I don't know if I've ever met anyone as grounded as Kelly Searl. You might know her as the talent behind Pony Rider (or one half of The Searls, who we featured on Frontliners - her husband is photographer Chris Searl). She moves in circles that include famous types and fashionistas, thanks in part to her stint at Sass & Bide. Now she has come full circle and is designing textiles - her first love. Family is the other one.
Which five words best describe you? Erratic, contemplative, fussy, humorous, detail.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started in advertising, working on brand development for about six years, then took a role with Sass & Bide as a textile/marketing designer and have been working in fashion ever since.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Not to get too precious about things. Design is an organic process, you aim for the best and hopefully all the elements pull together for your desired outcome. It's hard when your relying on exterior elements for the final vision. Occasionally you don't get your desired outcome, but you have to make it work.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I'd have to say it was the day I resigned from a job and took the leap to go out on my own.
What’s been your best decision? To get a studio and start to back myself. If you don't take the chance on you why should anyone else.
Who inspires you? I have loads of inspirational friends. People who believe in themselves inspire me. My mother is a major inspiration for life. She keeps everything and everyone around her very real. She's such a hard worker and has amazing strength.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about life, not being too serious all the time. I realised a while ago that I'm a designer not a brain surgeon. Sometimes I think people lose their heads in this industry. And it annoys the hell out of me. I am passionate about people being real about themselves and their circumstances. Life is far too fluid to get too confident on anything.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I'd love have met Florence Broadhurst in her day. She sounds like a real scream or absolute terror. She seemed to play an interesting role her entire life. Enough so that someone came along and murdered her.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I have always seen my self in New York or the south of France with the family for a spat. I will definitely make this happen in the next year or so before the kids settle into school years.
What are you reading? Simple Abundance is never too far from my bed side. Most nights are also full of Spot goes to the park and Where the wild things are. Highly intelligent reading for my 3-year-old. Max, my son, has really taken on the character's persona. Very funny.
images courtesy of pony rider and frontliners (portrait)