When RADISH met… Zeena Shah
When RADISH met… Zeena Shah
Zeena is pure inspiration; she’s a woman of many talents, juggles a string of careers and is such fun. We were thrilled to be able to catch up with her recently and shoot her in and around her very unique home in East London. If you’re not already, be sure to follow Zeena here for your daily injection of colour and read her blog here for unique craft based ideas such as how to start making your own clothes, start a sewing project and so much more.
We’re always so inspired by women chasing the sunlight, drumming to their own beat…
Can you tell us a bit about you, your background and how it lead to a creative career?
I trained as a Print Designer at Chelsea School of Art before setting up my own textile and homeware brand alongside teaching workshops in printmaking at my East London studio. My work and career has always evolved really organically being led by what inspires me and what excites me. I've written a book and illustrated another. I have naturally always been a stylist, art director and creative director for my own brand but finally realised this was the part of what I’d been doing that I loved the most and focus on that in my full time day job. I use my Instagram to keep my own personal brand alive (with the aim of coming back to it when the time is right) sharing my love of fashion and styling as well as craft as I’ve always been and will be a maker of things.
How does your day job inspire everything else you do?
It keeps me motivated and challenged. I love being able to be creative everyday and contribute toward bigger company goals and strategy and see my work really make a positive difference.
How do you manage the work/life balance?
I'm very organised I think you have to be to want to do lots of things and keep everything ticking along. I'm also a massive workaholic and I love what I do so it's often tricky to switch off and relax but I’m getting better at taking days off and remind myself it's ok not to do all the things.
Do you have any favourite muses?
What inspires you in your everyday?
Nature, colour, people. I find inspiration everywhere I’m like a big sponge soaking it all in waiting for the right moment to use it.
Who are you listening to on Spotify at the moment?
Henry Jamieson is kicking off my summer playlist nicely.
Are you planning any wanderlust trips away this year?
I'm actually not long back from the trip of a lifetime to dreamy Mexico. Not only was it absolute paradise but I got engaged there! I love travelling and have never been more inspired by a country than Mexico. The colours, the food, the people, creativity and craftsmanship has left me wanting to explore more of the beautiful country. My fiancé and I are talking about perhaps a trip back for our honeymoon.
What do you always find yourself bringing home from trips?
Basket bags!! I am absolutely obsessed. Also textiles, embroideries and anything that tells a story of the country.
We love to see you in RADISH. Do you have a favourite piece from the collection, and why?
I adore my Stella maxi! It's so elegant and makes me so happy the moment I put it on. It's one of those dresses that can transform a mood. I love that I can wear it all day and all evening it's so versatile.
What’s the most important piece of advice you have been given?
Protect your weekends, that time is precious. I went to hear Maria Balshaw the Director of the Tate Modern. speak about her creative journey and thought this a brilliant piece of advice. So often we're told to keep achieving and it's rare to hear anyone share wisdom about self-care and how important it is to find time for yourselves as well as your career.
Can you share your tips on where to eat, sleep and shop in London?
Eat at P Franco in Clapton
A gorgeous tiny wine bar that keeps chef's in residencies serving exquisite and delicious meals from one end of the bar to a small number of people.
Sleep at the Soho Townhouse on Redchurch Street - cosy rooms and a homely feel.
Shop in Spitalfields; a mix of independent stores and bigger brands, you'll find yourself close enough to grab a Brick Lane bagel and St John doughnut, as well as pop into Boxpark to check out some new brands popping onto the scene.