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Name: Michelle Luker

Business: Interference Design, handcrafted design objects for the home

Industry: DesignHome & Housewares

Location: Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom

Reason for starting: I have always been interested in the way that things are put together and, as a child, I would take things apart and put them back together again. As I got older my interest in making and creating grew and I was drawn towards a degree in 3D Design. It was during this time that I started to develop my business and product ideas.

Science class was my one of my favorite subjects at school. Burning magnesium strips was much more fun than reading poetry to me as an eleven year old! The Bunsen candle represents feelings of discovery and excitement in science class. Learning how the universe is put together, what our bodies are made up of. It is this nostalgic feeling of excitement and discovery that inspired me to take this iconic form of the Bunsen burner and recreate it as a candle as a reminder and inspiration to others who felt that ‘spark’ when working with science for the first time.

How do you define success? Being happy with what I have created.

Related: Read about another female entrepreneur and designer here. 

Biggest Success: While living on board a traditional 1970s narrow boat I redesigned and renovated the interior to a high standard while keeping the design in line with the original features on board. This was a very challenging and rewarding project in which I expanded my knowledge and skills into new areas.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge has been to keep my business flourishing at times of financial difficulty. I have done this by being flexible in my approach to my business; always keeping my eyes open for the next popular website on which to advertise and sell my products or looking out for and developing new product designs.

The viral growth of the company is something that I am focusing on at the moment trying to create an presence and awareness of what I do and share my story with others, I am working on expanding my current range of products to include more high end products such as furniture and jewelry.

Related: It’s About Women Running Start-Ups

Who is your most important role model? I have so many important role models in my life. Family members of course have played a key part in my life enabling me to experience an environment as a child where the possibilities were endless. Being able to explore my surrounding and experiment. Allowing my mind to wander and create all sorts of things, I once remember creating a specially designed aphid face mask to allow me and my friends to ride our bikes during the hot summers without getting any bugs in our mouths and eyes; I was eight years old at the time! I would have to say that when I started secondary school I had a Design and Technology teacher Miss Ryley who I aspired to be like, she took me under her wing and fueled my passion for technology, design and creating and I have never look back since.


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Edited by The Story Exchange