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Home Journal Kindred Tales | Emma and Rufus | Designer

Tell us a bit about your work as a designer?

As a colour and material designer, my professional journey has allowed me to experience many different industries e.g. consumer electronics and automotive, enjoying a diversity of creative challenges and adventures. My design work is focussed upon communication through colour and material; bringing a meaningful human connection to any product, brand or space. The emotional design connection adds intrinsic value to any design outcome, helping people to better relate and enjoy the objects and environments that become part of our lives.
In 2017, after 15 years in London, studying and designing in Europe and running my own design company I took the opportunity to move to San Francisco with my husband to experience the start-up culture. Where we have also enjoyed a sun-filled life adventure which now includes our Welsh Terrier Rufus …our furry feisty addition means our California stars have truly aligned.

What inspires your work?

For me, nature is a constant source of inspiration, often surprising with magical structures, color combinations and purposeful outcomes. Nature can be logical and nuanced, powerful and delicate, it’s all part of the fascination. Being a Swede in California, the desert has become a revelation, with its endless peace, open vistas and exquisite pastel colors. I’m awed by how nature and color can thrive in such a hot, dry and extreme environment. Everything has a purpose, and everything is balanced – that is the beauty.

What’s your first memory of dogs being in your life?

When I was seven years old, a family friend gave my Papa a Welsh terrier pup called Ludde who had a white mark on his neck that made him less valuable, but which made us love him more! This little pup grew up to become our beloved center of attention, and ever since there has been a Welsh or Fox terrier in our family. Behind their cute fluffy appearance, there is quirky, intelligent, stubborn and energized character full of surprises and affection.

Tell us about Rufus and how he came into your life?

Rufus was a surprise from my husband who knew how much I wanted a Welsh Terrier in my life again. We’ve always enjoyed our adventures, exploring California’s nature, spaces and destinations. One weekend last summer, he suggested we visit a new place east of San Francisco. When we arrived, I saw a sun kissed California farm tucked between the golden hills and there was a small eight-week puppy running with wobbly legs straight towards me. What can I say, love at first sight, our life has not been same since, with more love and many surprises.

How does having a dog fit into your general working day?

Like many folks we’ve been working from home. Every morning we make coffee and tea, and then head out around our neighbourhood or visits to the local parks. The routine of a daily morning and evening walk help structure, improve our step-count and gives a nice break from our computer screen. During the day, Rufus likes to chill out on the sofa or snuggle up close to my feet under the desk. He also likes to get attention during work video calls, showing off a new noisy toy or stealing my material samples -- just to make sure that we know he is still around. Once we can go back to the office, I can’t wait to bring Rufus with me and introduce him to my colleague’s and their dogs. We’re looking forward to the many office dog parties!

When you’re not working where do you like to head out with the dog?

From our home in the Mission District, we like to wander the sidewalks and streets, discovering emporiums, cafes, cars and places. We’re always inspired by San Francisco’s natural light and color compositions that seem to appear like new every day. Our walking routes change according to SF’s varied weather, and what’s going on in town. Local favourites include Delores Park and Alamo Square, or further out, Ocean Beach, Presidio, and the magnificent Marin Headlands

What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk, and what do you carry them in?

My Patagonia bum bag is always hanging next to the door ready with a poo bag, leash, tennis ball and candy. Rufus is obsessed with any type of ball, and goes crazy when we walk past a tennis court and he is not able to join and chase. So recently we have bought him some squeaky tennis balls for some extra excitement and treat when we hit the park.

What adventures do you have planned with Rufus for later this year?

I can’t wait to go for longer road trips, kayaking and camping with Rufus, being out and about with him exploring new places is one of my favourite things. We have been blessed with a dog that loves to travel and go on long drives in the car. During the journeys he likes to sleep on his back in my lap, or put his nose on the passenger door looking out through the window watching the world pass by whilst making some muttering noises from what he sees. A bigger adventure is of course to bring him to Sweden/Europe so my family and the other terrier family members can finally meet him. The Terrier love is strong.

You can follow Emma and Rufu's adventures together on Instagram 

Kindred Tales | Emma and Rufus | Designer