How did you become Colombia’s first independent lighting designer?
I worked for nine years at the first company, then became independent, and in 1992 I took part in the design of the Centro Andino Mall in Bogotá. This was the first project in which someone in Colombia was paid for doing a design. That was when lighting design became a profession in Colombia.
After that I worked with another company, where I created the lighting division, alternating this job with independent consultancies.
In 2000, with the building industry in deep crisis, I resigned and set up my own business which concentrated on advising without selling. I wanted to free my mind. My first project was a small office, where I was able to keep the commercial side of the work separate. Without question the issue of rates was never simple, but without having a deliberate plan, I created lighting design in Colombia. It was an unconscious decision in terms of what it meant to the rest of the world, but very conscious as regards what it meant for Colombia.
My first step was to show all the companies that I was not competing with them, and that they were my closest allies. Fortunately I received their support. People then started to follow in my footsteps, and awareness was created among suppliers and customers.
I love what I do, I’m crazy about it, and every day I like it more. Life has always given me an excellent team of people to work with. I owe what I do to my husband and my team. I couldn’t have done it on my own.
I’ve always been industrious and committed. I learned from magazines and catalogs as well as by attending trade fairs, taking training courses and traveling a lot.