Françoise, can youtell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Françoise Oostwegel. In July 2014 I graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Maastricht. Lamp ZUID is the start of my career as a designer and entrepreneur. In November 2014 I opened my own studio in the centre of Maastricht. The studio serves as a platform for young, new or local designers to kickstart their career and show their products.

What were your first steps into the professional world?
During the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven three years ago a journalist from Volkskrant Magazine noticed my lamp and wanted to publish it in the magazine. There was only one condition: the lamp had to be in some sort of production. So I set up my company and started with the production of the first 50 lamps myself, all handmade. They were sold in just three months.

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there on the market.”

What do you consider your distinctive achievement?
I think my biggest achievement was opening STUDIO ÇEDILLE DESIGN. Not only is it a great selling point for my products but I can also help a lot of new designers by selling their products and giving them a chance to get that same breakthrough I had.

What do you consider your unique skill?
One of my skills is that I never forget to stick with my own style. I’m inspired by my surroundings and their history. I love to invigorate that inspiration in my designs. For example lamp ZUID. The design for the lamp was inspired by the old lamps miners used. I took that design and modernised it.

What are you looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to taking my upcoming products on the market and finding surprising and new designers to feature in my store.

What advice would you give to young design professionals?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there on the market. Show yourself, be confident of who you are and your products and start creating.