Design is not making beauty, beauty emerges from selection, affinities, integration, love.
- Louis Kahn
As a superyacht stewardess you are surrounded by beauty.... Beautiful people, beautiful places, beautiful yachts, beautiful scenery and beautiful products.
Remember that the interior design on board didn't just accidentally happen. A dedicated team of professionals spent many hours working with the yacht owner to create a beautiful and inviting environment, just as they had dreamt.
We all know that superyacht stewardesses are fabulous shoppers, however you may need a little help from time to time with some designer advice and creative help. The Stewardess Bible had the opportunity to chat with Gemma the creative director from Gillian Weir Ltd.
Continue reading to find out more about what it is like to work with a passionate designer and bespoke pieces.
Independent artisan craftspeople are always a treasured find for me!
- Gemma Weir
Where do you come from?
The sunny shores of North Wales, growing up so close to the sea was wonderful. Now I live and run the business from Yorkshire, where the rolling country side makes up for the lack of water!
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to travel, European destinations are easy, but long haul is always well worth it for the tropical beaches.
What makes you laugh?
My Mum, my husband, my friends and my dog! I'm very lucky! I have the best little Yorkshire Terrier called Nelly, she comes to the office everyday and is an enthusiastic worker!
What would you like to be doing five years from now?
Doing exactly what I do now, being the Creative Director of Gillian Weir Ltd. Working closely with my Mum, Gill, my husband Daniel and rest of the team to develop our business even further. Enabling us to reach out to more clients and to grow the business even more.
Where would be your favorite holiday destination and why?
Thailand, every time. The waters are clear, the beaches are golden and the food is delicious! The islands are just magical.
What inspires you?
My true love is design so I read blogs, visit trade shows, high end stores and small boutiques alike. I’m always looking for interesting, unique and beautiful products, I can't help it! Independent artisan craftspeople are always a treasured find for me!
How long have you worked with the super yacht industry?
For four years now, however Mum has been in the industry for around 16 years. Her knowledge is gold! Previous to joining Gillian Weir Ltd. I was a stylist for the fashion and home industry. I was. A Graphic Designer, specialising in packaging and product design for the UK High Street, my accounts included Marks & Spencer, NEXT and Accessorise.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
Obtaining my degree, running a successful business with my Mum and watching it grow into what it is today, and of course finding the best husband in the world!
Can you work under pressure?
Yes! This is an essential part of the role! The superyacht industry is a demanding one, but I thrive when I'm busy.
What are your pet hates?
I don’t think I really have any, I think I’m pretty grounded and am able to deal calmly with most situations.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Beautiful products and professional people!
When did you develop a passion for design?
I believe I was born with it… it comes naturally.
What type of reading do you do on a daily basis?
Lesley Pearce is my favourite author, but I also read Boat International, World of Interiors, Elle Decoration, Homes and Gardens, Vogue, if I have a minute to myself.
If you could go back and change something related to your education (or your life as a student), what would you change; or what would you do differently?
I don’t think I would, I love what I’m doing now and almost everything to do with my education seems to have helped me to be where I am today.
The superyacht industry is a demanding one, but I thrive when I'm busy.
- Gemma Weir
Can you please tell us about Gillian Weir Ltd. - Bespoke Tableware, Linens & Accessories?
We specialise in sourcing, supplying and designing interior accessories for Super yachts, private jets and luxury homes. We understand the level of quality, luxury and service required, we provide and advise on all products from tableware, crystal, leather and stationery items to towels, linen and cashmere.
Generally, we work on large new build projects along side Naval Architects and Interior Designers. We are proud to say that we work with some of the UK's leading designers and over the last seven years we have worked on many beautiful yachts from 30 to 125 meters in length.
We also work directly with the Stewards/Stewardesses on yachts that have already launched, providing a full support service. With just one phone call or email we will work tirelessly to find exactly what is required and deliver the product to absolutely anywhere in the world.
When was Gillian Weir Ltd. founded and who are the company directors/ founding members?
Gillian Weir Ltd. was founded in 2008 and the Directors are Gill Weir and myself Gemma Weir- Williams.
What is the mission statement from Gillian Weir Ltd.?
To provide a truly fantastic resource for Stewards/Stewardesses and the Super Yacht Industry as a whole, whether it be a small replenishment order or a full refit. We have vast experience and understanding not just of the quality that is required, but the efficiency and professionalism that is required to support this very unique industry.
What makes your brand so unique and what sets you apart from industry peers?
We listen, and we realise the value in this. We understand how busy our clients are, with this in mind, we try to make finding the perfect product for them as simple and efficient as possible.
With the two Directors being mother and daughter, I believe we are very approachable and we have a capable, can do attitude, our business is our passion. We are not being blinkered within the project, we are thinking about the whole picture as well. We like to be able to suggest ideas and items that may not have already thought of!
Does “Gillian Weir Ltd. Follow design trends?
Yes, we are very aware of trends, however, for us the most important thing is to follow the brief and requirements of each and every individual project. It is essential to us that we carry out the requirements perfectly.
How do you choose what pieces/ items to offer to your clients?
Again, we listen. Quality is essential and must never be compromised. Even for the most budget conscious projects, we will only ever supply a product that we feel is up to the standard required within our industry.
I see you supply a lot of luxury and rare fabrics such as Alpaca, Camel and Cashgora (just to name a few). Are these fabrics morally and respectfully sourced?
Yes. We make frequent trips all over the world to visit our suppliers, this ensures that all of our products are of the required standard, it's a piece of mind that we treat as a requirement.
We know that bespoke means “made to order, custom-made” but what does the term it mean to you?
Exactly that. Superyachts are born from dreams, and from the very initial concept every item is unique, therefore 'custom made' is the only way to go, nothing is off the shelf. Dreams are also completely unique to each person and therefore do not come from department stores, not even Harrods!
What is it like working with Superyacht crew?
Fantastic. They are all so professional and proud of their industry. They have first hand knowledge of the owners/yachts requirements and have the ability to communicate this to us. This enables us to truly support them with our experience and supply exactly what it is they need. What we find and enjoy the very most is lasting relationships!
Do you offer guidance and design advice for Super Yacht owners and crew looking to place an order?
Absolutely, we pride ourselves on being at hand to provide advice whenever our clients need us! To support this we supply visual aids, presentations and samples. Our 'can do' attitude is unfailing, our passion is to find a solution, we ALWAYS find a way!
What is the usual delivery time for a standard order?
Between four and eight weeks, but this purely depends on the product. We always advise on quotation. However, we keep our clients up to date constantly with progress and always endeavor to deliver the product in the best possible time without ever jeopardizing the finish.