Thursday, April 8, 2010

Inspiration: Interview with Interior Designer, Yahgie

Petergaye (Yahgie) Kisielewicz

I found Yahgie (full name Petergaye S. Kisielewicz) on the We Love Etsy site. I immediately fell in love with her eclectic style and talent. Her nickname (?) and the name of her blog is Yahgie (pronounced yah-gee), A Daily Inspirational Journal by Petergaye S. Kisielewicz, and means "elegant gathering." This is very fitting since that is exactly what her interiors imply: beautiful spaces where the elite gather to sip tea or champagne, as they admire their elegant surroundings.
FA'SHOE'NISTA! is very happy that Yahgie took time out of her very busy schedule to give us insight into her creative world.

FA'SHOE'NISTA: From where do you hail originally?
Yahgie: I am originally from Jamaica with a blend of different ethnic backgrounds.

FA'SHOE'NISTA: What prompted you to settle in Miami?
Yahgie: I love living in the Miami area because the weather is always nice and I get to wear flip-flops year round.

FA'SHOE'NISTA: What made you decide on interior design?
Yahgie: I knew interior design was my passion at a very young age. I could not picture myself doing anything else.

FA'SHOE'NISTA: Is it hard to break into this field? What did you do early in your career to build a clientele?
Yahgie: It was not hard for me to break into the design field. I think that as long as you have that creative passion, you can make it. My first job at the age of 16 was working for a decorator. That allowed me to build my clientele.

FA'SHOE'NISTA: Color seems to play a major role in your designs. Even if your palette is primarily neutral, you always manage to infuse a pop of color in your spaces. What inspires your choice of color?
Yahgie: Growing up on an island and living in the Miami area, I am always surrounded by color. The majority of the colors I’ve chosen for my designs are colors from my everyday life or my childhood memories.


FA'SHOE'NISTA: What is a typical day like for you?
Yahgie: My typical day is breakfast, work-out, and the rest of the day is spent designing or looking for my next inspiration to design.

FA'SHOE'NISTA: What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
Yahgie: My greatest achievement is starting my own Urban Lifestyle brand because this allows me to have a creative outlet.

FA'SHOE'NISTA: Are other members of your family creative as well? Who, inside or outside of your family, inspires you the most?
Yahgie: My family has a few creative people from an artist to a cartoon animator. It’s hard to say who has inspired me the most because there are so many great artists out there. People that inspired me the most are Beverly Wasile, Andy Warhol, Le Corbusier and Olle Eksell.

Pillows by Yahgie

FA'SHOE'NITSA: I can certainly see the Warhol influence, particularly in your designer pillows. Any design nightmares you care to share with us?
Yahgie: My most fearful design nightmare is giving up my passion to live someone else’s dream.

Pillows by Yahgie

FA'SHOE'NISTA: Your blog is vibrant, inspiring, informative, and even somewhat philosophical. Do people contact you often with questions about how to get started in this business?
Yahgie: I do get questions from people about going into the interior design field. I always tell them, “Be prepared to break a lot of nails because this field is not a glamorous one.”

FA'SHOE'NISTA: You also design patterns for fabric. Were you doing this early in your career, or is this a more recent endeavor? Yahgie: Designing fabrics is a new endeavor for me. A lot of my interior design projects are custom designs. Designing furniture and accessories is not new to me.

Fabric by Yahgie

FA'SHOE'NISTA: What other home d├ęcor items do you create?
Yahgie: In the future, the possibilities are endless, but for now I design pillows, fabrics, wall-art, tableware, and wallpaper.

FA'SHOE'NISTA: Your spaces are beautiful, stylish, and functional. Does the client's personality play a part in your creative process or does he or she rely solely on your expertise?
Yahgie: My client’s personality plays a big role in my creative process. I am a big fan of color; often my clients do not feel the same.

FA'SHOE'NISTA: It's easy to see that you are just as beautiful and as stylish as your creations. Has anyone ever had a hard time taking you seriously as a business woman?
Yahgie: I find people always over look me or underestimate the passion I have for what I do. But, I love that ….because that makes me feel like an underdog. As an underdog, you must always fight to rise above and be different from the crowd in order to be noticed. So, being taken seriously by people doesn’t bother me, it just means I need to keep fighting.

FA'SHOE'NISTA: Any advice for creative souls longing to break out of the 9 to 5 and into loving what they do and doing what they love?
Yahgie: Always ask “Why,” be positive in all that you do, and take baby steps everyday towards something you love to do.

FA'SHOE'NISTA! thanks Yahgie for her time, expertise, and insight into the world of interior design.

For more information on the interior designs of Petergaye S. Kisielewicz visit: