Mya My­itzu brings a fu­sion of beauty and func­tion­al­ity to Myan­mar

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - News - NOVEM­BER 30, 2018 YEE YWAL MYINT yiy­we­[email protected]­

IN­TE­RIOR de­signer Mya My­itzu, founder of M. In­te­rior De­sign Co (M.ID), started her busi­ness six years ago and it has now be­come a suc­cess as de­mand for her ser­vices grows in Myan­mar.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s records, the ag­gre­gate area of her projects has reached about 23,000 square me­tres.

Mya My­itzu is one of the achiev­ers and in­no­va­tors of the coun­try se­lected for the Huawei Fu­ture Shapers Project.

Be­low are ex­cerpts of an in­ter­view with The Myan­mar Times about her thoughts on the coun­try’s de­sign in­dus­try where only a few women thrive.

Could you tell us about your cur­rent busi­nesses? I founded M. In­te­rior De­sign Co (M.ID) six years ago. In ad­di­tion to in­te­rior de­sign, we pro­vide project and de­sign man­age­ment ser­vices. For busi­nesses that have won fran­chises from in­ter­na­tional brands, we cre­ate mod­ern and in­no­va­tive de­signs for shop lay­outs. M.ID has de­signed shop dis­plays for brands like Coach, Aigner, Furla, Ver­sus, Pan­dora, Ber­ing, Love Moschino, Shi­seido and Benet­ton in-high end shop­ping malls such as Junc­tion City. We pro­vide ser­vices that dis­plays here equal the high stan­dards of dis­plays in other coun­tries.

Cur­rently, we’ve ac­cepted two home dec­o­ra­tion projects. One of them will be­come the big­gest man­sion in Myan­mar.

We also es­tab­lished SON­DER Liv­ing Show­room two years ago. When some friends of mine re­quested help in dec­o­rat­ing their homes, I couldn’t do it as I was busy with my work. Thus, I thought of open­ing a fur­ni­ture show­room to make it con­ve­nient for peo­ple who want to buy fur­ni­ture as well as dec­o­rate their homes.

We also or­gan­ise “Yan­gon Zay”, a sus­tain­able themed mar­ket to­gether with the show­room in the com­pound for those who want to sell en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly prod­ucts and healthy foods.

How did you en­ter the de­sign in­dus­try? While at­tend­ing univer­sity abroad, I took many in­tern­ships. After grad­u­a­tion, I worked for a world-fa­mous in­te­rior de­signer for three years and I learnt a lot from that de­signer.

I grad­u­ated with a po­lit­i­cal sci­ence de­gree while I was still work­ing for that de­signer. I also at­tended de­sign cour­ses at night. I learnt that art-based knowl­edge is im­por­tant for de­sign and only then will de­signs be per­fect.

Why did you choose to start your busi­ness? When I said I would start this busi­ness, even my fam­ily was skep­ti­cal. They ques­tioned whether in­te­ri­orde­sign work was needed in Myan­mar. Are there any peo­ple who use such ser­vices…etc? How­ever, I did well in the busi­ness while I was abroad, so I told them there might be peo­ple in­ter­ested in the ser­vices I am of­fer­ing and then I can show my tal­ent. That’s how I started.

Be­sides, there are young pro­fes­sion­als who want to work with me. I want to help them de­velop their tal­ents. I am al­ways try­ing my best to pro­vide them with the high­est salaries in the in­dus­try. I want to share with them what I learnt through­out my life. If my em­ploy­ees are go­ing to work abroad, I guide them care­fully about com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills and tech­ni­cal know-how so that they are al­ways up to date and never feel in­se­cure.

There is only a hand­ful of women en­trepreneurs in this in­dus­try, what are the chal­lenges you faced when you started this busi­ness? I grew up among broth­ers and I was treated equally so I’ve never felt gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion. I stud­ied and worked abroad and through­out that time I didn’t feel any dis­crim­i­na­tion. But when I re­turned to Myan­mar and started this de­sign busi­ness, I started to feel it a lit­tle.

The ca­reer I chose has only a few women, not just in Myan­mar but also in Asia. Some con­ser­va­tive clients have ap­peared not to be­lieve what I ad­vise them be­cause I am a woman. I am also petite so some­times when I visit con­struc­tion sites, I get treated like I don’t be­long there. But they re­alise later that my views and ad­vice are very use­ful for them. The points I raised were valid so they started ac­cept­ing me.

You are very knowl­edge­able about de­sign, do you have any plans to open in­te­rior de­sign schools or teach de­sign? Al­though I am so busy, I have a plan to con­duct de­sign cour­ses though I can­not start right now. If I start a course, it would have to be a three­month course at least as an ad­vanced level op­tion for those with ba­sic knowl­edge. I can­not start schools yet.

Which of your de­signs are the most in de­mand and how do you man­age to en­sure good qual­ity de­sign? About three years ago, in­dus­trial de­sign started be­com­ing very pop­u­lar in Myan­mar. It is a sim­ple form of de­sign us­ing iron and steel, very light and cost ef­fec­tive. Al­though the clients specif­i­cally re­quest for in­dus­trial de­sign, I cre­ate by com­bin­ing with other de­sign vi­sions in ad­di­tion to iron and steel.

We make ef­forts to get the best and finest de­signs for the cus­tomers and also not to come up with sim­i­lar de­signs. We limit the num­bers of projects in one year to en­sure qual­ity de­signs. We do not ac­cept more than the num­bers we set. If we ac­cept many or­ders, we are wor­ried the de­signs might be af­fected.

I ac­cept clients who like my de­signs and are able to work well with me as I take time to pay ex­tra at­ten­tion to my clients.

What ad­vice would you give peo­ple who want to do in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion by them­selves? When draw­ing de­signs – let’s say for a house – you have to draw in­tri­cately. You have to take cau­tion. So, if you don’t want to hand it over to an­other de­signer and if you have time, there are many web­sites and mag­a­zines re­lated to de­sign in this day and age. You can re­search and study them; you will be able to draw up a de­sign as you see fit after spend­ing some time on it.

The most im­por­tant thing is to ne­go­ti­ate with your con­trac­tor and make them draw the de­sign you want. You have to dis­cuss with them the tini­est de­tails such as the ma­te­ri­als used.

I sup­port those who want to do it them­selves. Try it first and even­tu­ally things will work out. We worked over­seas be­fore, but the mar­ket de­mand here is dif­fer­ent so we had to learn a lot.

Why do you think in­te­rior de­sign in nec­es­sary? The ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple think that de­sign is some­thing re­lated to aes­thet­ics, but it is more than that. In de­sign, there is some­thing called “lay­out”. And lay­out is ex­tremely cru­cial for peo­ple’s life­styles.

If one thing goes wrong, this can af­fect the en­tire fam­ily with­out any­one notic­ing. It’s very im­por­tant to know where to place things, how to as­sem­ble a room, and what to do so to en­sure good air ven­ti­la­tion and to op­ti­mise nat­u­ral light.

After mak­ing the rooms, there is a need to de­cide which one should be for the par­ents and which should be for the chil­dren. If the chil­dren’s study room is too small, dim and doesn’t have good ven­ti­la­tion, they won’t be able to study well and it would have an im­pact on their ed­u­ca­tion.

There are many re­lated things, so in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion should be done while con­sid­er­ing ar­chi­tec­tural and de­sign works.

What are your plans for the fu­ture? I want to con­tinue grow­ing my de­sign and life­style busi­ness in Myan­mar. If in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion be­comes more pop­u­lar in Myan­mar, there will be many peo­ple who can ben­e­fit from my work.

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