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6 THINGS WITH HEMA PERSAD

6 Things with Hema Persad of Sagrada Studio

A native of Toronto, Canada, Hema was a practicing attorney for several years before following her heart and pursuing a career in fashion. In 2014, she moved to Los Angeles to chase her goal, and spent the following 7 years dressing A-list celebrities, styling ad campaigns and editorials, and working with some of the top fashion talent in the world.

Completely self-taught, Hema's interior design career began in 2021 when one of her styling clients asked for help decorating their home and she founded Sagrada Studio. Because of her eye for design and ability to execute her creative vision, that first project snowballed into several more. Hema now designs and decorates residential and commercial spaces around the country. Her years in the fashion industry have given her the ability to distill wildly artistic references down to their applicability to modern living, always with a touch of coziness, style and individuality. 

1. What started it all for you?

After college I went to law school and was a litigator for 7 years until I finally couldn't take it anymore. By that time I had two kids under the age of 2 and was feeling really unsatisfied in my career. My husband encouraged and supported me in figuring out what I wanted to do next - I had always wanted to work in fashion so we sold our house and moved to L.A. so I could pursue a career as a celebrity stylist. Things moved quickly once we got here; I started interning and assisting with big celeb stylists and was lucky enough to work on red carpet jobs with many A list celebrities, and with high end publications like British Vogue. After a few years of assisting I started styling my own clients and although I enjoyed my clients and the work, I realized pretty early on that fashion styling is not a scaleable business. So after about 6 years of it I started to again think about what else I wanted to do - I even explored going back into law (which thankfully didn't work out!). When the pandemic hit and no one was going anywhere or needing any styling, it became even more apparent to me that being a stylist was not going to be my lifelong career. In a twist of fate, in January 2021 one of my clients had moved into a new apartment and asked me to help her decorate it because she thought I had good taste. I always enjoyed putting together my own interiors but had never designed anyone else's. So, I said yes and the rest is history. We took professional photos of that first project and when people saw them my career as an interior designer took off immediately. All of a sudden I had multiple requests from people asking for help with their homes, so I kept running with it and the business kept growing. We just launched our design firm Sagrada Studio in 2021 - about a year and a half after my first project!

2. What drives your creative spark?

I love seeing our clients use and be proud of the spaces we create for them. There really is no better feeling than completing a space and knowing that it's improved someone's life.

3. Most treasured home decor item?

I can't say I'm a person who gets super attached to things, probably because of my fashion experience and even interiors where I'm constantly inundated with the newest and latest stuff. But I have become very attached to all my plants! During the pandemic I took up gardening and plants as a hobby - before that I basically killed everything I tried to grow and never had real plants in my house. Now I'm a real plant mom and I can't imagine my home without plants. I don't know how I lived without them for so long.

4. What’s the best advice you've ever received?

Surrender - because you aren't in control of anything anyway. All you have to do is be prepared for opportunities that present themselves to you, and say yes.

5. It's 5 o'clock at home. What would you be pouring?

Tequila on ice with a squeeze of lime is my go to! Or bubbly from Domaine Chandon if I'm feeling festive.

6. What are your favorite 6 accounts that you follow for inspiration?

@reno_notebook
@couleurlocaleconceptstore
@archdigestindia
@mediterraneandecor
@calmdecoration
@elfennmarrakech

SHOP HEMA'S 6 HOME PICKS

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"Surrender - because you aren't in control of anything anyway. All you have to do is be prepared for opportunities that present themselves to you, and say yes." -Hema Persad

PHOTOGRAPHY BY IRIDA METE