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So Ana, what's your normal job?

I work in hospitality — I’m part of a staffing agency working with the top food catering companies of the UK. I’m a big foodie, so I love being surrounded by amazing food and the people behind it.

And what's your side hustle?

I create products which aim to change people’s habits for the better from up-cycled materials. I really believe that we have more than enough resources on Earth for everyone to have a good living standard and that the most important changes are better consumer habits, and the creation of a circular economy.

My main product at the moment is the Bag For Change, which is made from leftover high quality fabrics and encourages users to change their consumer patterns. I’m currently exploring other means of spreading the message, through the blog and a new print magazine.

Bag for Change and profile photo of Ana Carneiro

What encouraged you to start your side hustle?

After a short stint at a startup when I graduated from Product Design at CSM, I realised that one day I’d like to start my own company, following my own values. When I left that startup, I decided to just make it happen and purposefully looked for a job with flexible working hours in a different area to pay the bills.

What inspires your designs?

My designs are mostly driven by function and I’m inspired by minimal aesthetics that respect the materials’ properties and quietly improve on our lives. I love smart details that make a product easier to use and always spend a lot of time obsessing over the right proportions. I also highly admire products with a certain playfulness, just a little something that appeals to our feelings.

Recently, I’ve been inspired by the work of designers Nendo and Shin Azumi, and architect Rem Koolhaas.

Bag for ChangeBag for Change

Do your job skills help with your side passion?

My current job is so flexible that it allows me to work less hours when I have more on my plate, or still have day time meetings and work in the evening instead. On the other hand, while I’m at an event I’m pretty much out of reach and cannot take phone calls or reply to emails, which actually feels very soothing as there is no point in worrying about such things at that point.

It has also helped me improve my people skills and more easily see things from the customer’s perspective, which is really important as I aim to collaborate with other businesses and better understand the buyers.

And finally...

If I weren't me, I'd be

A travel writer or photojournalist.

Three things I love

Long conversations with a good bottle of wine, cycling when the sun shines, and loud rock music in my headphones.

Most played song on my playlist

Ever since I came across Paul Simon’s latest release ‘Stranger’ I’ve been listening to it almost every day; every time the track begins it’s an invitation to sit back and take a deep breath.

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Thank you Ana!

Be sure to check out Be For Change and follow Ana’s Instagram and Facebook @beforchange, and Twitter @be_for_change.

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