Hi Syaza! Let’s start with an intro. Who is Syaza Saifuddin? :)
Syaza Saifuddin is your average 31-year old everyday friendly neighbourhood vintage furniture enthusiast who talks a lot and overshares on her instagram account about interior design.
What do you do for a living?
I am an interior designer and I do furniture restoration from time to time.
How has the MCO and working from home treating you?
It’s been an adjustment for sure because the nature of my work is to regularly be out and about meeting suppliers, dealing with on site issues or sourcing for my diy projects. Now I usually make appointments beforehand or call them prior to my visit so that I can either limit my time outside or have as little human contact as possible. Believe it or not, almost a year in and everyone is still adjusting but so far we are all trying to make it work. Very grateful for the internet! I have always been a homebody so I am adjusting well despite the hurdles.
What made you start Syaza Of All Trades?
The excitement I feel in my heart when I look at potential pieces. A lot of good quality pieces are thrown out because they don’t fit the current aesthetic and people always seem to just buy more and more without taking a second look at these beautiful pieces. They certainly don’t make furniture like they used to anymore and what a shame that they’re being thrown out when they have so much potential still. So I chose to give them a little makeover and re-sell it on my platform.Give them a second chance in a new home and possibly add a unique piece into the mix.
Is this something that you wanted to do when you were younger, or was it completely different?
I have always gravitated towards arts and crafts, dollhouses and polly pockets. In hindsight it made sense that I liked and still very much do like these things because it’s very similar to what I do now. I knew from a young age I wanted to be in the art industry. I just didn’t know what at the time.
So, a lot of ‘interior’ labels have been going around right now, what is the difference between interior design, interior architecture and interior decorator?
All 3 play different roles. Interior architects work more on the pre-planning stages of construction and work closely with architects. They learn more about structural components and design and build aspects. Interior designers have more to do with space management, space planning, aesthetics of the space once it is realised.We’re often faced with spaces that have been constructed. Though we can make structural changes, we have to abide by the bones laid out by the architects. Interior decorators play a role of stylists. They focus solely on aesthetics. Unlike interior architects and interior designers, interior decorators do not require formal education to practice therefore, they are not allowed to make structural changes at all. Having said that I do feel there is room for all 3 professions to coexist together.
We saw that you had an online show, what made you start and what were the lessons you wanted to get across your viewers/followers?
I was offered the slot by a production company. I have not done any hosting gigs before so for me it was another opportunity to challenge myself. I wanted to prove that some decor pieces are achievable by upcycling your items that are readily available at home. I find that a lot of people have these items already, they just don’t know what to do with them and resort to throwing them all out and buying more things. It’s a vicious cycle that can lead in excessive spending habits and wastage. I want people to make more conscious choices when shopping. That they don’t have to spend more just to keep up with the trends.
What has been your favourite part of your job? and the most challenging?
My favourite part is getting opportunities to design and solve problems for my clients. I also especially love their reaction when they see the makeovers I did for their old furniture. To me it’s very fulfilling to see. The most challenging would be balancing out my workload. I'm still a small business so I learn as I grow my business. Thankfully I have supportive peers that help me go through this journey. Very grateful.
How do you stay creative and motivated? Do you have any healthy routine you’d love to share?
I watch a lot of TV, NETFLIX and YouTube. The settings in these shows are where I draw most of my inspirations from. Interacting with small business owners is a great way to stay motivated especially when you’re in the same field, braving through similar storms. Keeps you in check and grounded. I do feel that social media can be quite overwhelming for me, so whenever I do feel like it’s too much I step away and just stay off it for a while. I don’t post when I’m not up for it. I have also started to say no to things that I don’t necessarily feel comfortable with. It’s important to keep your mental health in check and not feel like you’re missing out whenever you say no.
What is empowerment to you?
Empowerment to me is a privilege to stand up for what you believe in and do what you love doing. I don’t feel like everyone has the chance to experience empowerment in their lifetime. If you are able to, you’re one of the lucky ones. To be able to experience it and share it with others is truly a privilege. With empowerment comes power to help and I do hope that it can be extended to those who need it most.
A flaw you’ve learned to embrace?
That I get scared of new opportunities very easily. It taught me to be more cautious though!
Coffee or tea?
Tea! Iced tea to be specific.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Night owl. Definitely.
What’s your ultimate favourite colour?
Mustard yellow, olive green and brown! I cannot choose.
What's your primary love language? (refer here)
ACTS OF SERVICE AND IT’S TRUE! Haha