What To Do… Fernanda Bourlot

April 18, 2008

My friend is a Boston-based interior designer, product designer, and boutique co-owner who is originally from beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her name is Fernanda Bourlot and her company is called Simplemente Blanco and I just adore her aesthetic and everything about her handmade wares, made right here in New England (read my interview with her here if you’d like).

What To Do... Fernanda Bourlot
I recently asked her if she could share some advice for decor8 readers on the topic, What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do and she gladly accepted. I’d like to share her insights with you today.

What To Do... Fernanda Bourlot
How did you find your calling in the world of art and design?

I just can speak by my own experience which is just mine, and I think it would be good not be taken as an exact science theorem for all the others goodness and safety! But what I think about all of this is that for me knowing what I wanted to do or to be was kind of clear because I always felt in my heart that art or design was my field. It was difficult in my society at those times to be able to follow that road because those kind of things were considered banal or hobbies. That is why I made the big mistake of trying to impress my parents saying that I was going to be a doctor. Obviously that was not my calling because the very first day at school at my first anatomy class I felt that I was going to die, so I went back home and said to my mother I am not going back there never ever more! Of course it was a big family drama. I was 18 years old at that point and that day I firmly decided: I am going to be what I want to be. Period.

The lesson behind this is never never do something that you do not want to do just follow you heart what you feel is right for you no matter what, no matter what others, including sometimes your parents, think or say.

How do you think others can find their calling?

The only way to find it is being very honest with yourself. I found it because I just knew that this is what I wanted to do and put my heart, my soul, and all my energy to make it happen knowing that there is always going to be a bumpy road but I made myself the promise that I am always going to fight it and keep going. I tried different things but always in the same field just to realize which were my strengths and my weak points and then tried to improve them. I think for others it’s helpful to write a short list of things you think you would like to do and get information on them, either reading or talking to people in these fields so you will start to get a sense about each and then you will naturally start seeing what you like more and what you are less interested in as you explore it. You can start repeating the process filtering IN the things you like and filtering OUT the ones you don’t until getting to that one that is the one you want to start trying in real life.

Thank you Fernanda for sharing your views with decor8 readers today!


  • Reply Husmusen April 18, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Rina April 18, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    It?s really nice to know about Fernanda?s work, It?s beautifull what she does at Simplemente Blanco. And of course I?m very proud, I?m from Buenos Aires too!
    I love these interviews!

  • Reply Veronica TM April 20, 2008 at 4:48 am

    another proud reader from buenos aires here {though now i live in the usa}. thank you for sharing this, holly!

  • Reply karen barb April 21, 2008 at 12:36 am

    I’m not sure how is it in the rest of the world but here in South America there’s so much pressure to children (from their early years) to take in traditional careers, such as Medicine, Law, Engineering. Becoming one of these professionals ensures social status and high wages. Personally, I gave in to familiar pressure and my first career choice was Architecture though I wanted to apply to Design school. I only lasted one year, the worst I can recall, and finally changed to Design. Of course, I’m not making lots of money but I know I’m on the right path.

    Fernanda’s work is amazing!

  • Reply Roberta April 21, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I think a common thread in these interview posts contains wisdom for all of us no matter what we do professionally or how we go about finding our right path. I had been a lawyer for 20 years when I became aware slowly that I didn’t enjoy it and that it was having an adverse affect on my health. I wanted to do something different, so I tried to remember what I loved all on my own (before the grownups started telling me what I should do with my life) and I realized that my true love was birds. I had no idea what to do with that particular realization, but gradually I combined it with my love of retail and opened an independent birding store. It’s the happiest I have ever been.

  • Reply Magpie April 22, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    I am loving your “What to do…” Series! Hope you feel better. :)

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