Welcome back to Generation Now, and in this instalment, Yello had the opportunity to chat with Chante Ferdinand. This brilliantly gifted 25-year-old is the founder of Chante Ariel Designs. Chante discusses her love of interior design, as well as the ways in which SVG’s aesthetics influences her work, and she also imparts a few words of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs.
What sparked your interest in art and interior design?
I’ve always been into art from a very young age and even as a child I would spend hours drawing, creating crafts and painting. As I got older I became fascinated with interior design and its ability to impact the daily lives and well-being of the users. So pursuing it became a natural continuation as I saw it worked well with my love of fine art. It is definitely something that’s always been a big part of my life.
How does being an artist feed into your work as an interior designer?
They go hand in hand and my experience as an artist gives me somewhat of an advantage in understanding a client’s unique taste.
Additionally, it works in terms of understanding that each project or piece has a process that it must go through. From putting pieces together through compiling ideas and understanding appropriate and impactful colour combinations to ideal functionality and other features of a space and the effects on the users and visitors.
Briefly share your entrepreneurial journey to owning Chante Ariel Designs?
My journey towards what is now Chante Ariel Designs (CAD) started in 2014—right out of graduating from university in New York where I majored in Interior Design. My goal was to begin the moment I got an opportunity to do so. I registered the business name in January 2015 and in the latter part of 2015, I consulted with my very first client in Brooklyn. I helped her select new furniture and designed her living room. Since then, I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity to practice and utilize my skills in these respects.
What services does Chante Ariel Designs offer?
CAD offers from full-scale interior design services to a simple upgrade or even a mural painting. Working with our clients’ budget, we provide full-scale interior design services which include preliminary sketches, designed floor plans and interior renderings (images that express the proposed idea). On a smaller scale, we offer updates that are purely cosmetic. We will also work with clients to design both residential and commercial spaces.
What new projects are you currently involved in?
I recently started a U.S.A based online store called “Tropical Gypsy” where my paintings can be ordered in affordable, high-quality framed or unframed canvas or paper-based prints. The designs are also printed onto home décor, soft furnishings, and accessories such as cups, blankets, clocks, coasters, stools, rugs, tables, acrylic boxes and trays. All orders and purchases are fulfilled and shipped by Society6.
What current trends are influencing your work?
This is not necessarily a trend in the traditional sense, but I would say: “Never settling on one look.” As the design is changing, evolving and growing I want every space or piece I do to be an evolution from its previous form and also reflect my growth as an individual and professional.
How does SVG’s landscape or culture feature in your work?
The physical landscape of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is always present in my work through the use of colours and natural textures. I always try to include a feel of the local environment and culture.
What has been the most impacting lesson you’ve learned since you started Chante Ariel Designs?
So far it’s definitely been a long uphill climb, with many obstacles, and with much further to go, but the most important lesson thus far is the importance of patience, resilience and consistency. I’ve learned that: “If you are persistent, you will have it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.”
How has the growth of Chante Ariel Designs aligned with your initial vision for the company?
I expected it would take time for people to become acquainted with the need for interior design in St. Vincent and by extension the need for the services CAD offers. I held a realistic view of this fact and knew it would require much patience on my part. However, I believe we are evolving as a developing nation and beginning to have an appreciation for the advantages of a beautiful piece and a well-designed, functional and styled space.
Who has been your biggest influence and why?
My family, close friends and support system, as they have been there throughout the process. They are always providing encouragement; there is always a listening ear and when needed someone to deliver hard truths. I am very appreciative of them, because in the face of many doubters, and regardless of your chosen path there will always be, there was also much moral support.
What advice would you give to other young people who have a dream to become an entrepreneur?
Just start, as long as it’s something you want or know you need to pursue. Give it a chance and give yourself a chance.
Yello wishes Chante and the CAD team continued persistence. To learn more about CAD and the services offered, visit their Facebook page.
Yello continues to build its Generation Now alumni, stay tuned to see which inspiring members of Generation Now go after their big dreams.