How Rowi Singh Made Her First Apartment Feel Like Home
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we head to Sydney's Redfern, where Rowi Singh has just moved into her first apartment with her partner.
About five months ago, Rowi Singh and her partner made the leap: they got a place of their own. The apartment, in the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern, is “pretty humble and not flashy at all,” Singh says. But the content creator – you’ll find her making colourful beauty looks at @RowiSingh and celebrating BIPOC creatives at @TheArtives – loved the fact that the flat was minutes away from her best friends and in the heart of such a vibrant neighbourhood.
This apartment is Singh’s first home of her own – previously, she lived with her parents – and so she approached decorating it with care. “Don’t rush to fill your place for the sake of it,” she advises. “Collect pieces you love by curating a moodboard, doing lots of research and hunting down second-hand pieces where you can.” Singh knows that it is decoration that helps a rental become a home, especially when you can’t make any major changes or renovations to the space itself. As Singh says: “[Our apartment is] very unsuspecting from the outside. But we’ve elevated it and made it our own with colourful finds both new and old.”
Like the squishy green velvet sofa from Lounge Lovers which sits in pride of place in the living room – Singh’s favourite room in the flat. It’s where her unique and eclectic taste is on full display. There are artworks from Nick Thomm on the walls alongside specially-commissioned skateboards from Rholtsu, one of those cult favourite twisty neon candles from Jolie Laide on a gold side table and a thick shaggy rug from Temple & Webster covering the floor. Over in the bedroom, Singh has her accessories – resin sunglasses, chunky gold earrings – stored in perspex containers and colourful Turmeric and Lavender linen on her bed.
You can see Singh’s taste everywhere. The space is cool, striking and full of life, just like the incredible makeup looks she creates online. “My home is very reflective of myself, my partner, and my art,” Singh says. “It’s super fun and colourful. Like I did with my makeup, we threw the home decor rulebook out the window and just went for what makes us feel happy and motivated.” Mission definitely accomplished.
Hi Rowi! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I make art and my face is the canvas. My long answer is I’m a content creator fusing colour and culture in my artistic makeup looks.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I love making my ideas into a visual showcase of who I am as a person. My content is unapologetically bold, colourful, culturally infused, edgy and abstract. It’s freeing to break from typical standards of beauty and style to bring something completely refreshing to the table; an aspect of beauty that thrives off self -expression and wearing whatever the hell you want. Making my creativity public for consumption has resulted in so many people globally relating to my experience as a creative Australian-born Indian woman.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
This wasn’t my plan at all, but I’ve always had a creative inkling that I was unsure of following. As a brown woman, a creative career path just wasn’t on the cards. The external, social and cultural pressure to pursue financial stability over passion was always looming.
Regardless, I delved into creative makeup looks as a hobby in university, painting my face with bold, brash colours on the weekend as a form of expression and escapism. I could easily shapeshift into a more confident version myself with a couple of brushes and a palette. Along the road I ended up resigning from my stable corporate job as my platform grew and I fell more in love with creating and styling looks.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
I love being able to visually communicate the strength and power of women, especially women of colour. My creative process is mostly centred around this; I’m empowered to visualise the natural fluidity between my culture and love for colour. I’ll start by jotting down colour combinations I love and will combine them with abstract techniques, sometimes tying it all back to a core message that’s resonating with me that week. My looks are a reflection of my surroundings, mood and day to day experiences.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your creative business?
Consistency and quality on Instagram. I’d say consistency even more so; pushing through moments of creative lull to come out even better on the other side. Posting almost every day by drawing my audience in with eye-catching looks has allowed me to build my platform to where it is today.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your business?
Dips in likes and overall engagement does not make you or your content any less worthy.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?
The opportunities I’d never thought I’d have! Like attending a Fenty Beauty party in LA earlier this year and meeting Rihanna.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self/ someone looking to start their own business?
Don’t overthink and just jump right in, you’ll figure the nitty gritty bits out later. Still trying to take my advice as I push past my desire to “wait for the right moment”.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
Not long! Since end of May 2020 so about 5 months.
Shop Rowi's look with our Build-Your-Own Bundle in Turmeric and Lavender.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
This is my first place having lived with my parents previously. I loved the area and how close I was to my best friends.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
The landlord had the apartment renovated just before we moved in which was lovely! Since it’s a rental, we haven’t made any personal renovations.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
I love my @nickthomm art pieces above the sofa and my very specially commissioned @rholtsu resin skateboard.
Shop Rowi's look with our Build-Your-Own Bundle in Turmeric and Lavender.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
I’ve just purchased this plinth mirror from Sarah Ellison – super excited for it to arrive!
Which is your favourite room in the house?
The living room – absolutely love our comfy velvet green sofa.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
I’ve recently launched a new space for me to share other talented creative artists who deserve the spotlight – it’s called The Artives (Artist Archives). It's a BIPOC-focused space that centres diversity and inclusivity across various creative fields. I’ve got a few exciting product collabs coming too, but all will be revealed soon!
For more from Rowi, follow her at @rowisingh and @theartives
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