The founder of Isabelle International Design, Ltd.
We are speaking today with Isabelle Lafforgue. She is a lifestyle consultant specialising in interior and floral design, event planning like weddings and decoration. She is also a designer and entrepreneur. She founded her own company in Hong Kong, Isabelle International Design.
When did you first come to Thailand?
I first came here as a tourist in 2000. I have been a frequent visitor to Thailand over many years.
What has changed here the most?
The public transportation systems have made it much easier to get around the city. If you live near at BTS or MRT station you don’t even need an automobile. It is not even necessary to live in the middle of Bangkok now. With the outstanding and efficient BTS and MRT services, depending on the type of person you are, you can live outside the city and still do many things.
What has changed here the least?
The friendliness of the Thais. Their smiles, hospitality and the peacefulness of the Thai people are the same. I do not feel any stress to live here, and I also feel very safe in the city. There is little crime for such a major city. The Thais know the history of their past quite well and they have kept their many beautiful traditions completely intact. However, the mindsets of the people here cannot be changed.
Can you tell us about your design company and what you do?
I founded Isabelle International Design, Ltd., 25 years ago in Hong Kong. At the beginning I did many projects up in Shanghai and Beijing, but then I started working mainly in South China and especially around Hong Kong. I was involved in creating unique designs and decorations for Christmas, weddings, special events and other unique social gatherings. One contract lasted eight years and I was responsible for decorating an entire hotel. Primarily I have been a wedding planner. I handle all the wedding designs including the floral arrangements, wedding hall decorations and wedding planning for the bride. I have been a self-taught designer and involved “Feng Shui” in my designs for Chinese clients. My favourite designs involve organic designs with a lot of flowers. I handle all types of budgets, from large to small! For my exclusive clients my specialty is to design the entire ambience with special products and decoration with lighting, etc.
What do you like to do?
I love to be active and do all sorts of sporting activities. I also love to do exercises especially swimming and walking long distances. Additionally, I love visiting museum exhibitions, walking in the beautiful parks, visiting ancient historical sites, and getting a massage. Sometimes to relax my mind I just close my eyes, sir somewhere very quiet and just be serene.
Where do you like to go?
I love to go to Phuket, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai. I also love to walk on secluded beaches on special islands by myself and relax.
What do you do for fun?
I love to walk in quiet places in nature. I also love walking through the malls as I always gain a lot of new ideas and inspirations that I see from the many things that are there for sale or on display.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to come to Thailand?
First of all is learning the culture and understand their festivals and history because that shape the mindset and way of life of Thai people. It is important to know all those things. If you plan to stay long enough learning the language can bring you closer to connection with the people.
What do you see is the future for yourself?
In the future I would like to develop new designs, courses, fabric weaves, products and a design book on how to create fashions. My biggest aim is to help young people, especially young ladies, to see that true beauty comes from within, and not from outside appearances. Inner beauty is what counts, not just looks. The internal attributes of confidence, self-assurance, and good attitude. Most important is good intentions are a vital factor as they need a lot of love. All of this plus these young ladies also need lots of love.