“Everyone progresses all the time and you are amazing too and you will just keep on getting even more amazing as time goes on!”
Meet designer and director of Niamh Design Studio and Niamh Homewares, Niamh Fitzsimons of GirlCrew Dublin.
The best thing about this series is that we get to feature some amazing women who are doing great things, and it’s always nice when you get to learn something new. This is particularly true of GirlCrew Dublin member, Niamh Fitzsimons, the owner of Niamh Design Studio, as she wasn’t aware of surface pattern design being a viable career path until she stumbled across it while working in a design agency – “I [had] my first lightbulb moment when I was working in Philips Design and was asked to create a surface pattern design for one of their products, [and] I loved it. I then discovered the blog Print & Pattern and realised people do this for a living.”
A graduate of Graphic Design College, Niamh spent seven years living in Holland before returning home to enhance her skills, work on her portfolio and connect with agents in America. As she had always been looking for a specialised niche, this time helped Niamh to create a focused plan and she ended up working with companies in Seattle and New York “selling and licensing [her] patterns to buyers there for tech products, fashion, stationery, homewares etc.” The success of licensing her work in the States has now led to a spin-off company, Niamh Homewares – “I wanted to create beautiful, individual, quirky pieces for the home. Right now I have some cushion collections for the living room or bedroom and some kitchen pieces. In August I will have my notebook ranges and more to come.” With a personal style that blends Japanese culture with western references and kitsch colours schemes her ranges are both gorgeous and fun. However, if you see something you like make sure you snap it up as all her stock is limited edition and sold on a strict first come, first served basis.
If you’re looking for something for the perfect gift, or to treat yourself, all GirlCrew members can email Niamh on email@example.com for a special discount before you hit the checkout.
1. What is the best thing about your role?
The best thing about my role is being my own boss. Being a creative, you do not always have your creative moments in a 9-5 slot, having freedom allows it to flow more. Also being able to create and have a job that I have passion for and love is an amazing thing!
2. What did you find most challenging about your job?
You do not have a salary each month and if you license a design it can take up to 2 years before you see payments. You need to be working on many things at the same time sometimes this can be challenging. When you work for yourself it can also be tricky to switch off from the business.
3. What is your proudest business achievement to date?
So far it has been my determination to not give up when it gets tough. Also being brave and with no experience landing two amazing agents in the US and selling there. My last one has been beginning my new homeware lines and attending showcase Dublin to launch it.
4. What would be your one tip to others who want to pursue this career?
To never give up…always try new things if you get stuck. Connect with the online design community for support so you do not feel alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to get to the next level. Be prepared that licensing takes time and patience before you see rewards. Create all the time and don’t look at others work and judge your own. Everyone progresses all the time and you are amazing too and you will just keep on getting even more amazing as time goes on! Happy Creating fellow designer GirlCrewers out there!
5. What would be your motto in life, and in work?
To try and be happy and grateful for each day and not to take anything for granted.
If you are a member of GirlCrew and are interested in being featured in Meet the GirlCrew, drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org! x