Time to Talk (Lurgan Mail)

MAHVASH Graham will brighten upyour day… and your house.

The positive thinking interior designer from Gawley’s Gate opened her own business in November and hasn’t looked back.

Mahvash, who was born in Persia, came over to England to study in 1975, but was unable to go back home after the 1980 revolution in her homeland. In 1981 Mahvash graduated from Chesterfield College of Art and Design in Interior Design. She’s worked with a number of architects and retailers before deciding to go it alone. Of her business the 51-year-old said: “I try to create a better environment for people. I can do as little or as much as people want me to do. I can dress a window to set off a room or do an entire house so it’s reflective of a particular time period.

“Most people know what they want but don’t have access to everything on the market.” She added: “It’s very important I think to be in an environment where you feel comfortable and positive, then spiritually you’ll feel better.” In her spare time the Gawley’s Gate woman is involved with projects to help woman and children and is a member of the Soroptomists, Association of Baha’iWomen and Women’s Forum. Mahvash is married to Edwin and has two children, Darragh (22) and Soha (20). Both her children are currently in China carrying out relief work following the earthquake there.

If you could trade places with anyone else for the day who would it be and why? Maybe Anita Roddick (original owner of Body Shop) for her respect, love for people and the planet.

Describe your perfect day… Getting up early and starting the day with prayers, reading, and meditating then planning the day, meeting interesting people helping them to improve their living environment with a happy surrounding for them, getting involved with projects that help women and children.

If you could change your job what would you do instead? I like my job. I enjoy what I am doing. I would have like to have more time and resources to help older children to get involved in services to others.

Party animal or couch potato? I’m a fun loving person without drink. I love to have a good time in a constructive way and create a good atmosphere for people around me.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years time? Hopefully the same thing, with more opportunity to serve others.

Who or what has been the most influential force in your life? I am a Baha’i and for me it’s Tahirih, a Persian poetess, who ushered the emancipation of women in the 19th century. Her belief in the new dispensation and her conviction on the fact that there should be equal opportunity between sexes.

If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you bring with you? A photograph of my children, a phone or a two-way radio and a compass

Would you describe yourself as competitive? Yes. That is how I am on top of my job. I am always looking to see what is new in the market, what new designs are in vogue. How i t can be put together, and for whom.

Are you environmentally friendly? I do my best, and I know I could do more.

Could you bear to be parted from your mobile phone for a week? Yes, if I am on holidays for two weeks in another country.

(Time to Talk) Lurgan Mail, 2008

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