Women's Day 2019 with our women entrepreneurs.

Interior design is a universal art, but in a time when women are fighting for power, it’s nice to reflect on the empowering women who have and continue to pioneer in this field. When it comes to interior design, women have traditionally been forerunners and leaders of the industry. The first ever interior designer was, after all, a woman - Elsie De Wolfe. Since then, all time greats such as Ruby Ross Wood, Rose Cumming, Frances Elkins, Kelly Wearstler and Victoria Hagen have gone to ensure women reign supreme.

These women challenged or revolutionized design concepts resulting in the industry of today. But what does all of this actually mean? Is interior design the most female-friendly field out of all the design industries? Is there really parity and equal opportunity here?

International Women’s Day 2019 inspired Arch-Q to take a walk with leading women in the field of architecture and interior design through the course of a buzzing work day.


Architect at Annkur Khosla Design Studio, Mumbai

  • What inspired you to become an architect?

The aspect you can influence so many lives. That design can transform society and a nation.

  • What do you think needs to change in the industry for there to be gender equality?

Good design is beyond gender.. 

If the belief is that the industry will also change the perception one day.

  • What has been your experience as a woman in the industry?

The last comment I received from a client is that your passion to the profession is commendable. My experience  has been wonderful and it only grows with each passing year.


Interior Designer at Classique Interiors, Kolkata

  • What inspired you to become an interior designer?

I always wanted to take the family business forward and was inclined towards the creative aspect of business  hence I landed up being a s interior designer.

  • What advice do you have for young girls waiting to break into the industry?

Patience is key , never leave an opportunity to learn as this is a very dynamic industry. Interior designers want to do everything, but in the beginning you might not be able to do everything. Young people think interior design is a neat career. It seems like a glamorous job. It’s really a learn-as-you-go career; you have to get out there and be willing to try.

  • What has been your experience as a woman in the industry?

Getting work done on time. Meeting schedules, limiting costs and keeping the client happy are all challenging aspects of the job. Good communication is really important. You have to be a salesman, you can’t be quiet and timid—that’s not going to work. It’s important to present your ideas well. Overall the experience for me was good. I did my job perfectly as the industry accepted me quite casually.


Founder and Director of Architectural Quotient, Mumbai

  • What inspired you to have your own start-up in this field?

Having worked in the media industry, exhibitions and events, and a design firm, I was fortunate enough to view the architecture and interior industry from different angles. I understood there exists a chasm in communication and perception in the way business is done. I also felt that the sector is still very unorganised. Therefore, it dawned on me to create a platform that would facilitate procurement of quality products efficiently as well as promote brands to the design fraternity and thus was born Arch-Q, a one stop solution for all design requirements.

  • What do you think needs to change in the industry for there to be gender equality?

I believe women are born managers. They can efficiently manage various aspects of their lives. However, this profession demands a huge chunk of time to be devoted to the purpose of designing. One needs to have time to think, to churn creativity, then put it forth to her team and finally execute it once approved by the client. This amount of time is not always a luxury to a lot of women who have to juggle with other varied responsibilities. However, I think the industry can play a role in encouraging women to take up such a profession with equal zeal as a man and not suffer from apprehension of the seeming shortcomings. We, as women, should also encourage other women not to give up easily. The struggles and obstacles are obvious and cannot be escaped from. But don’t give up! Success will taste much sweeter than the bitterness of the small failures now.

  • What has been your experience as a woman in the industry?

I have had a mixed bag of experiences. I have met helpful and supportive people without whom I wouldn't be where I am today. But then I have also seen the other side of the equation. I feel the industry should also be a little more supportive in order to build a better and more balanced future for the next generation of women entrepreneurs in this industry and women architects and designers, not just on International Women’s Day but on all the other days of the year too!


Teacher at George Institute Of Interior Designing, Kolkata

  • What inspired you to become an interior design teacher?

My father was a teacher. He was my inspiration.

  • What advice do you have for young girls waiting to break into the industry?

Work hard and explore your creativity. Be disciplined. Dedication is the key to success.

  • Share your struggle story.

Once I started I was paid Rs 800/- but now I've managed to reach a level where I get to earn quiet well. I was not familiar with the faces of the industry, gradually I made good relationships which leads me to the place where I am today.

  • What has been your experience as a woman in the industry?

Industry has known me as a mentor, who served 20 years and still doing successfully. I've earned a lot of respect by my students and the society simultaneously.


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