Today we’d like to introduce you to Vik Pisipati.
Vik, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m originally from the East Coast but have bounced around from city to city over the past ten years – Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Paris, Shanghai, and now Los Angeles with some additional stops in between. I’ve been in LA for just over a year but am hoping this will be my forever home!
My career has been a balance between corporate and creative – after working in the pharmaceutical and financial industries, I got my MBA from a tiny French school called IFA Paris with a focus on Luxury Brand Management. After returning to the US I completed a postgraduate certificate in Interior Design from the New York Institute of Art and Design and coursework at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. This inspired me to found my own interior design business – Ink & Opium – starting small to gradually develop my skill set and portfolio over the course of several years. I now have a number of projects under my belt and am looking forward to growing the business and my brand, not to mention continuing to learn and develop as a designer. There is always so much to learn!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It seems that every interior designer has their own origin story for how they found their calling and built a business. In my case, I didn’t have any major clients or opportunities from the outset so I instead took on smaller projects, mostly friends’ apartments and usually just one room at a time and with a ton of DIY. In hindsight, this was a good thing because I was a total mess when I started out. I look back at some of my first projects and wonder what I was thinking, but am lucky to have had some VERY patient and understanding friends as my first clients.
Building my portfolio was a critical first step, but perhaps more important were refining my skills as a designer and creating my own unique aesthetic. I was able to do this by starting ‘low and slow,’ doing a lot of work at-cost or at a steep discount in order to gain experience. It can be hard to stay motivated while working on stressful projects for little to no profit over the course of several years, but those opportunities were invaluable in becoming a confident and competent designer.
Please tell us about Ink & Opium.
Ink & Opium is an interior design firm specializing in eclectic, globally-sourced residential interiors. Ink & Opium’s slogan is “Well-Traveled Interiors” and over the years I’ve worked with a number of clients who have traveled extensively and collected artwork and objects from around the world. As a designer, I’ve found my strength to be creating a cohesive design concept that incorporates all of these diverse pieces that may otherwise seem to be totally disparate.
Fast-forward to now – Ink & Opium offers full service interior design in addition to e-design and design consultations for clients seeking light-touch help with a project.
Ultimately, I think that a successful design isn’t just a pretty room but rather a functional space that conveys a client’s life experience and authentic personality in every choice I make. I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects ranging from new-build apartments in Los Angeles to a historic lane house in Shanghai, but I like to think my commitment to authenticity has remained the same. There is no better feeling than seeing a client’s face light up when they see the final result!
- Website: www.inkandopium.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @VikMilan
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