Trevyn McGowan: Bringing African Design to a Global Audience

ABOUT TREVYN McGOWAN and African Design

Trevyn McGowan is a pivotal force behind advancing contemporary African design and presenting it to the world. She’s the founder and co-CEO of The Guild Group, a platform with 12 companies that facilitate international collaborations, hosting art exhibitions, and exporting retail design products. Her mission is to amplify African design’s place in the global marketplace.

ABOUT THE EPISODE: Bringing African Design to a Global Audience

Trevyn breaks down two aspects of her work. First are the collaborations and relationships fostered in the artistic company. She talks about how her role on the business side of art helps artists be creative, the influence of partnerships inside the company and with the community, and fostering an artistic industry in Africa.

The second aspect is about starting, scaling, and running a design business. Listen to how The Guild Group evolved into time and Trevyn McGowan’s advice for others starting their businesses. She shares insights into what it takes to grow an authentic business.

Highlights of the episode:

  • Straddling two hemispheres and how her time in the U.K. helped show her what was missing. Moving back to South Africa and starting in the export business (4:04)
  • Her gut-punch career moment and the privilege of working with so many different craftsmen (8:56)
  • Is Trevyn McGowan creating an artistic industry? (16:45)
  • Some advice on running and starting a business; what their endeavor looked like in the beginning (25:31)
  • Combating the idea that international work is superior to local work (34:41)
  • Trevyn McGowan’s curation process and how her role gives artists the freedom to create (38:38)

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