ROOM FOR THE IMAGINATION
Denise Roberts speaks to Toks Aruoture, founder of Punkin Patch Interiors, a company that creates unique interior designs for children’s rooms
Designing a child’s bedroom isn’t just about matching furniture and a slap of paint; it’s about creating memories.
Interior designer, Toks Aruoture, creates memories of childhood from the magical worlds of writers, like Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl, so that children can fully indulge the imagination – an invaluable though rare experience for those growing up in today’s digital world. She shared, “My own memories of childhood include playing outdoors and disappearing into those worlds where it was magical and real, so I want to create a haven they can retreat to and build such memories. Then I’ll have done a good job.”
From country folk to presidents
Toks lives in south London with her husband and four sons. As owner of Punkin Patch Interiors, she designs children’s rooms using the most beautiful furniture, decorative accessories and linen she is able to find in Europe or America. Her business employs six members of staff, and operates as an online store in the USA and the UK, serving clients ranging from the quiet country-cottage family to VIPs and celebrities, even presidents. Her clients appreciate the type of quality craftsmanship that goes into making a single piece of Punkin Patch furniture.
“In some cases it is not just a piece of furniture my clients are buying, but a piece of art,” said Toks, “and in all cases it is a memory of childhood you would not have with run-of-the-mill, mass produced furniture.”
Toks came from the sterile, clinical environment of the pharmaceutical industry to this bright and imaginative world of beautiful spaces for children quite by ‘accident’.
Her journey has all the classic signs of a divine set up: she had just returned from maternity leave; her employers could not give her the hours she wanted; her job as a medical rep mostly “felt like drudge, anyway”; then her husband casually asked, “Why not do what you really love?”
At the time, Toks was reading a book where someone asked, “How do I know what my gift is?” The reply? “Your gift is something you do naturally, something requiring little effort but which everyone thinks is amazing.” For Toks, it was her eye for home design. For years, friends would remark on her amazing knack for putting together colours and accessories, then, said Toks, “they would ask me to design their homes for them. But I never thought of doing it for money. I saw it as a privilege.”
“As I did the rebranding, I had to relive the beginning of the business, how we had grown over the years. I started to look at areas in my life that needed to be rebranded… ideas God had given me, things I should be doing in my own life and in my business but, through fear and procrastination, never did.
“It was about de-cluttering my own life as well as the business, and reflecting biblical values in the way we run the business.”
Today. Toks is busily working on her own line of branded products, and streamlining the 1000-plus items available in her store.
Her best tip to a fellow Christian in business is: “Know that your place of darkness is where gems of treasures are hidden. Don’t look for the door but the gem.”
For more details, visit at www.punkinpatch.co.uk
How to learn whatever you need – for free
The best and most cost effective way to develop the skills you need, to remain competitive and relevant in the marketplace, is via the free resources available online. You can explore the topics and subjects that meet your requirements and interest. Here are four places you can visit for the information you need. They are:
www.coursera.org offers 400+ plus online courses from top universities and colleges around the world for anyone to take, at anytime.
iTunes U – check out the app. It’s great for videos from various institutes on topics such as Courageous Leadership. www.itunes.com
www.ted.com has a mind of ‘Ideas worth sharing’. They’ll sharpen your performance and knowledge on the widest range of subjects imaginable.
Youtube.com/education – whether you want to learn to speak better English, make a better speech, or study the speech that made Obama president.
Event: Anointed for the Marketplace
Want to explore your call to and anointing for the marketplace? Then consider this weekend course organised by Charles McLachlan, co-founder of the Academy for Chief Executives.
The format includes Bible study and group exercises, and covers: Biblical foundations – work and business; Character, calling and anointing – my destiny in the marketplace; Understanding the Bible as a guide for Kingdom business, and more. The aim is to equip you to bring transformation to your business, city and nation.
From Friday 3 to Sunday 5 October, commencing at 7pm, at Castle Point Community Hub, 163 Bennetts Castle Lane, Dagenham, Essex, RM8 3YJ. Cost is £50. Book via Eventbrite, and find out more at www.cthree.org/marketplace