Today on Coffee with a Creative we meet Bhavini Lakhani, of B81 Designs, she talks to us about her work, daily routines, inspiration and of course her hot drink of choice.

What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?

A nice flat white.

What inspired you to set up your Company?

I was made redundant as my maternity leave ended in 2011 – rather than be upset about it, I decided to be positive about it and started freelancing. It was a very accidental step into the world of freelancing, but I wouldn’t change any of it! 

Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?

I’m usually up by 5am so that I can fit in a workout – I find this helps me to clear my mind and usually releases any stress from the day before. It gives me some me time, and also gets me feeling really energised. I also listen to podcasts while I’m working out and I find that it’s a great way to fit that in! I then get myself ready for the day before waking my 2 girls up at 7. I do the school run at 8.25am and once I’m back home I make myself a flat white and sit down to work until it’s time to go and pick the girls up from school at 3pm. Once we’re home, the afternoon is family time. I make dinner and play with the girls, read etc. They have dinner at about 5, and at 6.45/7ish it’s time for them to have a bath and go to bed. If I have a lot of on, I sometimes work in the evenings once the girls are asleep.

Describe your signature style

In all honesty, I don’t think I have a set signature style. I’m quite good at adapting to different project briefs and client needs.

Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender

I’ve had a few amazing projects throughout my career so far – I’ve done a cinema ad which was just fantastic. I’ve also created a gorgeous brochure for British Gas to use at an employee recognition event, and I’ve recently worked with an international coffee machine manufacturer to create a brochure for one of their new lines. The one thing I’ve always wanted to do is a billboard!!!!

What’s next for the Company?

I want to be able to work with some medium/large companies, rather than just start ups and small businesses.

What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?

The creative scene in MK is amazing. There’s a really nice supportive feel within the creative community, rather than it being highly competitive. 

Who is the creative to watch?

Roxanne at RoxPix Photography. She’s so good at what she does, and she’s always pushing herself to achieve her goals and dreams!

How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?

I loved art GCSE and A Level and the next step was an Art Foundation course so that I could try different things and see what direction I wanted to go in. During that year, I found that graphic design was something I naturally gravitated towards. The typical Asian careers of law, medicine etc didn’t hold any attractions for me at all and from an early age I know I wanted to do something more creative.

What are your top 3 *creative* tips?

– Push yourself outside of your comfort zone – even if it’s only a little…that’s where the magic happens.
– Look for inspiration outside of the box – just because I’m a graphic designer, doesn’t mean only graphic design inspires me.
– Sometimes, the ideas that you think are bad…are actually great!

What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?

Bevel and Emboss effects on text for logos…

Describe your life in 5 words

Busy, happy, blessed, organised chaos!

What are you thankful for?

My wonderful family and friends.

What is your perfect weekend in the City?

Afternoon tea and cocktails with my husband or my best girlies, followed by a relaxing spa day!

What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?

Taking the kids to somewhere like Hampshire and enjoying the wonderful forests and nature we have around us!

Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?

New York – I LOVE how much there is going on, it’s so inspiring and the coffee is just heavenly! The people are really friendly, and I love discovering new parts of the city. Havana comes a really close second though…I love the relaxed Cuban culture, the historic places and the artwork.

Afternoon tea and cocktails sounds right up our street… where are we going? If you want conviction that this lady knows her stuff then look at our very own branding for Honestly Wonderful – Yes, created by the lovely lady herself – thanks Bhavini, we love it too!! Follow Bhavini on socials to keep up with her fantastic work, love of coffee and inspiration. You can follow B81 Designs on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.