If you can dream it, you can do it
We’re honored to welcome Robert Petril, 30 year furniture industry veteran to SocialNorth. He’s lived, worked and designed around the world – and continues to pursue his never ending quest for amazing inspirations.
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Please welcome Robert, who never gives up on an idea
Dana Helms: Can you tell us about your ah-ah moment as a designer?
Robert Petril: For me, it was a commitment to completely change the way I looked at the world. Coming from a furniture family, my destiny was pre-determined in sales and management in the furniture industry. But I found my true path the day I was hired to launch Incanto Divani from Italy, onto the American Markets. The product designed for Europeans was amazing, but I immediately began dreaming about how to transform it for an American consumer. I managed to convince the owner to let me work with the graphic artist to visualize my ideas. Eventually those ideas turned into reality. Seeing my ideas on a real production line convinced me to follow my creative dreams – wherever they wanted to go.
DD: What do you love most about what you do?
RP: That day when I get to see a new design in the flesh, after a long and challenging journey, far from that moment in the shower when that vision popped into my brain.
DD: What’s the proudest moment of your career and is there a project that you think of as your absolute best?
RP: I believe the best is yet to come but the day we unveiled the first Simon Li Collection to the world was pretty amazing. I remember standing in front of 30 groupings that I had designed and followed through development, in the brand new showroom I had also designed around it. For me, it was the first time I truly felt like I could be called a designer.
DD: Who/What inspires you?
RP: There are quite a few greats that inspire me. Like, Marcel Wanders, Philippe Starck, and people like Bas M. from G Star Raw. What inspires me is simple – travel.
DD: Has social media changed how you do business? For the better or worse?
RP: Not only has it changed it, but it’s made it possible. Social Media is my primary method of growing my brand, giving me international exposure and education. I can’t imagine life without it.
DD: What advice do you have for others struggling with social media?
RP: Be patient and be authentic. Communicate, engage, learn and be positive. You don’t have to tell your life story, but you can give others the gift of who you are. People like to know the person behind it all.
DD: Can you tell us about what frustrates you about your career or the industry you’re in?
RP: The fact that other industries are kicking our ass! Because, innovation is not priority one and we’re forced to ride the dinosaurs to make a living.
DD: Tell us about the private Robert – what do you love most about your home/life/family?
RP: I’m completely grateful each and every day for my family, and the health to continue to pursue my dreams.
DD: Tell us more about Robert and what’s on tap for you in 2013.
RP: So far, 2013 has been the most exciting year of my entire career. My collection is growing, and selling at over 30 retailers. I could not be more excited! In addition to product design, I’m getting more gigs in the entertainment industry. I’ve never had more fun working in my life.
DD: What’s the best advice you can give to someone following your career path?
RP: Don’t give up. Believe in your dreams and tap into to your passions. Even if you’re the only one.
Want to get to know Robert better? Catch up with him online:
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About Dana Helms
When someone says social butterfly, they’re likely referring to Dana Helms. With her ability to wander through conversations online as if she’s hosting a cocktail party, Dana brings awareness and excitement to the social media party. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.