Curacao-based designer and photographer Hubertienne Ricardo-Decaster, founder of JenPEN Creative Studio (www.jenpencreative.studio) discusses the rewards and challenges of running her own design studio, her sources of creative inspiration, and the appeal of a .STUDIO domain in this week’s My Side of the Dot™.
Where are you based?
I’m based on Curacao, a little island in the Dutch Caribbean (or, as it used to be called, part of the Netherlands Antilles).
What was the inspiration behind the name JenPEN Creative Studio?
Actually the name JenPen was a nickname a good friend of mine gave me years ago. When we started to organize creative events, I used it as my artistic name and eventually when I started my business it was no-brainer to use that also. I always wanted a real studio (still in the works) and, as I’m a creative person, I liked the idea of enter an creative studio.
What motivated you to start JenPEN Creative Studio as a website and blog?
I started my blog on Blogger. I’m still on blogger. But I had such a long blog name (jenpluspenequalsjenpen.blogspot.com). It was a mouth full and I really don’t know why I came up with that name. But when I started my business, I wanted to offer my services through my blog, but the name had to change. So, I bought my own domain on GoDaddy and changed the blog, now website to my business name.
What creative services do you offer and do you tend to focus more on one service than another?
I offer interior design services for home and offices. It also includes staging and styling. I also offer product photography services, but I tend to lean more on the interior design as that is my main thing.
What is your goal for JenPEN Creative Studio?
My goal is to be the one of the best interior design studio on the island and to work with international brands for my blog.
What is the biggest challenge of having your own creative design studio?
My biggest challenge has been to find clients that really appreciate the art of interior design. It still is something looked at as luxury, so I try to let people see that it is for everyone. We all need help understanding our layout better and how to use it better.
How do your clients find you?
Mainly through social media like Facebook.
What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve done, and why?
I haven’t been in business long, but one of my favorite projects of the past year was doing a complete makeover of a living room. It was great, because it was my first solo interior design project. And it came out looking awesome. And in the blog world was me being shortlisted and being in the top 5 of the Amara Interior Blog Awards.
What are your greatest sources of creative inspiration?
Pinterest is seriously my greatest source of inspiration. I also love the see other interior bloggers, like Emily Henderson, that also have their own design studio. It’s a great inspiration to see how they grow.
When even that doesn’t work, I drive around and start walking in neighborhoods and look above and beyond what there is to see. Also if possible, I love the travel and visits trade show for interior design.
How did you hear about .STUDIO?
When I was searching for a domain on GoDaddy and I saw all the different extensions possible.
Why did you decide to register .STUDIO in lieu of something more traditional like .COM?
.STUDIO was just perfect for me. I wanted something different and it fits my business name perfectly. It made my website/blog much shorted and really easy to remember.
Is there anything you’d like to leave readers with?
If you want to see about my projects, give me a follow on Facebook or Instagram. For the ones who would like to get my blog posts in their mail, please subscribed. There is a tab for that on the website.
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