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How I got my job as Founder of a scandi-coastal furniture company

Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.

This week, we’re giving the spotlight to Rozina Stefan, Founder of The Loom Collection – a design-led furniture company that captures the peaceful ease of the coast fused with a Scandinavian aesthetic.

To find out more about how she got the company started, Emirates Woman talks to the female founder behind the brand to share the finer details that exemplifies the minimalist perfection of The Loom Collection.

Scroll through to read the interview below.

How I got my job as Founder of a scandi-coastal furniture company

What was your favourite subject at school?

Languages have always been my favorite, in particular, English and Italian. Growing up in a small Romanian town, I realized very young that there was more to what lay beyond our horizons. Little did I know then that this passion for languages would eventually translate into a burning curiosity to travel and explore borders and cultures.

What was your first job?

My journey into the working world began like many others – with a part-time job. I started tutoring English to a younger student when I was around 15 or 16. It was a humble beginning, but it taught me the value of hard work and sharing knowledge. However, my first ‘official’ job was as a flight attendant for a local airline. It’s funny how life takes unexpected turns, isn’t it? You see, I initially aspired to become an architect, but my love for travel ultimately took over.

What eventually brought you to Dubai?

As I began to travel, I started hearing whispers of the Middle East and the incredible opportunities it held. Naturally, Dubai emerged as the favorite destination to settle into. What captivated me most about Dubai was its unique blend of modernity and dynamic design landscape. I saw it as a place where creative innovation thrived, and I wanted to be part of that energy.

What inspired you to enter the interior design space?

I developed an insatiable curiosity about the way people shape their living spaces throughout the world. It was very interesting to see how people lived globally, from Copenhagen, Tokyo, Sydney, Hong King, etc… There are so many things I could tell you about it. As I settled into Dubai, making it my long-term home during my years of globetrotting, the need for a true home retreat became increasingly essential. My first apartment in the Greens was that sanctuary, a place where I could finally anchor myself after a long-haul flight and exploration.

The Loom Collection

But amidst the comfort of my home, I yearned to contribute to the creation of living spaces that resonated deeply with individuals, homes that didn’t just follow trends but also told unique stories. I felt that the limited furniture options available in the UAE at that time did not reflect the modern, casual, and coastal vibes that the UAE has to offer. It was this realization that ignited my passion for curating exceptional designs and making them accessible to the people of the UAE through The Loom Collection.

Talk us through the concept of The Loom Collection.

The concept of The Loom Collection is deeply rooted in the fusion of passion, functionality, and storytelling within the realm of contemporary design. Co-founded by myself, Rozina Stefan, and Brad Wissink, our journey began with a shared fascination for modern aesthetics and a collective desire to address a unique challenge we faced when settling into our homes in Dubai – the absence of furniture that resonated with our lifestyle.

Our vision was to create more than just a furniture brand; we aimed to establish a narrative through each piece, weaving a story that reflects the diverse inspirations drawn from our global experiences. The Loom Collection became the canvas on which we could express our love for contemporary, functional designs that not only enhance the visual appeal of a space but also encapsulate the essence of the individuals who inhabit it.

Every piece within The Loom Collection is a result of meticulous curation, driven by a commitment to quality craftsmanship, comfort, and a keen understanding of the practical aspects of modern living. We carefully select materials that not only speak to the aesthetic vision of our brand but also cater to the unique climate of Dubai. From linen fabrics and wool fibers to solid wood like oak and teak, Italian marble, high-quality leather, New Zealand wool, and more recently, materials like Travertine stone and Tadelakt finishes – each element is chosen with purpose.

The Loom Collection is not only about aesthetic appeal but also about embodying the dialogue between modern urban architecture and the natural, sun-kissed landscapes of Dubai. Our designs are grounded in the practicality of daily life, ensuring that every piece serves as both a work of art and a comfortable, functional addition to real homes.

What are the key elements of your role?

As the co-founder and design director of The Loom Collection, my role encompasses a diverse range of responsibilities, a bit like weaving the threads of creativity and business together. It’s a diverse mix of responsibilities that keeps things exciting. One of the key parts of my job is curating our furniture collections. Think of it as being a curator in an art gallery, but instead of paintings, we’re curating beautiful pieces of furniture. I need to stay in the loop with design trends, have a keen eye for quality, and make sure each piece fits into the bigger story we’re telling through our collections. I work closely with our design team, both in-house and external designers, and with our suppliers to make sure everything aligns with our commitment to contemporary, functional design.

But it’s not just about furniture. Building and nurturing relationships with our designers and customers is at the heart of what I do. It’s all about fostering creativity and innovation while ensuring our brand stays true to our vision. In essence, my role as co-founder encapsulates a holistic approach to business—one that seamlessly blends creativity with strategy, ensuring that every piece of furniture we offer is not just an object but a reflection of our passion for design, functionality, and the art of creating spaces that tell a compelling story.

Talk us through your daily routine.

It usually starts off with a catch-up with our internal team, where we set the tone for the day ahead. We make sure to check in on current projects with our partners, shipments, and photography sessions for our website. Then, it’s a deep dive into the world of design. I thoroughly enjoy checking on the progress of our current and upcoming collections, ensuring they align seamlessly with our vision.

One of the perks of my office being at the heart of our studio is the spontaneous interactions. I often run into our designers and clients, which gives me a real feel for their feedback and, of course, those welcome compliments when they see the furniture in real life. A typical day at The Loom Collection is a mix of creativity and strategy. Whether it’s brainstorming new ideas, meeting with our fantastic design partners and suppliers, or exploring the latest trends, it’s always a dynamic journey. Striking the right balance between artistry and operational excellence is key to our success.

The Loom Collection

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

Embrace curiosity and never stop learning. In the dynamic world of design, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’ve mastered it all. However, this is a field that’s constantly evolving, and there’s always something new to discover.

Surround yourself with a network of inspiring individuals who challenge your thinking and push you to explore fresh ideas. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks in pursuing your creative vision, but always be open to learning from your mistakes. Sometimes, our most valuable lessons come from the unexpected. Stay curious, stay humble, and keep pushing the boundaries of what you think you know.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

The best advice I received is to trust the process. In the journey of building The Loom Collection, there were challenges and uncertainties, but staying true to our vision and persevering through obstacles has been key to our success.

And what is the worst?

The worst advice, perhaps, is to conform too much to existing trends. While it’s essential to be aware of industry trends, staying true to your unique design perspective and taking calculated risks can set you apart in a competitive market.

What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

The biggest challenge at The Loom Collection wasn’t defining our identity, but assembling a team to bring it to life. Our quest was to find individuals who not only had the skill but also shared our vision for contemporary design and storytelling. Building this team of creative, dedicated minds who truly understood and embodied our ethos was both challenging and rewarding. Their unique perspectives and commitment have been pivotal in transforming The Loom Collection from a concept into a vibrant entity in the design world.

What are your future goals and plans for your career?

In the future, The Loom Collection aims to build further on its presence in the Middle East, introducing innovative designs and forging collaborations with creative talents. Our goal is to be a hallmark of distinctive design in the region. We’re also committed to sustainability, integrating eco-conscious practices into our design philosophy. While details of our upcoming projects are under wraps, they’re set to bring fresh perspectives to contemporary interior design. Expect groundbreaking developments that will enlighten the design world.

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Images: Supplied