Interview: Lisa Masterson of Avalisa

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One of the most anxiety-inducing areas of having a kid if you’re a modern design lover just might be worrying about the availability of high-quality, attractive and affordable modern kid’s decor. Avalisa calms any parent’s fears with their lines of stretched wall art and lovely wool rugs.

Recognizing that kids, toddlers, babies and parents all need color, modern patterns and a little humor in their life, their graphics do not disappoint. You can find such art options as animal faces, animal silhouettes, letters, patterns, things that go, natural motifs, architecture-inspired pieces and more. One of our favorite things about their products are all the color options. Each art option already comes with a zillion color combinations sure to fit whatever color palette you need–but if they should not have what you’re looking for, you can totally choose custom colors.

We’re not even afraid to admit that as an adult without any children living in their house at all–we’d totally buy some of these pieces for our own walls. They’re that cool. We just had to get the inside scoop on this great company, so we talked to avalisa‘s founder and designer, Lisa Masterson. She wasn’t able to do an audio interview with us, but she graciously answered a lot of our questions. Read on to learn where she gets her inspiration from, what her background is like and what her favorite part of being in this business is:

2M: How do you describe what your company does?
LM: We design products mainly for the modern children’s market. Right now we have stretched wall art, New Zealand wool rugs, a memory game and fine art prints.

2M: And what’s your background like?
LM: I went to school for fine art with my focus in printmaking. But I really consider my childhood with my Finnish grandmother to be my education in style, color and composition.

2M: Why did you start avalisa the company?
LM: The first designs I made for the company were originally intended for my first child’s nursery. When I found out I was pregnant with her I just started designing towards a kid’s environment because I wasn’t able to find any wall art on the market that I wanted to have in her room. From there, people kept saying that I should do something with the designs, so 1.5 years after my daughter was born avalisa.com launched.

2M: So why color? Why pattern? Why products for homes with kids?
LM: I grew up completely enamored by my grandmother’s sense of style and composition. The environments that she created for herself to live in were always filled with beauty, color and a sense of sophistication. But even in her adult environments she always managed not to take herself so seriously, and she would place children’s toys or animals throughout the rooms that made her personality shine through. She always managed to stay connected to the beauty within the child’s mind. So I think my style really grew from loving what she created, whether it was indoors or outdoors.

I enjoy designing for children’s environments because it is the ultimate open palette for mixing fun with design. I think kids appreciate and absorb what we put in their environments, so I do not design from a kid’s perspective but instead from one that I find interesting and creative. I prefer to have 1 or 2 bold statement items in a room and then mix in more classic and neutral shapes, patterns and colors through the supporting pieces.

I am always moving furniture within a room, and from room to room. Always. I love mixing the compositions within my environment to keep my mind fresh with new possibilities. But a bold piece to me is pretty necessary to complete the room’s personality.

2M: Where do you get your inspiration?
LM: Nature, my daughter’s art, memories of my childhood…

2M: What’s exciting you in the design world right now? Do you stick to only checking out other designs in your field or do you look at everyone?
LM: I do love following design and absorbing all of the beautiful creations that exist. But, in terms of designing for avalisa, I really try and keep myself focused on my own sense of style and designing from that place.

2M: What steps did you take to get your business running so successfully?
LM: For the start of avalisa it was a step by step process, and people were responding positively. We were fortunate enough to enter into the market at a great time.

2M: Favorite thing about your job?
LM: Ultimately I love coming up with creative solutions whether that is through design or business. So I love that I can be creatively challenged on a consistent basis.

2M: If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
LM: If I were not doing avalisa I would probably be starting another project that offers creative solutions for helping others around the world through humanitarian and philanthropic efforts. I have an insatiable passion geared towards those types of ventures.

2M: What book is on your nightstand right now?
LM: Right now the only book I have on there is Mother Theresa’s “Come Be My Light”. My iPad is there though with some other great reads on it that I am going back and forth between.

2M: Anything new and exciting that you want to share with the 2modern readers/listeners?
LM: Yes, but I will announce it at a later date. :) Stay tuned!!

Thanks, Lisa! And check out avalisa on 2Modern!

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1 Comment

  1. carole

    Apr 19, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Kids would love the Artworks of leading modern aviation artist David Bent – especially the Aerobots – made of photographic sections of Aircraft. The world famous RAF Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows loved David’s work & invited him to be artist in Residence too.


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