Barbara Barry is enchanting. During our recent conversation about all matters design, marketing and philosophy, I was admittedly “Barbara-ized.” Her spell is effortlessly charming – you will understand why, as you read on...
SN: How do you describe the essence of your brand?
BB: The essence of my brand is truly American…free to synthesize all I have learned and to bring that to a way of living with ease and grace. I design around the rituals of daily life – the physical, emotional and sensual – and strive to awaken in my clients the appreciation of these acts which, when supported with good design, can be transformative. My clients then experience the world in a different way and come back for more.
SN: Who is your typical client?
BB: My clients have intense full lives and they want their homes to support and nurture them; even if they are in them for a night or two. They are global. They generally have more than one residence and each residence is designed to serve them in this way wherever they are. They are accustomed to a certain level of comfort and luxury, which is revealed as much in the small details as the large. We provide an intimate service to our clients; one that touches every part of their lives and once they experience this, they want it throughout their lives.
SN: How did you build your brand?
BB: One step at a time… and loving each step. I put all I have into each step. I believe you either are a brand or you are not. It is in everything you do.
SN: What did you do to establish the reputation of your brand and keep it?
BB: 1. Care. Taking care of all relationships; with clients and with companies.
2. Standards. Working from a strong ethical stance.
3. Giving. 110%, whatever the budget.
SN: What business practices support the success of your brand?
BB: Always telling the truth. My opinion as a designer is the most valuable virtue that I have, and I strive to know it and own it. Believing in the essence of my brand – my philosophy – gives authenticity to my voice.
SN: How do you balance professional life with personal life?
BB: I strive to think right and by that I mean always coming from a place of gratitude. No complaining is allowed. I try to see obstacles as opportunities. I take time away. I rest. I eat right. I try to be in nature as nature renews me.
SN: What do you see as you look ahead to '09?
BB: I look forward to going deeper in the relationships that I have built. I am fortunate to have been asked to do a new collection with almost every licensee I have, even the longest standing ones, which, for me, is a great definition of success. So, for me now, it is all about how I do what I do (with care, standards and giving). I would love to author a book to share with others my journey. And there is nothing better than the philosophy of your life to guide your work and therefore your future. Thank you so much for thinking of me for this interview.
INSPIRED? Talk. Let us hear from you - how does Barbara's design philosophy and practical advice inform what you do?