You are empowered; you are we women, and we are you women. Swathy PS
Read to learn about the story of Swathy PS and how she started her own interior design venture with Storyboard Design
Swathy PS is the CEO of Storyboard Design, which is an Interior Design firm based in Bangalore. Hailing from a South Indian family and being raised in Bangalore, India, after graduating from school, she went on to pursue her Bachelor's in Architecture at Bangalore University. There she flourished as a rank holder. At the young age of 22, Swathy got married and moved to Boston. Her husband and her in-laws supported her in pursuing a post-graduation degree from Harvard University, HES, in Sustainable Design. Being the mother of a 6-month-old, she had to learn how to multitask and fulfill the roles of a student, a mother, and a wife with perfection. Sometimes she had to take her baby to class and complete all the assignments while handling her other duties. After a few successful professional endeavors with some corporate houses, she decided to start her own venture, Storyboard Design, with her business partner Jyothi Jain in India.
Swathy has always believed that the road to success is never easy. It always takes a number of sacrifices, failures, multitasking, and challenges throughout the journey. But even in all this struggle, one must always remember to be true to themselves. Never let others’ opinions decide how your success should look or how you should achieve it. You are the one with the key to your success, and what others think of you should not be an obstacle to achieving it. Define your success for yourself and fight your way through all the hurdles. Remember that the destination is secondary, what is important is to enjoy the journey. Make each moment count, praise yourself, give yourself a break, be confident, and most importantly, celebrate all your achievements without any guilt. You have worked very hard to get where you are.
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.” Swathy uses this quote to define her beautiful, large family. She considers herself fortunate to have grown up in a joint family full of cousins and relatives. It is always a laugh riot when they get together, and she cherishes each and every moment that they spend with each other. One of the major reasons for her return from the US after her studies was to be around her family and not let her son miss out on the core experience of growing up around family and making memories the way she did. They are constantly involved in bonding activities such as badminton and lunch sessions at numerous hot spots in Bangalore, and they go on vacations every time they can. Even at the time of this interview, Swathy was on a mountaintop amongst the snow-capped glaciers of Ladakh with her cousins.
Swathy got into the interior design industry when she started interning at the prestigious Atkins Global firm during her Architecture degree. This interest was further cemented when she was pursuing her postgraduate degree from Harvard University in Sustainable Design. She gravitated towards this industry and worked in various companies performing different roles, from Business Development to Design. However, at the same time, she always had an entrepreneurial spirit waiting to manifest. Storyboard Design and her journey as an entrepreneur came to life as a synchronized ideology of two women passionate about design and thirsty for entrepreneurial success.
Storyboard Design started with a team of three members: Swathy, her partner, Jyothi, and a junior designer who would manage site visits, design development, execution, and payment collections. Every time they faced challenges, they innovated and found solutions that proved valuable for the next project. Constant learning and unlearning are also important parts of this dynamically changing industry.
Today, the venture employs over 40 professionals and numerous consultants. This large and agile organizational structure allows them to provide service excellence to clients with various budgets. As a result, Storyboard Design has completed over 200 high-end projects in luxury residences, corporate offices, and commercial spaces across India in just over five years.
Summa Cum Laude - for Master's in Environmental and Sustainable Design, HES, Harvard University
Rank Holder from UVCE Bangalore University for Bachelor's in Architecture
Women - Conclave and Awards – Women Achiever in Interior Design
Winner: The Great Indian Entrepreneurship, Design, start-up and Business Award 2022
Two-Time Panelist Speaker in IIR/WADe
Part of the European Architecture Expedition chosen by a renowned Organization
Featured as the Editor’s Choice in Woman Entrepreneur Magazine
Best Student Award in Architecture
Global Woman Inspiration Award: recognizing the invincible potential of women changemakers
The Crazy Tales – Powerful women awards – Best Interior Designer
Icons of Asia: Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 (event yet to happen)
Glantor News X: Top 10 Empowered Women 2022
Jain University GWFM Award: Outstanding achievement as a Young Entrepreneur
Among the numerous awesome vacations she has taken, one that she truly cherishes is when her son and husband were present at her graduation ceremony at Harvard University. Apart from this, another one would be her business vacation in Europe with 18 other influential design entrepreneurs from India. The trip included some mind-blowing experiences across Brussels and Bruges (Belgium), the Black Forest (Germany), South Tyrol, and Venice (Italy), which included seeing some exceptional architecture, her first travel in a private Jet, and some gastronomical adventures by Michelin-starred chefs. They experienced luxury at its best. From there, she traveled to Milan and Paris all by herself on the gorgeous Euro Rail. Sometimes a solo trip gives you some time to reflect on your life and come back rejuvenated. From there, she made a trip with her cousins to Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia to experience sheer fun and bliss. It took her a while to come out of this amazing journey and get back to the grind.
Her favorite movie to date is Pretty Woman, as it still gets her emotional every time she watches it. What I love about it is the way you fall in love with the character of a prostitute who subtly brings out the fact that, irrespective of her professional choices, there is always respect and dignity to be given to a woman. Sometimes life throws challenges at you that make you make decisions that may not be ideal, but fairy tales may still exist and transform your life.
Her favorite motto is “Live and Let Live.”
Her life has been a series of fortunate events. From being lucky enough to take birth to a family that embraced every bit of her originality with open-mindedness to getting the emotional and financial support required to pursue my thirst for knowledge and success, God has always been kind to her. Even now, as she is 13 years into parenting, she enjoys a social life with friends she has known for over 30 years. Mostly, the fact that her life has been filled with people, memories, success, and joy is a reflection of what life has offered her, and she will forever be grateful for it.
Jyothi, her business partner, and she want to make Storyboard Design the leading firm in the industry with technology and innovation, first in India and hopefully globally as well. They want to make the company a powerhouse that is known not only for the quality of its projects but also for its innovation and values. Being two female leaders, they would like to empower other women in the world and give them the wings to fly. They have had a great start so far; however, to quote Robert Frost, “but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep”. They always focus on customer and employee satisfaction and know that even when they scale new heights, they will have their roots and values intact.
“Every Obstacle is an upside-down opportunity.”
There is nothing in the world that can stop you from being what you want, especially not your gender. While Swathy continues to break through the shackles of medieval perceptions, they are closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. Focus on this light and let it shine through your work and yourself. Be you a girl, daughter, wife, mother, or all of them like her, multitask your way through life and embrace the journey and difficulties that come your way. Have a business idea in mind? Go for it. Have a design that may break or create trends? Go for it. Want to take off and do nothing but invest in yourself? Just go for it. You are empowered; you are we women, and we are you women.
For more on the work of Storyboard Design, visit:
Phone Number: +91 80884 18557