CRUSH CHATS TO Monya Eastman
founder of Stokperd
Monya Eastman describes her previous self as ‘a corporate girl, stuck in an office, daydreaming about making beautiful things’, that was of course, before she made the bold call to bust free of corporate and get her hands dirty in her own design business.
Monya discovered a gap in the market when renovating her own home – finding it incredibly difficult to source pieces of furniture which fitted her style and necessities, she opted instead to design them herself, and thus Stokperd was born. Stokperd is the Afrikaans word for hobby (or stick horse if you translate directly) and it fits the idea of the business perfectly. Monya has done what so many wish they could do, by turning a passion project into a viable business.
All Stokperd items can be customised to client specs and wood preference. If you prefer something completely unique, or you have an odd space that needs an individual creation to make it work, Monya can visit you, measure the space, take your idea and work it into something beautiful and functional.
Are you doing anything remotely close to what you thought you would be doing when you were a
My very first career choice came to me when I was watching the 80’s movie Flashdance, I was completely obsessed and decided I wanted to be a dancer, so no – it’s not even remotely close!
You’ve done what many people dream of doing, leaving the corporate world and pursuing your dream career, a very daunting adventure indeed; has it been as rewarding as you imagined?
It feels good to start something and to see it grow and evolve into something bigger. I never felt that my previous jobs defined me, and now I can say that my work is an extension of who I am, and that is the most rewarding part. But I must add that it’s not always as romantic as it seems – there’s anxiety and stress involved a lot of the time.
What is the most unexpected thing you have learnt through the experience of going it on your own?
I crave routine! When I left the corporate world I thought that I would never keep regular hours, and in the beginning I enjoyed being “organic” with my time, but now I work in a shared office space and keep a strict schedule, which works very well for me.
Have you ever created something for a client and then wished you could keep it for yourself?
Yes it happens, but it was particularly hard to part with the Nin desk – I am in love with it and plan to get one for myself as soon as we move into our new house.
All your products are named with funky, fun names and accompanying stories like ‘The Moop Table’, how do these come about?
When I started out, one of my first commissions was for the JR Ewing table, which was a real bad-ass as it took some time to get it right, so I thought this table needs a name and a story that is going to describe what I went through when we were making it. So now it’s become a thing – sometimes clients name the pieces too, like the Peggy cabinet, which was named after the buttoned-up copywriter in the Mad Men series, and if you know her character you will completely see the similarities.
Your pieces are often more than just functional, they are pieces of art, what inspires your designs?
I feel strongly about furniture that enhances your life and is not just good looking for good looking’s sake. So I guess I will always look at the function of the piece for primary inspiration, and then figure out a way to make it look beautiful.