Women need to own feminism and support each other – Revy Bryce-Browning
In the third of the series, Bev talks with Revelyn Bryce- Browning (known as Revy), Managing Director of Design Vision interior designers of residential homes and aged care communities, as well as a property stylist.
Revy says it is important for women to “own feminism and respect each other. International Women’s Day is a day to respect the efforts of women who fought for equality to make life fairer for us”.
She describes her favourite day is always by the water, kayaking, boating, or reading on the beach with her daughters, in “sublime silence”
When did you start your current job?
I opened my own business Design Vision in 2010 following the sale of our family design firm after 35 years. It was bittersweet- exciting and sad at the same time. I was at crossroads -return to architecture or start my own business. An overnight plan was hatched on the back of a napkin (how I do most things), with my husband who was so supportive. He said just the right thing:
“do it; don’t worry about the detail – you’ll make it work’
Can you tell us briefly about your career to date?
I was destined for a career in design or art in some form as I enjoyed art at school and did work experience when I was 15, with a fashion and interior design studio. I learnt the science of colour and fell in love with it. I stayed in touch with the design firm Nexus Designs and 10 years later opened their new interior partnership office, designing the interiors of the Brisbane Convention Centre. I learnt so much in those years and will be forever grateful for such an opportunity. Needing a new challenge, I combined my experience in interiors and graphic design to open my own styling business. I love that Design is such a practical craft – it’s about perfecting the detail that others don’t see.
Did you have a mentor? If so, can you tell us about them?
My mentor was my father, architect, designer (and feminist), the late Michael Bryce. He was always there for me, not just encouraging me but making things happen, teaching me how to sketch, to draw to scale, the history of architecture and every art and design movement there is. He was also my famous ‘cox’ while starting up the first schoolgirl rowing crew in Brisbane (which was quite a mean feat in 1985 when only schoolboys were allowed to row). I now see how generous my father was with his time, given he ran a large design practice and had five children. You can learn the skills, but he taught me how to be enquiring, read and learn from others. He could soften the most difficult client with his art of storytelling!
What advice would you offer to professional women?
Start your own business if that is what you want to do. Women make the best business owners because we are naturally intuitive and collaborative project managers. Creating something that is yours and is new is so fulfilling; achieving the smallest of milestones is a wonder. You can also choose your hours, your clients and your team.
What do you think women who have strong professional aspirations need to hear?
I have learnt along the way – always be prepared, read the room, surround yourself with people who encourage you and; always trust your instincts. And stretch yourself; I live by my mother Quentin’s advice “Always say yes and work out how – to later”
If you could invite one person to dinner, who would it be?
One would be Amelia Earhart who was my first heroine when I was 13. On the night before I started high school, I remember my father telling me the story of her life while assuring me I could also be like Amelia and achieve anything I wanted in life.