Interior designer, Jo Berryman launched her exclusive interior design business eight years ago in London
Jo Berryman Studio is a flourishing luxury interior design brand created by the British ex-fashion stylist, Jo Berryman.
And whilst this interior designer’s business offers interior design, project management, styling and consultancy work, Jo’s work is known worldwide for its uniqueness and energy.
With her bold but detailed approach to design Jo has found lasting success in business by creating interiors that exude freedom, flow and entertain splashes of meaningful color.
As an interior designer, Jo’s impeccable sense of style and progressiveness consistently challenge the international design landscape and are supported by mantras such as ‘live vivid’ and ‘creating the museum of you.’
I longed to do something more soulful and enduring, it felt like an organic progression to use my honed magpie’s eye to curate and create beautiful sets, homes and commercial spaces.
Here the Hong Kong-born Founder and Creative Director tells Nativa World about what compelled her to change her career and details her journey into the interior design world….
Jo, what does the word ‘Achieve’ mean to you?
For me ‘Achieve’ is not necessarily about financial gain or celebrity, it is more about a state of mind where what you do and what you believe in are so clearly aligned, this level of authenticity allows for a full and productive life personally and professionally.
What’s your background?
It began in the wilds of the fashion cupboard at Elle and Elle girl UK, from here I nurtured a love of fashion and beautiful objects. I then went on to become a freelance fashion stylist where I worked with brands like Levis and styled a various up-and-coming bands. I also opened up a cute stall in Portobello Market that sold customized tees, home made jewellery and vintage designer clothes. This stint at the stall inspired me to set up Jezebell, an emporium for emerging and established designers as well as vintage and lifestyle items. After two years in the business, I had to close it down, which broke my heart. I had just given birth to my first daughter Nico and was in the throes of a marriage breakdown. This was my Annus Horribilis. It was around this time I decided fashion was too fickle and industry for me. I longed to do something more soulful and enduring, it felt like an organic progression to use my honed magpie’s eye to curate and create beautiful sets, homes and commercial spaces. I set up Jo Berryman Studio, whilst garnering national acclaim for the design of my own home. My first client came about after she read about me in InStyle and literally carried magazine tears of my bedroom in her hand bag for months. Almost a decade on I have a thriving and successful international practice, I have to pinch myself sometimes as I can’t quite believe it. I’m so fulfilled by the work that I do right now.
My goal is to gently push the taste boundaries
How do you work with your clients?
I never impose my aesthetic and work with my clients to achieve a vision that is mutually aligned, holistic and collaborative. My goal is to gently push the taste boundaries and urge them to be bolder and more discerning with their choices.
What sort of client does your company attract?
Our clients are spread over an interesting spectrum. From nuclear families to philanthropists and leaders in creative and artistic fields to sporting legends.
I apply color with giddy abandon and champion local artisans wherever possible.
What’s your signature style?
Irreverently bold and stylishly functional. I apply color with giddy abandon and champion local artisans wherever possible.
All of our projects generate media attention, as they’re so unique, colorful and refreshing for people to see
Where do you get your ideas and furnishing choices from?
Ideas tend to pop up anywhere and everywhere- from an episode of The Chef’s Table on Netflix to a meditative retreat in deepest, darkest Somerset. We work with a myriad of craftspeople in the UK and import rugs from Istanbul and fabrics from France. We have Liberty on the doorstep and the flea markets, vintage shops and junk shops in Portobello- so all sorts of sources.
Which has been your most high profile interior project?
All of our projects generate media attention, as they’re so unique, colorful and refreshing for people to see. One of our clients actually asked us to pull together a Halloween party, drawing inspiration from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. We collaborated with a mad theater company and completely transformed their house with taxidermy, tomb stones in the garden, fires, giant flowers and a genuine, gypsy fortune teller…. that packed some real punch.
What challenges have you faced launching your own business?
Starting out in any creative field is always a risk as it is so competitive, i developed a serious case of ‘Imposter Syndrome’. I would break into a cold sweat at the prospect of presenting my ideas to clients. Mindfulness techniques and a rigorous exercise regime helped ground and cement the belief in my capabilities. Now I would happily talk about what I do in front of a paid audience.
Who inspires you in interior design and also in business?
I admire Rose Uniacke. Her in depth knowledge of art history and restoration imbues her work with an almost regal sensibility. Her brand is a clear distillation of her life, work and what she believes in.
What do you miss most of all when you’re away from home?
My daughters Nico and Romy.
What do you always carry in your suitcase?
A large merino wool blanket and a riveting book.
Jo’s tips for launching an interior design business:
- Scope out contemporaries and see them as a benchmark not competition
- Get your head around using design-centric management software
- Engage with your clients and ask for feedback
- Feed inspiration, go on nature walks, visit galleries and window shop
- Be the brand and style your home and yourself accordingly
Photography courtesy of Christopher Michael Tew & Jo Berryman Studio