Over the coming weeks, The Chamber of Commerce is sitting down with each of the winners from the recent Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, supported by Foster Construction Group, to find out what they did to stand out from the crowd. This week's Winners’ Insight is with Alexander Wastney, owner and creative director at Designwell, the winner of the 2021 Micro Business of the Year award.
Over the last five years, you may have noticed an exhilarating energy blossoming throughout the city’s commercial district. A surge of funky, bold and bright businesses now call the CBD home, breathing new life into Hamilton’s heart, resilient against the hardships of the pandemic. Brave entrepreneurs possessing a passion for creation have transformed old and tired spaces into beautiful, modern interiors, bringing international style and sophistication to the Waikato. Leading the charge to revitalise our city centre are business and life partners Alexander and Kristin Wastney, the creative masterminds behind Designwell.
“We started Designwell five years ago after relocating back to Hamilton from New York,” said Alexander. “We’re a multi-disciplined design studio, and we’re a bit different in that we have two main parts to our business, brand strategy and commercial interior design. We call it brand and space, and we offer the two as we see value in creating a consistent customer experience from your brand identity through to the space you inhabit.”
If you have eaten out in Hamilton in the last few years, you will have visited one of Designwell’s interior fitouts. Counting Mr Pickles, Banh Mi Caphe, Weave Eatery and Cream Eatery among their clients, the design firm is responsible for the ambience of Hamilton’s hottest hospitality joints. Creating a strong brand story between the online presence of a brand and what you experience when walking through its doors is where Designwell excels.
“Often, when you start a brand, there is a disconnect between your brand and the space. It's our core strength at Designwell to make sure your brand story and personality is shaped strategically and beautifully in your space.
“Your brand experience is so much more than your logo and colours, or your online/social media experience. You may have interacted with a brand in that medium, but when you visit the brand in person, how does that translate into layout, materials, lighting, service, music, all the parts of a brand that people don’t often realise make a difference. It’s about designing a memorable experience, and every detail matters,” said Alexander.