PEOPLE, PLACES & EVENTS Claire RECOMMENDS
From impressively successful women like Sheryl Sandberg and Christine LaGarde, to my hugely influential Economics teacher (who has sadly now passed away) to my fierce and uncompromising grandmother who would never take no for an answer, these women provide a constant source of inspiration.
- Sheryl Sandberg - an American technology executive, activist, and author. As of September 2014, she is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook
- Christine LaGarde - a French lawyer and Union for a Popular Movement politician who has been the Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 5 July 2011.
I am responsible for product development at URBANARA, which means my team and I travel a lot – we are always on the hunt for great new suppliers who share our passion for quality and craftsmanship. Whenever we are in Asia, I love Lost Heaven in Shanghai. Yunnan food – this is Chinese food like you have never had it before. A province in the far south-west of China, it borders Burma and Laos and the food is heavily influenced by this. It is truly unusual and delicious!
If I get to go home to London in the summer, then I love a trip to Frank’s Campari Bar in Peckham. During the stints in my childhood when we were based in London, Peckham is where we lived, and this pop-up open air bar is on top of the car-park where we used to go to the cinema as kids. It is a really cool place, with great art projects but the secret is that this bar has the best views across London. You can genuinely see the entire London skyline for free.
And finally – after all that travelling there is nothing quite like coming home. Home right now is Berlin and happiness for me is Saturday breakfast at Engelberg on Oderberger Strasse, opposite my apartment. Honest, fresh German food, run by super nice people.
EVENTS YOU DON'T WANNA MISS!
For people with a passion for beautiful objects for the home (like me!), then Maison et Objet in Paris is not one to miss; you can get lost in the eight halls of homewares from around the world, and sometimes I make sure I get lost on purpose! It’s a fantastic place to find new products, scout out the trends and catch up over a glass of wine with the suppliers we work with, who we feel privileged to now be able to call friends. For something smaller and more quirky - Clerkenwell Design Week in London is great for meeting lots of new up-and-coming designers. It’s based in lots of smaller locations across Clerkenwell, in East London, and is my favourite way of finding new ideas and inspiration.
DO YOU RECOMMEND ANY SCHOOLS / COURSES / TEACHERS / MENTORS
Whilst I think courses and degrees are very important for developing your ability to create, structure and articulate your thoughts – I think in the end you learn most by just getting your hands dirty and doing it! There are ideas, inspiration and lessons to be learnt all around you – you just need to keep your eyes open and take every opportunity you get to expand your knowledge.