Walking into the Re-Found building, pushing the mighty door open, I felt as though I was stepping back in time, on the walls hang antique frames almost like a little teaser of what’s to come. Upstairs is beautiful with up chic chairs, modish desks and newfangled tables,  little one of a kind trinkets and frames, each piece is as creatively intriguing as the next. Talking to Jill O’Neill, the warmth and enthusiasm she has for her business was felt as soon as we walked into the room when we were greeted with a friendly happy face and big smile. I love hearing about the origins each piece and when Jill talks about the history of the building my imagination runs riot.

Jill has had a very adventurous background that any budding creative would admire. Working in London to New York has given Jill has an unbreakable zest for life and a business idea that combined all her biggest loves.

I lived and travelled to NYC after UNI in Glasgow which led me on to work for a music magazine called SPIN. I then moved to San Francisco and worked for another magazine and a photographer there. Once I had my fill of the US I moved to London where I lived for 4 and half years. First I worked for Fat Boy Slims management company then back to publishing working for range of publications including Mojo, Grazia and Smash Hits!”

 Returning to Belfast in 2007, Jill reminisced over the furniture she had picked up along the way and from that grew into the creation of ReFound.

I decided to set up my business in Belfast because, it’s home. I didn’t think I would, but I eventually returned and haven’t looked back! When I first came over I enjoyed getting to know the city again, then the business came a few years later.

 

From the founding of her business ReFound Jill has expanded the team and engages local artists and other creative talents, together renewing vintage interiors.

“ReFound is a creative furniture business. We use reclaimed and vintage furniture as the base then we work with artists, makers and designers to ‘upcycle’ and restyle them. We also sell lots of other sustainable gifts and jewellery – all created by talented local makers.”

From Jill’s experience it is clear that her talents lie within the creative industry but her eureka moment did not just pop up out of nowhere, her passion for design are continually evolving.

“My idea for starting my own business was more of a progression from working in the States and London really. The cities I lived in had a large vintage scene and creative culture and I guess I was inspired by the get- up – go people had there to just start their own thing. Once I got settled here, I wanted to create my own business. ReFound marries my love for vintage and second hand furniture with great design and creativity.”

ReFound has reached out further from promoting local artists, Jill has dabbled in fashion working with 9 local designers in a ReFound Fashion project in association with Belfast Fashion Week.

“Oh yes, I certainly think that fashion has an effect on interior design. Just take the recent trends for pattern mixing and colour. It is mirrored in many interior textiles this year. Colours are also very much influenced by the fashion world.”

ReFound has been on the rise collaborating with many businesses such as: Uniques Roadshow, Belfast City Council and Seed Head Arts, just to name a few. Also ReFound have been hosting a lot of events itself in the Wellington Place building, such as: 50 Shades of Grey: For interiors and number of ReFound talks.

“ReFound, are currently working on producing limited editions of select pieces. We are using the unique designs by our artists but on a small range of pieces rather than creating only one piece at a time, very exciting!”

 

What is your favourite wine: A Spanish red – Veijo campo.

Favourite movie: A many… But When Harry met Sally is my all-time favourite romantic comedy.

Favourite book: The Time travellers Wife.

Favourite place to go in the summer: I like to try new places when I travel. At home, the NI North coast us hard to beat.

Favourite place to go in the winter: As above!

Favourite era: 1950/60s

Favourite artist: I have so many from different eras. Stand outs would be Mark Rothko, Edward hopper & Whistler.

Favourite dish: I love a good fish pie.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized