Emma Wright is the designer and founder of StudioBazar. She lives in Oslo, Norway with her family and Robbie the dog. She has a personal sense of style, and we met for a talk about making a dream come true, arts and life. Thank you for the visit, Emma.
BY TWWP, PHOTOGRAPHY MIRA WICKMAN
Hi Emma, how are you?
– I’m good, I really can’t complain. The world is going through a crisis and I’m lucky to have my family and a job I love.
And who are you?
– My name is Emma and I am the founder of STUDIOBAZAR which is a sustainable clothing label and interior store based in Oslo. I have a Masters in Communication Arts and Design from Royal College of Arts in London.
Tell us more about STUDIOBAZAR.
– The whole idea of STUDIOBAZAR came to life when I was on maternity leave with my daughter and I suddenly felt the urge to create something that would grow over time and that was meaningful to me. I was also focused on bringing a more stable income to the table. (which I see now was a very risky chance to take!) I had been struggling to make ends meet for years as an artist and I needed to change paths but still keep my creative nerve going. Growing up, my parents started a company together within import and retail of interior and garments from India. Our home was always filled with beautiful prints and textiles which is the main inspiration to what I do today.
Sounds lovely, so are your parents style your first inspiration source? – I´ve always admired their taste and style and naturally that has inspired me a lot. My dad was a very creative person with an aesthetic view on everything. My parents found a way to combine their hobby and passion into work which I think is the only way to stay truly committed and genuine. I feel the same now in the work I do and I am lucky to have that.
What are your influences to bring to the store?
– It´s definitely a throwback to the seventies and nineties, natural materials, ancient techniques, colours and handcraft.
Who is your favourite designer? – I dont have a favourite but some of my greatest vintage finds are by Issey Miyake, Escada and Armani.
What did you do before starting your own company? – After I finished my MA in London I worked on my art career while I had a few side jobs to make money.
And tell us about your home.
– We recently bought this house, in fact we had just moved in when these photos were taken. It’s a 1950’s 3 floor semi-detached house, close to central Oslo. We fell in love with the details and the atmosphere. We wanted something central but calm and it has a beautiful spacious garden with apple and cherry trees. It’s really all we could ask for.
What is your personal decoration style?
– Its a mix of stuff after my parents, travel findings, design classics and flea market treasures.
Do you have any favourite pieces in your home?
– It´s hard to choose, but I guess the old wooden horses my dad bought in India many years back.
What do you read?
– At the moment Siri Hustvedts “A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women”.
What is trending in Oslo, in style, arts and culture? – At the moment it is very rough times for many creative industries, with a lot of restaurants, galleries and shops going through economic hardships. I think more than ever people have noticed this and are wanting to support the small, rather than big. Most good bars, galleries and shops in Oslo are started by independent entrepreneurs, doing it for the right reasons, so if there is a trend its keeping this alive now and after Covid.
Whats not to miss visiting Oslo? – The Vigeland´s Sculpture Park and museum with its breathtaking sculptures depicting humans by Gustav Vigeland.
What inspires you?
– So many things, I’m a very visual person and I see the world in colors, shapes and compositions. My brain always works creatively which is both great and tiresome at times. In my work I’m very inspired by my childhood and our generation before us. My parents are a huge inspiration. And India of course, there’s nothing like it – the craftsmanship, colors and the people, food and architecture. It’s like entering a different world and my love for India is big.
How do you spend your time nowadays?
– As many others, I work a lot from home these days. But I usually pop by the shop (Studiobazar) every day or run errands around town. There’s always stuff to fix! And it’s nice to see people during the week and get some sort of routine.
What is your favorite things to do in life?
– Its the simple things – hanging around at home with my family, cooking a nice dinner and just doing bits and bobs around the house. I’m definitely a “home person” and having a weekend with no plans is my favorite thing. I always have stuff to do and I’m never bored at home.
What are your struggles?
– So many things, I think the hardest thing is to give yourself appreciation and take a step back and really tell yourself that you are doing good. I’m working on that, acceptance for not having it all together, all the time.
When are you strong? – For me it’s a mix of things – hormonal balance, good sleeping routine, eating healthy and working out a few times a week. (Which occasionally happens in short periods!) I feel strong when I’m good to myself, my family is happy and when I’m on top of things at work.
If you could, you would?
– After COVID-19 – Go to Japan and indulge in their culture, food and aesthetics.
What do you want to recommend?
– Create the life you want! Try to remove noise and let it be ok to choose what’s good for you. Slow down, put your phone away. And also, print your favorite photos and put them in albums for the next generation to look back at. I hope people do this so it’s not just all up in a cloud.
Slow down, put your phone away. And also, print your favorite photos and put them in albums for the next generation to look back at. I hope people do this so it's not just all up in a cloud.