Meet The Designer: Five Minutes with Paul Harrison from Design and Beyond

We sat down with Paul Harrison - the designer behind two of our new products - to find out what makes him tick, where he started, and what the future holds for Design and Beyond.

1. What inspired you to start Design & Beyond? It started when I was at University studying Interior Design, we were asked to create our own online presence in the form of a blog or portfolio, so I just woke up one morning with this name that had popped into my head. Design comes in many forms, so the word ‘Beyond’ meaning whatever I write or do, there’s always more to Design… here we are many years later with a Blog and eCommerce store!

2. Being a creative comes with down moments and self-doubts. How do you navigate and overcome these challenges? You’re right there, being creative means I have weird patterns, I have always been a bit of a night owl and my head seems to fill with ideas and creativity at night! This even happened at Uni too! I am very guilty of self-doubt, I spend many days doubting myself and my work but to overcome this, I simply switch off my laptop and just go for a walk, even if it is to go and grab a coffee.

That moment away from doubting myself and comparing myself to others I just have to avoid doing it because it doesn’t get me where I want to be. Some days I do feel down and less motivated, but it is these days I actually sit and reflect on what I have achieved, I then seek to find inspiration to help get my mind back into 'creative' mode which helps. 3. What is the biggest challenge you have faced since starting Design & Beyond? I guess the biggest challenge I have faced since starting Design & Beyond has been launching a small business, I am not a business person (whatever that really is), I am not a numbers person so it has been a huge learning curve for me, considering the website is all just me. When things go wrong, I have to figure it out myself as there is no Developer behind the scenes, it’s just me. 4. What is your biggest achievement so far since starting Design & Beyond? Why? Ooh, biggest achievement, is making over 50 sales in my first week of launching my shop and products, the response was just amazing and really gave me the confidence I needed. The reason for this was I made sure I had everything in place first, photography, shop set up, products made and kept making sure my socials were engaging.

5. Is there a quote or statement you absolutely live by?

Failing is better than not trying at all - something I wrote myself because I believe that if you fail, you have still tried and it makes us stronger. 6. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone going into design or starting a brand? I would say ignore friends and family, this may seem odd, but if you will only rely on people who will only be nice then I don’t be

lieve that’s honest. Get real feedback from strangers, test, make, draw, fail, break but most of all JUST START and don’t stop. Because strangers are your customers. 7. Where do you see Design & Beyond in the next five years?

Ooh, that’s a good one... I think I would love to see Design & Beyond become a brand people are familiar with, I would love to have a small shop where I can make my products and host workshops and who knows, maybe have a team of people working with me!

We're sure you're going to be big fans of Paul's work. We're loving the trays that we have in stock - they're available in two designs - black and white terrazzo and green. Perfect to keep on your desk, to organise your stationery or on a side table, to keep your keys and bits and bobs in.