Bernita Kalyan – Designer, Art Teacher, Boss Babe

Bernita Kalyan

For Women’s Month, HEYBOO along with 6 other brands held a girl boss giveaway, AND BERNITA KALYAN WON 🎉

Bernita grew up in a creative family environment. She owns an art studio named The Creative Smudge and runs a design company called Pineapple Designs BK, which doesn’t stop at digital design. Check out her impressive story below ↯

Tell us more about yourself and how you came to start your own business?

My name is Bernita Kalyan, I am 28 years old and I studied at The Interior Design Institute where I graduated with a Diploma in Interior Design. Since then I have worked for an Architectural company, The Creative Axis Architects, as their in house Interior Designer. Some of my work with them included residential projects in Malawi and Villa designs in Saudi Arabia. I have also completed some Graphic Design work designing logos, business cards and company branding.

Through design, I have found a passion for teaching. The Creative Smudge is an art school I opened in May 2017. The school focuses on teaching children from the age of 5 different techniques in the field. We focus on detail, creativity, hand-eye coordination and the use of different materials. I run the school from my home in Lenasia. But since COVID I have to close the school.

I am currently working as a freelance designer specializing in Graphic Design, Interior Design & Landscape Design & Website Design.

I have completed the following additional courses :

  • AutoCAD for Interior Designers
  • Home Staging & Property Styling
  • Commercial Design
  • Kitchen & Bathroom Design
  • Setting  Up Your Own Website
  • Plant Styling & Landscape Design

I started Pineapple Designs BK because I wanted to create a space to help individuals express their creative side. I wanted to use the lessons I have learnt and offer a service that was both affordable and trendy. I wanted my clients to feel safe and a part of the design process. For many designing can be overwhelming because of the amount of information out there. I try to make this process easier for my clients by really getting to know them and what their style is.

You own a design company called Pineapple Designs BK, why did you decide to get into design and what services do you offer?

I was always interested in design from a very young age I would spend my weekends rearranging furniture in my room and experiment with different furniture layouts in my own space. As I got older I found myself walking into spaces and making mental notes of how I could improve a space and its function. I was in high school when the passion for design became more serious and I would browse book stores and collect books on Interior Design. I come from a creative family with uncles who have a passion for photography, sketching & painting so I was always surrounded by art.

Pineapple Designs BK started as an Interior Design platform and since then it has grown into a full rounded design service.

I offer the following services to my clients:

  • Mood Boards
  • Spatial Planning
  • Specification & Scheduling of Fixtures, Fittings & Furniture
  • Bathroom Design
  • Kitchen Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Event Stationery
  • Renders
  • Colour Consultancy
  • Website Design
  • Landscape Design

Pineapple Designs BK has recently launched Notebooks, To-Do Lists, Calendars and Weekly Planners. All which can be personalized too.

Name a female entrepreneur who inspires you and why?

Over the years I have come across many designers, entrepreneurs, local and international whose work has stood out for me but I don’t think I could just pick one. I think being a female in this country is a challenge on its own but being a female entrepreneur is no easy job. So I take my hat off to each and every female & entrepreneur out there because I personally know the struggles faced. 

Bernita Kalyan

A work/life balance can be non-existent as an entrepreneur, how do you manage your time in a demanding industry?

Being a freelance designer I have worked from home for many years, I have worked from coffee shops and restaurants and often times from my bed or dining room. Because I don’t go to an office to work a standard 8-5, I have had to become very disciplined in finding a routine that works me, and because each project is so different and each deadline is so different the routine keeps changing. What works for me may not work for the next person. This industry is a demanding one and most times you lose weekends without even realising it. For me the routine has become, sitting down with my work, having a scented candle lit near me, a pretty bunch of flowers and a cup of coffee. This little routine of mine works to keep me focused. The best part of what I do is that I can work from anywhere which helps a lot with my personal life.

Where can one view your portfolio or work?

My portfolio can be found on my website

I also have a Facebook page Pineapple Designs BK

And an Instagram page PineappleDesignsBK (@pineappledesignsbk) • Instagram photos and videos

Any advice for aspiring designers out there? 

Design can be scary and overwhelming but find what works for you. Once you find your niche work doesn’t feel like work anymore. Failing is a part of life, making mistakes is a part of life so don’t be afraid to fail because the best lessons come from failure.

Thank you Bernita! Check out her business Instagram below ❤︎

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