Casa Design: Mother always says...

Agnes Rivera

A mother-daughter duo have been working together in the home-decor business for five years – but is it all in the family when it comes to work?

Casa Design: Mother always says...

(Photo: Living in Peru/Erick Andia)

This article was originally published in the May issue of An Extra Shot. To enjoy the entire issue for free, download your e-version here.

Back in 2008, in its first space on Av. Conquistadores, in San Isidro, Casa Design consisted of Mari Cooper, the General Manager, and her team of architects. With time, however, the real estate market in Peru grew and the brand needed to keep up with new property owners looking to decorate their homes. That’s when Romina Cooper entered, some three years ago, as Commercial Manager.

“My mother is the artist and decorator 100%. She puts [arrangements] together and takes them apart to her liking, and I think that’s the key to success of Casa Design. She has imposed her style,” says Romina, a studied lawyer, commenting upon her mother’s skill.

On an already humid day in the capital city, Living in Peru visited the two in the store where it all began for Casa Design only to find the air conditioning broken. Although surrounded by exquisite furniture and home decor, the environment was less than satisfactory with little air circulation, and it would have seemed quite appropriate had anyone lost their cool (so to speak) during the interview.

So what did we do? We turned up the heat and asked each of the women to respond separately to the same questions. Is it true what they say, “like mother, like daughter”?

(Photo: Living in Peru/Erick Andia)

Doing business with someone close, especially family, isn’t easy. Were you worried about doing business together?

(M) [Working together] has been a whole new experience for both sides, while being difficult to amalgamate together…It was an arduous task…[and] there were difficult times that would be critical to our working relationship because we learned to cope and overcome anything. Both of us want to make this work. And who better than my own daughter to help me take care of this growing business?

® I worried a lot … more than once we have thought of calling it quits…Today I think back and see that it was necessary to go through all the difficult moments in order to learn to work together. I learned a lot from her as a businesswoman and an artist. She has an incredible vision.

Would you say your personalities are similar or opposing?

® We have opposite personalities but we are both women with strong characters. I believe that in matters of style we meet in the middle. We like the modern yet elegant style. Simple but avant-guarde.

(M) I wouldn’t say opposing, but we have distinct personalities. As a young girl Romina was always into cutting-edge looks…not afraid to wear ‘weird’ clothes. For me that’s a sign of someone searching for something, even if they don’t know what. In this world of design it’s infinite and you can unleash your creativity, so it’s been easy for her to adapt and get along with all the people she meets at international fairs…I’m more of an observer. I like to see proportions, shapes, spaces and colors. Everything needs to be harmonious, both in my personal and my professional life… [In design] things need to flow so as to bring a balance. We complement each other, she brings the aggressiveness and I give the harmony.

Casa Design
Phone: 01 421 0860

This article was originally published in the May issue of An Extra Shot. To enjoy the entire issue for free, download your e-version here.

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