Unexpected Experts Part 2 | Amber's Journey
February 21st, 2019
Our unexpected experts just get wilder and more complex - with weird and wonderful stories popping up left, right, and centre.
Each of our brands starts out as an idea - a thought sparked in the minds of our creatives - and is developed further, before becoming actualised in designs and finally a reality. The minds behind bringing our venues to life are beacons of creativity - who consider everything from the layout, design outside vibe, interior details to the overall atmosphere and lighting.
One of the wonderful minds behind our curious venues is Amber Sacco. Amber pioneers the approach to our venues, conceptualising what it is to be an innovative venue - with intricate flare and added quirky comforts. We sat down with Amber to ask her more about her role and how she became one of our bright minds behind the scenes.
UNEXPECTED EXPERT | AMBER'S STORY
Hi Amber, tell us more about your creative role...
“Officially, my job title is Company Designer, but I’m effectively leading the interior design department within the Property Team at NWTC. Day to day, you’ll find me doing Computer Aided Design plans, managing suppliers - from planning consultants to builders on site - creating mood boards (browsing Pinterest – A LOT!), choosing fabrics, designing furniture and bespoke lighting, to picking up requests from our existing estates who require design input!”
How did you become an expert in this field?
“I definitely don’t feel like an expert yet! I’m still learning every day from both my team and our wider network of suppliers. My background and experiences before I came to NWTC really helped push me into the role I have today. I studied Furniture and Product design at university, whilst working part-time in various hospitality roles. My university course was a sandwich degree, which meant I got to spend my 3rd year working in the industry at an interior design company in Knutsford. I started out as a Junior Designer and was lucky enough to be involved in lots of different projects. From initially assisting the senior designers - within 6 months I was dealing with my own clients, which really helped me. I was able to make my own mistakes - which for me - was the quickest way to learn. I think because I deal with a lot of different areas within design and a variety of clients - this has helped me to think more broadly about how to tackle problems I come across every day. Now, I refer to previous experiences and try to adopt proven techniques to current situations.”
How did you come into hospitality?
“I worked various roles in hospitality whilst at university and once I started working on restaurant and bar design projects I realised that the knowledge I’d picked up in my earlier hospitality jobs really helped me understand the functional side of restaurant design. It’s surprising how much stuff I learnt in my first jobs at 16/17 that I still use now. I loved the challenge of creating something that was aesthetically beautiful, whilst being as functional as possible for the staff and operations team. I knew it was the field I wanted to focus on.
In August 2016 - after being studio based for 3 years - I was approached by a friend when she heard there was an in-house role going at NWTC that would allow me to make an impact from the beginning (NWTC had recently separated from Living Ventures) and hopefully I could build my own team as New World grew. I met Tim and Chris for an interview and was offered the job that day! It was a big move for me going in-house because there was always a risk that I would regret not being able to work in other fields of design. However, no single day at New World is the same and I feel there is so much diversity in hospitality design that many people don't realise.”
What is the most amazing thing you have achieved in your unusual career?
“This is so difficult to answer. My entire time at New World has being a huge achievement! I joined as a middleweight interior designer 2 years ago and progressed to leading the team in just over 12 months. If I had to pick one, I would say creating The Florist brand (interiors). I was thrown in at the deep end with this one, as I took over from another design company halfway through the project in Bristol and then I went on to create The Florist Liverpool. Liverpool has been recognised nationally through lots of organic press - which is amazing - and has been named ‘the most instagrammable interior’ on many occasions – that’s pretty cool for a designer! When I joined New World, I knew I’d be working on The Botanist and existing brands - at the time doing refurbishments and smaller projects - but didn’t expect to be developing new concepts like The Florist so quickly. Because of the success of the florist, we’ve been able to keep the design team in-house and continue working on some big projects."