiful pieces to our customers. They're so excited by their new purchases, so it is great to be able to provide this for them. I feel that providing beautiful spaces, can help people live beautiful lives.
I’m also oddly passionate about getting new items into the stores or sold on backorder as quickly as possible. I really enjoy it when our sales staff have great success with new products.
And a challenging part?
Working with customers expectations as we have a varied range of custom pieces with varied availability. The lead times may be a bit longer than off the shelf items, but definitely worth the wait.
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I use Instagram as an evolving mood board. It’s very interesting to see the way real people use our pieces in daily life. I’m known to search products via hashtag or stores via location. I love how people want to share their stories and lives.
Who are the designers you are loving at the moment?
I don’t follow any particular designers, but I have noticed I am leaning to a different aesthetic. I think this has been influenced by being out in nature with my son. I’m loving timbers and natural materials more. This is a stark contrast from my previous preference of gloss black and jewel tones.
What did you want to be at age five?
Famous - does this interview qualify?
If you could perform on stage, with any musician ever, who would it be?
I think I’d like to be involved in a musical, maybe Queen or Grease. I feel like if you're in a musical you’d be comforted by props and less exposed. I sang in a choir at the AFL grand final before but this seems like a lifetime ago.
What would you sing?
On a Sunday morning, we’ll find you…
Having crepes and a slow morning playing and painting. We’ll get ready and head off on an adventure, something nature-based like a bushwalk or a park. We’ll often choose a place that works well with lunch or afternoon tea.In the evening we’ll often cook something like a roasted vegetable soup.
If you could eat one meal, for the rest of your life, what would it be?
French toast with berries, maple syrup and mascarpone cream.
Okay, last question! What are the top three things on your Curious Grace wish list right now?
I love the clean lines of this lamp, I'd use it as both task lighting and as ambience when you don't want the whole room to be lit.
Dreaming about all the stuff I could stash into this storage unit.
I like the elongated look this piece gives with its negative space. I'm all about clean lines and extending the length of the room by some cheats. No unnecessary detail means that this won't add to clutter or bulk in the room. With so many toys in the house, our key pieces need to be refined and understated.
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Nothing breathes life into your home more than the pieces of furniture that bring loved ones together over a meal, so we've chased up the Curious Grace design experts and asked them their best advise on how to choose the perfect dining table and chairs for you.