We met Alyssa last year when Stuart & I traveled around America. We were delighted to meet Alyssa in San Fransico and stayed at her home as Air B & B guests. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Alyssa is such a great hostess, she made us feel so welcome in her home.
Alyssa is a industrial designer, She has created a line of amazing and colourful toys/furniture called “Kwerks”. The toys are abstract and kids and adults alike can have a great time playing with Kwerks.
Alyssa is fun to work with, full of passion and is a great designer. I have been working along side Alyssa for the past 12 months with her business and although we are in different part of the world and thanks to Skype ,it has made our communication so much easier . Skye has made my job so much easier to communication with my clients. The best thing about Skype, it ‘s FREE to use on internet.
Tell us a little about you self and what you do.
I am an industrial designer and I’ve created a line of toys/furniture called Kwerks™. Kwerks are stuffed toys that be used as pillows and also as toys. They are designed to be abstract so kids can used their imagination of what they can be and used for. Kwerks can be stacked and interlocked non-specifically, to create play structures and act as furniture.
Who inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?
Charles and Ray Eames inspire me. All the designs they accomplished through hard work gives me hope that I too can succeed.
Where do you get your inspiration from when you design?
My inspiration comes from sea creatures and forms the artist Jean Arp creates.
What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Creative, hilarious, enthusiastic, persevering, and loyal.
Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
My first job was working as a file clerk for the company Big Dogs. My first job out of college was a Technical designer performing space planning for systems furniture. I then had a job as a cabinet planner, and had some freelance design jobs for home decorating companies. I was not 100% satisfied with those jobs and decided it was time to pursue creating and selling my own designs.
Describe a typical day in your studio space?
I sit down at my computer with my morning cup of coffee and look and answer emails. I browse a couple of websites and figure out what I need to do for the day, which is usually working a couple of hours on Kwerks and my school work (I’m studying landscape design.) At 6 o’clock I practice yoga and then around 8 o’clock I make dinner. After dinner I work on more school work, and then retire to sleep at midnight.
As a solo artist/designer, what is your biggest frustration?
My biggest frustration is doing most of the work by myself, and not having enough funds to hire other people.
Tell us about how you prioritise your studio work.
I figure out what needs to be done for the week, and find time during the week to accomplish those goals.
Since you are working at home, can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)?
I have a lot of friends who are in art college and who also attended, so my community is primarily artists and designers. I also go to a lot of design, art and live music shows, and meet people that way.
Tell me how do you manage Study and working on your business?
It is tough, but I manage to split my time between the two, and usually devote certain days to work on just business or school.
What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?
Don’t let the man bring you down.
What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
I would love to take a vacation to another country on money that I’ve earned from my designs. Better yet, I would like to some day own a home.
What is your proudest moment so far?
Having an online store and a trademarked logo!
Who do you most want to meet and why?
I would have liked to meet John Ritter so I can tell him I think he was the greatest physical comedian.
What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
To always work hard and passionately in everything you do.
What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
I am reading From Yard to Garden by Christopher Grampp.
I would recommend the book Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke.