designer charles de lisle

The genesis of Charles de Lisle's designs can be traced back to his youth, growing up in rural Massachusetts. He explored factories near his father's wood workshop and collected their scraps. Charles went on to study ceramics and make furniture and lighting before becoming a partner in a firm of 11 designers in California. Three years ago he decided to "de-evolve" and focus on the Charles de Lisle Workshop.

Which five words best describe you? Curious, drift, sarcastic, daydream, obsessive.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? Jobless, a friend asked if I could help someone he knew build some neon signs for a party, which led to eight years of contracting almost everything for private events. A job that allowed me to see into a fantastic world of some of the best Californian interiors and fall back in love with the decorative arts. I then moved on to bussing tables at a restaurant in order to fund my first lighting collection when I was 29. From there I was fortunate enough to come across opportunities to get great commissions and jobs magically. Before I knew it I had co-authored an interiors firm of eleven with two other partners. In the last three years I have "de-evolved" to a much smaller team with a new focus on my original intent: to build and create a portfolio of objects and stories that I dream up.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Never assume anything.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Being fearless when I need to be. Sometimes losing the job can be rough due to your creative spirit showing up at the party, but in the end you have to just put it out there.

What’s been your best decision? To change my business model and leave my partnership, but to make sure to keep my partners as two of my closest friends, I wouldn't change that for anything.

What are you passionate about? Sleeping, ravioli, and all sorts of flowers.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Ben Franklin. The man invented Flippers. Who could be more engaging to talk to?

What dream do you still want to fulfill? I really want to build my own house, a small one, with an outdoor shower.

What are you reading? Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton.

images courtesy of charles de lisle