Rachael Matheson, Rachael Matheson Ltd

Rachael Matheson moved from Wellington 8 years ago in search of a better lifestyle, and chose Carterton for its easy-access train station and diverse community. She has been part of the design world for over 30 years, and has worked in adult training, instructional design, and media production.

Rachael received a traditional Art & Design degree from Glasgow School of Art using “pencils, papers, and art materials – there were no computers on desks.” She spent her early career assisting people “who were terrified of losing their jobs because they couldn’t use a computer.”

Fast forward 20 years, and Rachael is utilising her Art and Design skills to create digital art in the form of surface pattern design.

She explains surface pattern design as “a design or pattern for a printable surface – whether that is your couch cushions, tote bag, or gift wrap.”  Rachael hand sketches her designs on a Wacom Cintiq monitor and an iPad Pro, gathering inspiration from nature and geometric shapes, and then markets them online either to the customers via print on demand companies, or to production companies that buy a license to an exclusive design.

Being a digital surface pattern designer means that Rachael can immediately operate a global business from her home office. “This business opportunity wasn’t available 10 years ago, and design is universal – there aren’t any language barriers.”

Rachael highlights the benefits of an international business – “It’s about bringing new money into our community, rather than cycling money that already exists.” She is also aware that a creative business serves the Wairarapa well. “I feel that the vibrant creative profile of the region is well served by encouraging creative businesses, particularly those that will focus upon gaining national and international recognition.”  

Rachael is aiming to have her business fully operational and be full-time employed with design work by July 2019.

Rachael is one of two successful recipients of the inaugural Carterton Growth Fund, and will be utilising the grant for start-up costs.