Today we are delighted to bring you our interview with Jill O’Neill, the very talented lady behind Belfast’s ReFound.
Born and raised in Belfast I first moved to Glasgow to complete a degree in Art History. I took a bold leap to New York in 1999 to work in publishing, in SPIN Magazine. My magazine career continued San Francisco and then London in 2002.
Finding myself back in Belfast in 2007, along with the many furniture & nick-naks I’d picked up along the way; I found that I had developed a passion for other people’s unwanted objects!
Attracted by the journey of ordinary objects, I was inspired to create a space where these objects gained new life as part of the next stage of their journey.
And so I set about collecting artists to help these unwanted, past-their-prime-pieces on their way to a more desirable life. The ReFound Artists make even the most unpromising piece of furniture look appealing and chic by giving it a more contemporary style and thus a new lease of life.
How and where are you today?
I am chilled at home with my dog hobo. Watched a bit of Kirstie Allsops Vintage Home, now on the computer to catch up on work.
How would you describe the journey that has brought you to this place? And were these the roads you expected to take?
Looking back , it seems somewhat a well-thought out plan that was all linked – in reality however not at all! Moving to Glasgow – for Uni, then New York – for fun and internships, then San Francisco – for love; London – for career and finally Belfast – cos its home! They were all quite unexpected but a great journey. And indeed it brought me to ReFound.
Do you have a process to ensure you are in the right frame of mind to create?
I am not specifically creating the ReFound pieces, local artists and makers are doing that but am creating the brand and developing the space that is the ReFound showroom. I have however started to recreate some vintage pieces myself for which you definitely need to be in the right frame of mind. Usually for me, its getting ideas from magazines and websites. I often collect bits of magazines with colours or ideas I like.
How do you think your background and culture influences your creations?
Travel has influenced my style hugely. As you can imagine – I love old and forgotten pieces and to put my stamp on them. Living in large cosmopolitan cities such as New York & London, you build up simple ways to furnish your apartment! This has definitely influence the showroom style.
What does beauty mean to you?
If we had interviewed you when you were 11, what would you have told us you wanted to be when you grew up?
What advice have you received that you want everyone to benefit from?
Don’t run before you can walk
twitter – @refoundonline
Thank you so very much Jill, for taking the time to be here and most importantly – welcome to the handsome and pretty family!
handsome and pretty