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Sandra Canrom

Sandra was one of our earliest members, we spoke to her in 2018 at the start of her journey building a textiles business.

Hey Sandra — thanks for sharing your story with us. First of all, can you explain what you ‘do’ for work?

My aim in anything that I do now is to tell genuine stories, of what I believe people have yet to still hear… in anyway that I think is interesting and is important to me at the time. In the particular case of now, I tell stories of the African nation through Homeware design.

I like to ‘do’ what is necessary to make this story come to life and reach people…. the current do means…. design, plan, produce, test, experiment, strategise, think, play, (share coming soon).

I love how you describe what you do through it all connecting up to a bigger aim. Is that different to how you were working, and what you were doing 12 months ago?

My driven purpose has change hugely, I am driven by the story I want to tell now… I wasn’t driven by a story before… I was driven by what.. I thought I was ‘meant to be doing’.

I now work both in an unstructured and structured way… I am testing a lot more, I am learning more skills because I’m not labelled under a specific role, I make more mistakes but I also have more mini successes, I choose the people I want to work with — I have honest conversations, the filters are off!

That’s a fantastic insight, how a job title or expectation can restrict not only what you do, but how you do it. What prompted that change, and a shift into wanting to run your own business?

Starting my business was a secondary thought, I was driven firstly by wanting to live and do something where I could be making an impact and excited to do the things that I wanted to do each day… so I decided to create this reality!

You’re in the early stages of creating products which are physical, rather than just content or ideas. How steep has the learning curve been from agency life to production business?

I’ve learnt so much in such a short amount of time, things that I would never have known that I could do but also seeing how another world works, knowing when to push the boundaries and what are genuinely limitations.

There’s a lot of learning for me but also things to push in the industry, as you start coming with new ideas and realise that many things haven’t been done before or that they are done differently.

This feels like an immensely personal experience. How much of you as a person influences your brand, and the products themselves?

The brand is pretty much a reflection of all the things I am learning, my experiences, my culture, background… everything that has surrounded my world up until now… with the idea of bringing more and more things to the brand and product

Do you think working for yourself has a risk of being all-consuming? How do you balance time on and time off?

Working by myself has been both empowering but also all-consuming. I have tried to maintain a balanced approach to working, so that I can enjoy the journey just as much as what I’m working towards…. I learnt this along this journey, as I realise very quickly that creativity comes when it comes, so switching off when nothing is flowing is good because when it comes, it’s not forced and I enjoy it more.

You’re a new member of the Leapers community — but where do you think that support is most needed for people who are going about changing the way they work, especially those who are doing it on their own?

I would say that having a community that helps empower each other is great, creating an environment where ideas and advice can be shared, staying on top of what’s going in different industries is a great way to stay abreast of things.

And where do you expect you’ll be in 12 months time with the business?

I hope to have a line in a stockists, conversations (PR) talking about and sharing the work, that I’m doing. Well, we can’t wait to hear more about the project Sandra, and best of luck. What’s next on your to-do list? Production trials and packaging.

Work With Sandra

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Sandra Canrom, interviewed by Matthew Knight.
Originally published on 2018-12-03
"Having a community that helps empower each other is great, creating an environment where ideas and advice can be shared, staying on top of what’s going in different industries"

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