Mahsa Gholizadeh is the Founder of Design By Masha, an Interior Design studio. She talks to The Industry Leaders about why she loves working on F&B projects and her dream of opening a design school to help others enter the profession.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I have always been drawn to design since my childhood. My mother is my biggest inspiration as everything around the house had a unique creative touch igniting my imagination.
I have been a painter for 20 years; however, my artworks are very personal, so I've been looking at ways to incorporate art and my creativity in my professional life. That's how interior design became the obvious choice. For me, interior design is the best tool to bring my imagination to life and impact society. Moreover, travelling has helped me realize that design is the only common language connecting cultures and the best way to express my thoughts.
What kind of work does your role involve?
As the studio and design director's founder, my role is threefold: management, design, and client relationship.
What gets you excited about your industry?
In interior design, the excitement lies in the endless possibilities to create new places, innovation, and continuously creating long-lasting spaces. The trends of sustainable design create great excitement in our industry.
Personally, I love working on F&B projects because they give me the chance to think out of the box and create different design themes.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
The best advice I have ever received stems from creating success by focusing on the life you dream of having.
Live the life you love, pursue your dreams, and never let anyone's negative thoughts or judgment to get in your way of success. Gratitude brings abundance, so be thankful for everything you have in life.
What, or who inspires you?
Travelling is one of my biggest inspirations. The act of going to different parts of the world and discovering different cultures, traditional architecture, and local art always brings a fresh perspective on my creative pursuits.
As a mentor, I wouldn't be here if I haven't met Ali Soltani (my painting instructor and a well-known surrealist painter in Iran) who mentored and nurtured my creativity. He is my biggest inspiration when it comes to creativity and art.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in the industry?
At Design By Mahsa, we aim to be trend creators and outside-the-box-thinkers. So we keep a pulse on the industry, and we always add our own findings and research. As a founder and designer, it's essential to continually read and keep updated about design trends. Travelling worldwide to design weeks and design shows also helps, even though 2020 has considerably reduced access to industry events.
What was the most challenging project or assignment you've worked on?
In the past, when I was working for another company, I faced one of my biggest challenges. There were severe time-constraints, and the project contained considerable changes to structure and architecture - whilst being on the verge of millions of dollars worth of losses.
I used my initiative (and free time at home!) to work on that project to prevent massive losses for the client due to a lack of accuracy. What was, at the time, a challenge became a statement of fact that overcoming challenges and problem-solving are drivers to success.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
The first thing I would do would be to open a design school for those who can't afford top design schools' high fees. In parallel, I also would invest in my business and expand my career and knowledge.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
Meditation is my way to clear my mind and get grounded. Painting every night for at least half an hour is also an excellent way to switch off from work.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
I would love to see more boldness and creative individuality in our industry. Clients come to us to translate their vision into unique creative concepts, and I would love to see more designers daring to challenge the status quo.
How should people connect with you?
I'm happy to connect through social media or email: