FOUNDER DO DESIGN
Spain may be facing stormy times, but DO Design Founder Lucía Ruiz-Rivas sees nothing but sunshine
A while back we introduced you to a new hybrid hotspot in Spain’s capital: DO Design. Focused on combining the best of all design worlds – from fashion to art, and interior design – the funky loft-like space is the perfect Madrid Mecca for those in search of all things creative. Now, we’d like you to meet the shop’s founder, Lucía Ruiz-Rivas.
Not unlike the DO space itself, Lucía’s idea came from a mish-mash of inspirations. Having studied Fine Arts in Helsinki and then at Kuvataide Akatemia, she gained a broad perspective on art and design, spawning the motivation to combine them. And thus, DO was born.
We had a chance to catch up with the ambitious founder and, just like Madrid, her outlook is nothing but bright and sunny.
How many hours a day do you work?
Normally like 9 or 10 hours a day.
Do you work on weekends?
Just Saturdays - one of our busiest days.
Tell us about the “DO” concept
Based on the name I chose for the store, one can get an idea of what I attempt to approach. I wanted people to start "doing things" again during these times. When there is a crisis surrounding us, I believe people need to become active again, proposing new ideas, being bolder and more creative. Many people tried to convince me that the idea of opening something this personal at this moment in time was crazy, I always thought they where wrong, I believe that now more than ever people need a place to be more meaningful in order to be attracted to it. Let's hope I'm not completely wrong!
What inspires the DO designs?
The design is based on everything I find interesting - it is a personal selection. I try to keep all of the items within the space, and the space itself on the same wavelength. One might say that I search for modern things which manage to have a traditional feeling to them - things that are made with noble materials, a lot of wood, porcelain, ceramics, natural fibers. Products that reflect an inner story.
When did you first think of doing something on your own, to start your own business?
During my studies in Fine Arts I lived in Helsinki, Finland, for two years and went on to study at Kuvataide Akatemia of Fine Arts. During this period of time I broadened my perspective on art and design and especially the combination of both.
PERSONALLY, I THINK SUCCESS IS MEASURED
WITH DAY-TO-DAY HAPPINESS.
What or who has inspired you to start your business?
I met many people during my studies that had many different ways of applying these two concepts in the real world. I also wanted to employ both concepts indifferently while looking through the same lens. I wanted to create a place that would mean something more than just a place to buy - I wanted a place that inspired people, which would be constantly shifting, open to collaboration among disciplines, in which you could share a similar vision and lifestyle, where one could browse, feel welcome to spend hours observing every detail within the space, from the products to the architecture.
What do you hope for the future of DO Design?
I hope that everything works out for the best. Thinking more long term, I would eventually love to open another Do Design in a different Spanish city. Also, we started a tiny collection of products designed by "DO", which I hope to expand, as well as a selection of special things that we choose from places all around the world and sell under the label "selected by Do".
How do you define success?
Personally, I think success is measured with day-to-day happiness. People notice when you are content with what you are doing. This makes their experience memorable.
Are you a courageous person?
Ha! Like so many people around me, I do not know how to answer. Let me just say that I try every day to be courageous.
It is 7pm. You’ve had a tough day, long hours. What does your ‘after work’ day look like? How do you unwind after a rough day at work?
In Madrid we end our work day more like at 10pm than 7pm... Haha. So,I go home, take a bubble bath and watch a movie. This makes me happy.
How do you motivate yourself every day? Where do you find the energy?
This project has been my dream for a very long time; this is almost enough to motivate me everyday. I also work with an amazing team (there are three of us at the moment!).
Have you ever felt like you’re failing and you didn’t know if you should continue on or not? What did you do?
At the beginning of the project I felt a bit panicked, but mainly because I had never done something so big and by myself. So more than failing, I just freaked out over little things like customs and orders. After all that work, Do Design has been received with open arms by the public, so basically I am really happy about embarking in this project and I feel really grateful.
SINCERITY IS THE BEST WAY.
What would you tell a young woman that wants to start her own business?
If you had the chance to start all over again, what would you do differently?
If you had the opportunity to learn something new, something you don’t know yet, what would it be?
I have always been a fan of architecture.
A quote to live by:
Live by what you feel, sincerity is the best way.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Between Do and traveling the world (hopefully).
What is your favorite thing about Madrid?
Madrid is a very welcoming city, and all my friends and family are here.
Your insider tips for Madrid: What’s your favourite beauty or shopping hot spot in Madrid and/or favorite place in Madrid to hang out?
My favorite hair place is a beauty concept store called Salon 44. They do all natural treatments and work mostly with Aveda. I love it. One of my favorite shopping spots is Isabel Marant's store. I really enjoy her designs. And finally, my favorite place to hang out is La Catrina (a mexican spot that does great margaritas) and In Dreams Café for a cocktail. Both spots have awesome music.
—by Erin Ridley
Photos: Courtesy of Lucía Ruiz-Rivas
Read our previous article about the concept store Do Design.