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Designer Insights

Designer Insights with Ted Kennedy Watson

Ted Kennedy Watson lives in Seattle and owns the retail shops Watson Kennedy. This has allowed Ted to travel, design and work with some extremely creative people. With an international brand, with customers from all over the globe, Ted absolutely loves design and sharing his design ideas and inspiration on his blog tedkennedywatson.com.  His book “Style & Simplicity” is available from May 6th on watsonkennedy.com or available at Amazon. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Ted Kennedy Watson.

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– Transcript – 

1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?

My style and aesthetic is more a philosophy of surrounding yourself with the things you love, and that by doing that, it will make you quite happy in your own home.  I love a mix of old and new.  Things should have many purposes.  This philosophy is the prevailing theme of my new book, Style & Simplicity.

 2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?

I am super visual, so I see what I am going for first in my mind, and then move things around and build on a thought until it is what I am thinking.  Whether it be a window, shop display or a room, ultimately how you ‘feel’ when you are in the space is the most important to me.  Good design to me involves each of the 5 senses.

3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?

Being a shopkeeper, I don’t really ‘work’ with folks so much as collaborate with them.  My customers are incredibly diverse.  Finding objects for their homes when they are in the shops is very much a collaborative process.  As for those I respect tremendously and admire, my friend Barbara Barry, who wrote the foreword for my book, would be at the top of the list.  She lives life incredibly fully, just like she designs.  She is so respectful of nature, people, surroundings, and beauty.

4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?

 Inspiration to me is living in the moment.  Seeing all the glorious details swirling around us at all times.  Travel, reading, time away–all are inspiring on many levels.

5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?

Be organized.  Have a laser like focus on your goal.  Have fun.  Surround yourself with folks you like and that have different skills than your own.  Be able to do all the tasks necessary to run your business with success, but then be wise enough to have others do the things that they will perform better/wiser than you.  Ultimately be aware that doing a bit of something good everyday for your business over time will add up–kind of the turtle scenario.  Have fun.  Yes I said that one already, but it was worth repeating.

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