In Conversation with: Craig Zoowie
To those who don't know, who is Craig Zoowie?
He is everything style done with with love and awe to see you there from dream to reality, idea to creation brightly inspiring you with color, depth and luxe details wether on a table, home or closet. I am all that & extra lol
If you could spend a year in one place where would you go and why?
Paris; read with intent.
"Paris and romance, they go together like champagne and oysters, café and croissants, jambon-beurre"
Would you blame me when it's the birth place of everything loved in style, couture, cuisine all served with pure Luxe from the lodge on the country side to the luxurious Plaza Anthenee which drips with luxury on one of Paris’ most fashionable streets, Avenue Montaigne, close to the Champs-Élysées . It's a place where you see a buildings, monuments or take a light stroll on a street twice and on the third time it still feels surreal.
How did you get into being an event designer, stylist, did you receive formal training?
Attention to detail, from what I wear to who I hang out with and where we make it known " we were here".
Styling first came naturally where charity and passion begin, at Home. From assisting family & close friends to actually studying Male Styling as a course. Family support has and continues to lift the Craig Zoowie brand.
Interior Design is all about rhythmic visual patterns, it's beauty and the art of enhancing the interiors of a space or building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for myself. How could I not share it with the world. It may have started as a hobby but I'm now studying Luxury Interior Design, I always want to make sure my hobbies make me happy and pay for my coffee and champagne.
Event Design as well stemmed from the love developed from the above growth and having studied Corporate Event Management, Wedding Design as well as Political Event Design I can't but delight in making everything I touch luxe.
Who inspired your career?
They think of me today & everyday thereafter. They never let the outside busy world keep them from encouraging and lifting me up with love and appreciation.
My second family, my squad Lungie The Florist Bae & Kevin The Wedding Planner, we have fun and push each other to slay daily because like my family they are not just important but Everything.
I am also inspiried by Bonang Matheba, Aleit Swanepoel, Harrison T. Crite as well as other event designers & fashion stylists whose work I literally stalk.
What prompted the start of VIP hosting?
-The need for luxurious events locally.
Who has played a major role in nurturing your career?
-Lungile,period. Daily she will ask what's next because only she knows the sky is not the limit.
What is your process when preparing design for an event, what are the essentials?
- Brief with client
- Venue walk through
- Budget optimization
- Concept and design
All for the awe in my clients faces when they walk into that space and their jaws drop coz we have exceeded their expectations!
Do you face any stigma being a male event designer /stylist?
Honestly No. As your career grows you become comfortable and confident within yourself and what you have to offer. It gets to a point where your clients will do anything to have you be a part of their events. It’s when your work shines through who you are and becomes you. Clients and the rest of the world have no choice but to appreciate you.
What is your view on the current state of the event design industry in Zimbabwe?
-It’s overlooked. People don’t understand the mechanics and importance of coordinating every detail of an event with originality and nostalgic intent. It’s taking long for clients to understand the opulence or should I say the lap of luxury, sumptuousness of milk and honey with comfort, security; affluence, brought about by an Event Stylist hence the need for real good budgets when people are planning their events. Hopefully as more events come we will be able to school the clients on the real value of a Planner & how to execute an amazing event. In that way we'll all live in Luxury all our lives because we now understand it all comes at a cost ofcoz...
What is your theme for the year?
Well working with the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2018 which is an ultra violet is bringing with it some very exciting concepts for each client. And for me as an advocate for Luxurious Elegance I always say Go big or More Luxe -so huge florals or feathers and crystals always do it for me! I am praying to put together a Coronation... but hey stay tuned...
Of all the events you have worked on which one are you proudest of?
Wow, that’s a tough one! All of them are close to my heart and the next is always better than the last...lol
Describe a typical day in your life.
I'd say the typical life of an entrepreneur
-check my phone for emails
-social media updates like twitter, Instagram etc
-great food through out the day
-briefs on upcoming events with the team
-share a good laugh ALWAYS
-home to a glass of wine
If you could give something up for a year what would it be and why?
All this just to spend a year in Paris indulging in the pleasures of the city my heart was born for.
What can we expect from you in 2018, any new projects on the horizon?
Expect nostalgic projects styled with essential details and desirables of plush and opulence. There's no string attached to my creative flow and I'm just going to be so extra.
What's the soundtrack that relates to where you currently are in life?
- well my music influence is a bit all over the place but I say Audius Mtawarira’s Chete actually captures my essence all the time through out my life.
How would your family and friends describe you?
Family; their supportive rock of pure joy.
Friends; a tireless being who doesn't believe in being small to accommodate others but in going big and so extra to help them realize they are powerful beyond measure when they exude originality, class and beauty having fun while at it.
What is the one thing you cannot live without?
My apartment, it’s home!
What words of advice do you have for upcoming entrepreneurs looking to get a foot in the door?
Confucius once said "Choose a job that you like, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
Do. Or do not. If you want to do it, do it now.
And I say, always love what you do.
Looking back, say a decade ago, what advice would you give your younger self?
The path you're taking is going to be living a few years of your life like most people won't so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't. So if you're going to think, Think Big because one day they'll start asking how you did it.
How would you like to be remembered?
The man who helped people live by bringing their dreams to life. Malcolm Forbes said "When you cease to dream, you cease to live."