Rebecca Snelling is a New Zealand designer who has received worldwide acclaim for the furniture she creates with her father, Doug, in their business Workroom. While she has a background in art and design, he has worked in the building and woodworking industries. Together, they make pieces that are made from recycled New Zealand wood and other eco products. More recently, Rebecca has launched the store Douglas + Bec, with her partner Paul Dowie, which not only sells pieces from Workroom but also independent and international designers.
Which five words best describe you? Conscientious, thoughtful, observant, perceptive and resilient.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My father and I started making lamps under the brand Workroom in 2008 and in 2010 my partner Paul and I opened Douglas + Bec.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Don't compare yourself to your immediate market, look wider, draw inspiration globally, and as always stick to your knitting.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I guess it is starting both the companies from shoestring budgets, now both Douglas + Bec and Workroom receive recognition globally.
What’s been your best decision? Opening Douglas + Bec - we really wanted to bring something distinct to the market - concentrating on presenting independent practitioners like our own (workroom) and housing them in a beautiful boutique. This is when both business flourished.
Who inspires you? My father Douglas - his work ethic is infectious and his craftsmanship just keeps evolving. I also heard somewhere - you're not just lucky, the harder you work the luckier you get.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about my work - we as a family live it, breath it and are lost without it. I want to always produce objects/furniture with integrity and honesty.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Queen Elizabeth - she is so stoic, brave and selfless.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would like to follow my binary creative practice - I am a visual artist by training and this has taken a back seat in the past few years - so a studio dedicated to this part of me would be amazing - just maybe for 2 days a week.
What are you reading? Inbetween baby books - I am a new mother with not a lot of down time - I do like to read cookbooks. I have a new love affair with New Zealand hunter and gather chef Al Brown - so his book Stoked. He catches the pig, cooks it (incredibly) and enjoys a fine Pinot Gris to wash it down - multifaceted - my type of person!