In August, we ran our sixth Get Started with Product Design course, in partnership with the Prince’s Trust and met Sarah Omoraka. Following the course, we organise working placements with our members so graduates can go on to gain super relevant, hands-on experience in creative fields. Sarah spent two jam-packed weeks with fashion start-up ADAY! Here’s how she got on and what her plans are next …
Welcome back Sarah! So, how did you find yourself at Makerversity?
I came across Makerversity through one of the Prince’s Trust ‘Get Started’ courses. I wanted to learn something fresh, build up new skills and interact with new people, so I got on Makerversity’s week long course, Get Started with Product Design.
What did you think when you arrived on your first day at Makerversity?
I hadn’t been anywhere like it before. The space was unique and different, it didn’t feel like a workplace! It was very relaxed. I really loved being here daily because we were surrounded by all this creative buzz. Because so many people here are just starting out and working on their ideas, we got to see loads of cool things and products coming to life as well as meeting lots of lovely people through the course and talking to them about their work. It was nice to be right in the middle of London, where the scenery and the buzz can be so inspiring.
What did you work on during the week-long course?
The course was all about exploring furniture design. Our brief was to design a piece of hybrid furniture – something that could have two functions. My background is in fashion so I was a bit nervous but it was fun to test myself and come up with all these ideas. Towards the end of the week, after coming up with our designs, we worked with one of Makerversity’s members, Oliver to build 1:3 models of his Fuzl hybrid, rotatable coffee table/desk. I enjoyed being in the wood workshops and learning something completely opposite to what I did in uni.
Does anything you learnt on the course particularly stick out, either about yourself or in terms of skills?
During this course, I learnt a range of different drawing techniques which I thought was very useful for somebody with an art background. Those moments for me, ignited a passion that I thought was lost and forgotten but funny enough the talent is still there. I just love the idea of being able to draw freely, with no types of pressure and just letting your mind release and translate onto paper. I also learnt that I am very impatient and that I want to things to be perfect all the time, that it is fine to not get it right.
What made you want to stay on for a work experience placement?
Although this week was all about furniture design, what I really love is fashion so it was great for me when I found out that Makerversity had arranged work experience with some of their members for after we finished the course. When I found out one of them was a fashion company, I saw this as an opportunity to be taken advantage of and learn as much as possible from.
During your work placement who did you work with and what made you want to work with them?
I worked with ADAY, who are a small fashion start-up and spent two weeks working directly under Alexis who is the VP/Brand Creative, which was such a great opportunity as I got to do everything she was doing. I was drawn to ADAY because they are so new and fresh. They make clothing that is beautiful, technical and sustainable. They are all about balancing minimalist design and technical fabrics for everyday wear. Their aesthetic is minimal and I liked their branding and ethos but mostly it was so interesting to get a proper insight into how everything runs behind the scenes, especially right at the beginning when a company is quite new.
So, thinking back, what were your favourite moments and what was the most challenging part?
Lots of favourite moments! One was researching locations for one of their upcoming shoots in New York and coming up with lots of ideas for locations and interiors for a possible pop up shop (shh). My absolute favourite day was probably being on-shoot with Alexis for a photoshoot for the website. Helping her cast models and being part of decisions was cool, and it was also fun to chat to the models and get to know them a bit more to see if they were a good fit for the brand.
In terms of challenges I would say feeling a bit out of my depth and questioning my abilities was something that worried me sometimes. But Alexis was really supportive and I also got lots of support and encouragement from Makerversity to just embrace the experience and learn as much as I can. I really didn’t need to worry actually!
What do you hope to move onto now your placements are over?
Not quite sure but I am very optimistic about my future! At the moment, I am applying for fashion internships and jobs. My work experience has made me realise that a variety of roles within the fashion industry that I could get into. I just need to figure out what it is about fashion that I really love and what type of role I want. I haven’t started any projects yet but I have lots of ideas for things I want to do and this has been a great starting point to figure that out.
If you could offer advice to anyone wanting to get started in creative work, what would you say?
I think it’s important to get as much experience as you can and always say yes to everything that comes your way. But also, you don’t have to have any specific experience or to have done a degree at all to start your own creative project, just an idea. I’ve learned that energy and hard work are everything. The ADAY girls had so much of it. So just go for whatever you want to do!