Shaper: Vanessa Brady

Show aired on 21st November 2015


Vanessa is an international interior designer, business consultant and Founder of the Society of British and International Design. She has amassed an award winning portfolio including projects for Hard Rock Cafe, the Design Council, Kabaret Club, British Luxury Club, Unilever, high security government offices, His Majesty The Sultan of Brunei, King of Saudi Arabia, Head of State Palaces, as well as the private residences of numerous diplomats and VIPs. In 2014 Vanessa began a collaboration with Sunseeker International on the new Predator II yacht.

Writing for various trade publications Vanessa regularly contributes to other national and international publications as well as international broadcasts such as Sky News Paper Review and Radio. She is an inspirational speaker and spokesperson for interior design and an awards judge to her peers within the design profession across a variety of disciplines.

In recognition of her high standards and design flair, Vanessa has been acknowledged for a number of high level awards; most recently the 2014 Woman in the City ‘Woman of Achievement Award for the Built Environment’. She was also nominated in 2010, 2013 and 2014 by NatWest Bank for the NatWest everywoman Awards. Licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) 2003 – now the Financial Conduct Authority – Vanessa achieved Corporate Governance qualification (2002), and represents the interests of interior design at cross-party meetings at the House of Commons and the House of Lords.  A regular visitor to the Bank of England she represents risks and current trading conditions of the interior design industry for business.

In 2014 Vanessa was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for her services to Interior Design and the UK Economy.

“…in the early 80’s, interior design was very much more of an interest for people that perhaps didn’t need to earn a living.”

“Anybody who is entrepreneurial…when you feel that you can create change, it’s very difficult to sit down and not get on with it.”

“I wanted to look after the people that have really helped me, so I converted my practice and the things I was doing to a profit share.”

“I do remember the saying, which I have always kept: ‘it’s not the glass ceiling, it’s the sticky floor'”

“I made sure that when my daughter was growing up I still worked but I didn’t ever put my work over and above her.”

“I always work backwards from perfect. So you start where you want to end up, and then you work out how to get there.”

“I’ll try eight things, expecting to only gain and complete one.”

“The creative industries will get us, and have got us, out of the recession.”

“I think that because everyone’s got free speech on Twitter and social media platforms, I have been very careful not to be negative.”