Cefinn Sirens - Micaela Sharp

Cefinn Siren
Micaela Sharp is the busiest woman in interiors - not only is the Interior Design Master finalist a founder of her own design company, she is also the co-founder of Women in Business South East London, a TV presenter and a writer.

We’re big fans and spent a morning together discussing her career journey so far, what inspires her, the highs of being an entrepreneur and of course her favourite pieces from our latest collection - which she looks amazing in, we're sure you'll agree!

Tell us about how you started and what sparked your interest in interior design and upholstery?

I was looking for a hobby that allowed me to be practical and make things, and a friend suggested I try an upholstery course. It seemed so obvious because I loved carpentry and textiles, and upholstery combines the two. I was brought up by my grandparents and my grandad was a carpenter and my nan taught me to sew so upholstery immediately felt like a natural fit. I immediately loved it and decided to start my own business - from there I gradually developed my skills and understanding of interior design more broadly.

Have you always wanted to do something creative as a profession, not necessarily in an office environment?

I have had quite a varied career before finding upholstery and interior design. Most notably I worked for a boutique hotel agency and travelled around Europe finding the best romantic hotels, chatting to the owners about their designs. This really sparked a passion for luxury interiors.

I think I’ve always been a creative person - I love making things and designing. More importantly, I’ve always had the desire to work for myself so I have been on a mission to find my passion so that I could setup on my own. the experience I’ve had in offices has allowed me to pursue that with confidence, after learning from other talented founders, marketing professionals and sales people.

WWhat has been a career highlight so far ?

Filming Interior Design Masters was definitely a career defining moment. Competing on a show like that doesn’t always feel like a highlight per say - with tight budgets, sharp turnaround times and highly pressured environments it can all feel very intense - but when I came joint third and left the competition, I was able to breath and reflect and I was really proud of everything I’d created! I had such lovely feedback about my upholstery and my design style from guest judge Kit Kemp, her words really spurred me on to pursue my dreams of interior design.


Do you have any personal and career focused goals for the future?

This year has really taught me to go for what I want in life. People are always a lot more receptive than you expect if you’re presenting new ideas with passion. My career has grown in all directions since I’ve put myself out there: I have a magazine column for Reclaim magazine shining a light on independent homeware brands; I launched a limited edition furniture brand with friend Charlotte Beevor, called Studio Janettie; and I’ve filmed a new TV show for the Discovery Channel called Kings of the Woods. I have a million more ideas and goals for 2022 which include more television, podcasts and collaborations with other independent businesses. On a personal note, I’m moving house so really looking forward to designing my next home!

Where do you get your strong work ethic and drive from? Who or what inspires you?

My work ethic comes from my grandparents who brought me up. They taught me to always work hard, support your wider community and be open to learning. As an entrepreneur these are key values that I hold dear. For inspiration, I look to the natural world, especially for colour and texture.

What is your best advice for anyone wanting to get into the interior design industry?

Just go for it! Interior design can feel like a crowded industry but there is always room for people with a new vision, new designs and a different approach. Especially if you’re from a more diverse background. There aren’t enough black and minority designers in the UK - bringing inspiration from other cultures is a huge strength so I’m excited to see the industry finally opening up to more diverse creatives.

Best advice you have ever been given both professionally and personally?

Don’t be afraid to put yourself at the heart of your brand. When I launched my business, I was quite nervous about sharing images of myself as a young black woman but I realised it’s a strength to be different.

Best piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to upholster a piece of furniture?

Always keep the old cover! You can use it as a template to cut out your new fabric and look at how it was sewn and cut to fit the piece of furniture. Also invest in a good staple gun - an electric one or an air compressor with gun if you plan on doing lots of upholstery. Trust me, your achy hands will thank you!

What is your favourite thing about your job?

The feedback I get from clients and from the online community. People are so overwhelmed to see their homes and furniture reimagined and it’s lovely to be a part of that. Also sharing the process online encourages further conversations around design. People are especially encouraging on Instagram so I try to reply individually to each and every person who reaches out to me.

How do you relax?

I love to travel and find it a great source of inspiration. Obviously travel has been hugely restricted recently but I’m looking forward to getting away again and taking in the sights and sounds of new places. When I’m at home I relax by walking my dog Flora.

Have you always had an interest in fashion? How would you describe your style?

I’ve always loved fashion and would describe my style as colourful smart-casual. I have a mild obsession with jumpsuits at the moment because they’re so versatile. I have around 15 - some are super casual, and I wear them for upholstery work, others are bright and I often use them when filming TV shows. My new Cefinn Jensen jumpsuit is perfect for casual days with trainers or dressing up with heels.

When did you first hear about Cefinn?

I recently discovered Cefinn and immediately loved the cuts and colours. I’m quite curvy so when I find a brand that’s flattering I tend to be quite loyal.

What do you love about Cefinn?

I love the quality of the pieces. I really believe in slow fashion - buying carefully curated, versatile pieces that will stand the test of time and that you can dress up and down. Cefinn does that so well! The leather Tiana pencil skirt is a great staple that I’ve been wearing with t-shirt and trainers or a strappy top and heels.

What pieces are your favourite from Cefinn current collection?

My stand out favourite is the Daphne corduroy dress. It’s such a flattering shape and really comfortable to wear whilst making you feel dressed up. It’s funny how a great dress can make you walk taller!