Cyma and Najia let their imaginations run wild and followed their true calling by transforming their creativity into their eclectic and unique furniture brand ‘CyNa’. The furniture designer duo talk to us about why they became furniture designers, their influences, their style of work and everything they hope to achieve
How did you get started in your career?
Cyma: I had been working in the corporate sector for over 12 years with extensive travelling and in an extremely high pressure environment, which I was thoroughly enjoying at that time, but with my two girls and their busy schedules, I had to quit my high profile job. Being an MBA graduate in Marketing and a workaholic I had to put my energies in place. So once, while redesigning my own drawing room from scratch, with the support of dedicated labour the outcome turned out to be extraordinary. I wanted to do something different and was always interested in design and home décor and knew that I can come up with something which is unique and appealing to everyone.
Najia: I swapped my busy career as an Accounts professional to be a stay-at-home mum. Even as a payables controller, I knew my passion lies in interior decoration. Now with time on my hands, I focused my energies to follow my true calling. Since myself and Cyma, shared a similar design philosophy, there was nothing better than to kick-start our journey as luxury furniture designers.
What and/or who are some of your design inspirations?
Cyma: Most Italian brands are a source of inspiration for me as they are one of a kind; their home accessories and furniture are handcrafted and polished to perfection. They team flawless exotic woods and supple leather with everything from coffee tables to photo frames, in the most refined way. Giving furniture an intriguing character is an art, and I have learnt a lot by studying the Italian interior designers and brands.
Najia: Modern luxury designers like Hermes Turri and Natuzzi have always been an inspiration. However, their prices cater to a completely different market. The yearning to own such pieces and the drive to make them affordable for people like you and I is what drives CyNa.
What do you like most about your job?
Cyma: Using my creativity is what I love the most and the end result which is actually a piece of my imagination. To know that what we are able to make something which is not mainstream and is not readily available makes me enthusiastic about our job.
Najia: Things that might seem dull to others i.e. working with numbers, managing the accounts, pricing the products is what drives me in the business. There is nothing more satisfying than closing a business deal because the pricing of the product was just right!
What is most challenging about your job?
Cyma: Our biggest challenge is making our team understand that meeting deadlines is very important. We have never to date gone over and above our delivery date (touchwood), but how it is done, is a secret only we know. As we are expanding, the workforce is also growing. We have separate units for each work so coordinating the labour, ensuring they are streamlined with each other, dealing with their mood swings can be quite a task sometime. But as they say all is well that ends well.
Najia: Yes, couldn’t agree more here with Cyma, ensuring that our team delivers on time can be quite a tiresome task.
How would you describe your design style? Do you have a signature touch with your designs?
Cyma: Our design styles are vibrant, trendy and things that perfectly fit in the client’s settings. That’s the beauty of our pieces. The design philosophy of CyNa is very simple; our pieces own the room whether it’s the main furniture, which is central to the space or something as simple as a lamp, end table, ottoman or even a tray. Our signature touch is that we are fearless in our approach towards bright vibrant colours that others might usually shy away from.
Najia: I would want to share the same opinion as Cyma, as colour has always been the highlighting factor in our designs. Our products have always stood out for their vibrant feel.
What do you believe are the home decor/design trends for 2018?
Cyma: Bold colours, dark wood, ceiling wall papers and tropical prints are the trending things for 2018. We have already started working on them as well.
Najia: Marbles, brass and tropical prints.
Within your own home, what’s your next project?
Cyma: My very own master bedroom is the next target. I want it to be the most comfortable room in my house, which would serve as a retreat designed to pamper ourselves.
Najia: I want to create a play room for my kids at home. I have a boy and a girl that are both poles apart but I want to create a space that will excite them both and hopefully keep them busy so I can enjoy my evening cup of tea in peace!
Describe yourself in three words.
Cyma: Passionate, workaholic and social.
Najia: Number cruncher, go-getter and contemporary.
Is there anything exciting that you are working on at the moment that you can tell us about?
Cyma: We are based in Karachi, but have been assigned a project in Lahore, so this is our first time to prove ourselves and deliver, with the same level of proficiency all the while doing our Karachi based projects. It’s quite exciting for us and it’s opening more doors and giving us the chance to take our work to other cities in Pakistan.
Najia: We have been assigned a three-bedroom apartment interior project, which I’m very excited about as the client has trusted us completely to design it from scratch!
What are your design dreams/goals?
Cyma: To take our work internationally, to keep designing beautiful accent furniture for all spaces – be it your home, restaurant, cafe, office or school. As they say, the sky is the limit.
Najia: To pair with other designers that have a similar design philosophy to change the dull repetitive furniture trends of Pakistan.