Décor & Gardening
The saying ‘dynamite comes in small packages’ couldn’t be truer for Dunkirk’s Bronwyn Friedman. The petite mother of two and wife of restauranteur Raymond (of Ray’s in Dunkirk Estate) has quickly made a name for herself in home décor circles with her beautiful range of custom made furniture and furnishings.
With two small children, Max (4) and Blaise (2), and a husband who works long hours at night, 33-year-old Bronwyn says her home is her happy place. “I don’t get out much,” she laughs. “My home makes me happy, and I’ve always just wanted it to look beautiful.”
A qualified beauty therapist, Bronwyn worked in a number of different industries and fields before finding and following her passion for interior décor. She met her husband while he was working at Google’s head offices in London and, when Ray landed a job in the Cayman Islands, the couple moved to the Caribbean for almost two years. They have been together for 10 years now.
While living overseas Bronwyn worked as a personal assistant to two top financial directors and also as a travel agent (which she says she loved), but in 2011 they decided to come home to be closer to their families.
“I got a job at an interior decorating company, working on the admin side of things. I worked there for two years doing all the background admin and organising, and I learned a lot. This was where I discovered my passion, and flare, for interiors.”
Bronwyn had her son in 2014 and took a year’s maternity leave before going back to work. Her daughter, Blaise, was born two years later and Bronwyn says she realised she just didn’t want to leave her kids and go back to working full time again.
The couple opened Ray’s in 2015, and moved to the estate themselves last year. “When I resigned, Ray told me to take it easy and not rush into anything I didn’t want to do. I love being a mom, I think I was born to be a mom, but I’ve always thought it would be amazing to have a job I loved that offered me the flexibility to still be with my children.”
A spontaneous person by nature, Bronwyn says she knew she wanted to follow her passion for interiors and furniture and decided to just go for it. “My sister helped me design a logo and set up my social media account. My dad has a metal factory in Durban, which I was able to use.”
The ultimate goal with Blaise Furniture and Décor was to produce amazing furniture at affordable prices, without compromising on the quality. “I named the company after my daughter. Her name is as beautiful as she is, and I just thought it was a perfect fit.”
Although she does a lot of custom made work, Bronwyn designs a lot of the items herself as well. “I generally have loads of time to myself in the evenings, when kids are asleep and Ray is at the restaurant. I use this time to research ideas online and figure out ways to make them unique and my own.
The look and feel of Blaise furniture is simplistic and modern with clean lines. It is industrial chic and affordable.
Until now, Blaise Furniture and Décor has only been available via the social media portals but Bronwyn is launching an online store this month. She is also launching an exciting kids’ range.
“So far all of our business has come via word-of-mouth and I so appreciate every person who has supported me. Our motto at Blaise is ‘love your home’ and that’s what I encourage everyone to do. This is the place where you spend most of your time with your loved ones, making memories. Make it a special and beautiful one.”
Get in touch:
Blaise Furniture and Décor: www.blaisefurnitureanddecor.com / email@example.com / @blaisefurniture / 074 118 7089
Text: Leah Shone | Photograph: Taryn van Rensburg, tarynvanrensburg.co.za | Hair and makeup: Juliet Martin, www.julietmartin.co.za | Stylist: Ty Gormley of I’m Styling, imstyling.co.za