SampleBoard brings at your fingertips everything you need to quickly pull together professional-looking design concepts, from the comfort of your own creative space.
Save hours of redesign and headaches by being able to share early concepts with clients and colleagues. Be sure you are on the same page before committing to specific fabrics, furniture, color schemes or layout. And do it in style!
SampleBoard will help you collaborate with your peers and organize all your creative inspiration and designs in a private online library you can choose to share with a click.
Fellow designers and discover talents and beautiful products from all around the world.
Prior to starting SampleBoard back in 2010, I worked as an interior designer at Louis Karol Architects, one of the largest multidisciplinary firms in South Africa and before that at Area Sq in London, one of the UK's leading commercial interior design and fit-out specialists. I've studied painting, history of art, photography, magazine journalism and web design and hold a national diploma in Interior Design from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town.
"I understand the needs of creative professionals, and I know how easy it is to head down the wrong path, and spend hours or days or even weeks on design work that falls flat with the client."
I've always loved designing sample boards for client presentations and started playing around with different techniques. I scanned in samples of fabric, paint, tile and carpet swatches instead of using the traditional board and tape method, and started rendering my AutoCAD drawings electronically using Photoshop and PowerPoint.
This technique allowed me to create beautiful layouts for clients, but it was very time-consuming.
I realized there was a gap in the market for web-based software that would amalgamate all the programs and methods I used to make designing sample boards faster, more effective and more professional looking, from anywhere in the world.
I believe I have the vision and entrepreneurial spirit of a startup founder, yet I self-identify as a designer. With my background in art and design, particularly interior design, I understand the needs of creative professionals, and I know how easy it is to head down the wrong path, and spend hours or days or even weeks on design work that falls flat with the client.
Visual concepts, ie sample or mood boards, are the only way of timeously, and quite literally, getting the designer and their client on the same page.
It helps the client to visualize the design concepts and ideas the designer has discussed, prior to execution.
SampleBoard, the name derived from the word "sample board", allows professional designers to quickly and efficiently create, tweak and edit their client presentation digitally without having to use the old tools needed to make a traditional visual concept board including the board, tape, adhesive, Stanley knife and labels.
I was born with hypermobility syndrome and diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at the age of 30, after many years of chronic pain and fatigue, I needed to create a life that I could manage from the comfort of my home. So I built a business I could run in my pj's in front of the heater with a cat on my lap if my symptoms were bad. My motto was 'consistency' and 'every day in every way, I'm getting better and better'. I promised myself that each day I would do something small, a baby step, and in time I will create my ideal lifestyle and healing will follow.
"I promised myself that each day I would do something small, a baby step, and in time I will create my ideal lifestyle and healing will follow."
I was incredibly lucky to be chosen by Google to join their first-ever startup incubator in Cape Town, being the only female and non-techie at that, the odds were severely stacked against me.
The 6-month program was intense, and I endured some of the most nerve-wracking days in my career. After the incubator, we were pushed towards raising venture capital and moving to Silicon Valley, but due to my limitations and innate knowledge that this was not my true life path, decided to keep SampleBoard small by not raising additional funding and remaining in my birth city, surrounded by my wonderful supporting husband, friends and family.
I don't regret for a second my decision not to play with the Big Boys in Silicon Valley. I've stayed true to myself and my core vision of helping others like me create better mood boards for client presentations, without the need to have money-hungry investors and pressure to perform.
I know the needs and frustrations of my customers first-hand, and I love being able to chat with them one on one.
I have learnt a lot of valuable lessons during my time of trial and error creating SampleBoard. I had a very personal revelation that SampleBoard is not just a business in the sense of the word for "creating mood boards". SampleBoard is my personal journey, a quest for those unanswered questions we ask ourselves - what is my purpose? what makes me happy? how far can I push myself to achieve my version of 'success' ? How do I achieve balance? How can I be the best version of myself - as an entrepreneur, a wife, and most recently, a mother?
How can I be the best version of myself - as an entrepreneur, a wife, and most recently, a mother?
I have made SampleBoard my life-guide, my teacher. I sometimes question if it's my stubbornness or persistence that makes me carry on day in and day out, but I believe in order to be successful in business you need to have vision, drive, determination, and discipline. And with that comes a whole lot of excitement, discovery, lots of work and research, frustration somewhere along the way, problem-solving and ultimately fulfillment. I hope that in my very small way I can inspire fellow creatives out there. This is, after all, a journey and not a destination.
Interior Designer, Mother, Wife and Founder of SampleBoard