Fostering a Creative Hub

Fostering a Creative Hub

Clews Everard, the brain behind Sununu Muscat, wants to inspire a community of creative folks to explore the world of upcycling and create works of ‘art’ at home that are emotionally uplifting

Fostering a Creative HubAn initial 5-year stint in Oman, in the mid-70’s, spurred Clews Everard, founder of Sununu Muscat, a relocation and lifestyle management company, to return back to its sublime shores – 12 years ago.

The country, which was then on the crest of a new wave of Renaissance, had endeared itself to her, and, nearly three decades later, it beckoned her to open creative avenues for upcycling and introduce the world of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint to both amateurs and professionals in the world of decorative painting, through Sununu Muscat, a company dedicated to providing bespoke services to people seeking relocation. The result has been spectacular, to say the least.

Fostering a Creative Hub‘Sununu’, which means swallow in Arabic – to draw parallels with the bird known to migrate and then nest with ease, is a dedicated service company to help people moving to Oman. In recent years, Sununu has expanded its service portfolio to by introducing Annie Sloan Interiors, a 25-year-old British brand of decorative paint. As a part of this initiative, Sununu is also offering workshops using Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan.

Explaining about Sununu’s artistic foray, Clews says, “Our creative workshops are available to all in Oman and it is fascinating to see what people with no artistic background, as well as established Omani artists, can achieve by using this versatile paint. We are becoming a creative community and a hub for upcycling; we hope to inspire future Omani and expat creatives through these workshops.”

Before relocating to Oman, Clews was the Director of UK’s national treasure Stonehenge and National Operations Director of English Heritage. Her career has also seen her working in the government and private sectors in the region, and as a television presenter and newscaster in Dubai and Oman.

Up Close & Personal With Clews Everard

The home I grew up in…

I grew up in the English countryside in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by rolling hills, dry stone walls and shire horses. I would ride my pony on to the moors at dawn and return at dusk. Looking back, I realise how much freedom I had as a child and feel sad that it is no longer possible in Europe today.

When I was a child I wanted to…Fostering a Creative Hub

Believe in fairies and was quite sure they existed in the overly large tulips in a small garden my parents had given me to tend; my love of flowers, gardens and gardening lives on. I have never lost my belief in ‘magic’ and think you can find magical things in daily life from the tiny snowdrop that pushes up through the ice-hardened ground or the desert rose in Oman that from a seed becomes a chubby little seedling, not willowy like most but intent on surviving the harsh climatic conditions here.

The moment that changed me forever…

Has to be the birth of my children, from that moment nothing was ever the same. To see them grow, blossom, marry lovely partners and have their own children, is the greatest pleasure of life. My son and his wife live in Oman and are expecting their first baby in March, and my daughter and her husband live in the UK with my two-year-old grandson.

My greatest inspiration…

Annie Sloan. Annie invented Chalk Paint and Annie Sloan Interiors has over 1500 stockists in more than 50 countries. She is unique, funny, immensely talented, unstoppable, hands on, available, one of Britain’s most influential designers and the queen of social media.

My hero…

Is my late father who was very clever, funny, kind and looked like King Hussain, which is maybe why I feel so at home in the Arab world. He died far too young, but I am lucky, as my son has inherited so many similar qualities that remind me of him, not least watching films, ice-cream and Battenberg cake, even though he never met him!

If I could change one thing about myself…

It would be to stop trying to eke out time and never be late. I always try to fit too much in, to my detriment, and never wish to be rude by being late, which, of course, it is.

I dream of…

A world in peace; a world that can accept and tolerate each other regardless of nationality, colour, creed or background; where there are no wars and human suffering is eradicated. If we bottled what Oman has, it may help.

What I see when I look in the mirror…  A young person in an old body – where have the years gone?

It is not fashionable but I like…

Disco and the dancing that goes with it – so what if you look like a frog in blender; a night of dancing can only make you happy.

Fostering a Creative HubMy greatest regret…  That my father never met my children

You may not know it but I am no good at…

Map reading, especially if it goes over the page!  Thank goodness for Google maps!

You may not know it but I am very good at…  Making ice cream

If I have time to myself…   I like to catch up with friends, cook, read, watch films or have a massage.

My house is…

Full of photos and things made or given to me by friends and family. I particularly love a painting my children gave me of my special dog Lettuce.

My favourite haunt/holiday destination…

Why go on holiday when you live in Oman! The only thing I might do is take in a city like St Petersburg, where I’d love to go to the Hermitage Museum.

My favourite weekend spot in Oman…

Is either camping at Barr al Hickman or a weekend at The Chedi, both very different but equally spectacular.

I will not leave my house without…

My handbag that has all the usual as well as emergency items like anti-mosquito wipes and family photos.

Fostering a Creative HubThings I like about Oman…

There is nowhere on earth that has the generosity of spirit you find in Oman. Omani hospitality is legendary; the people are so courteous, especially to the elderly; the way Omanis always take time to greet you and the fact that family comes first. The country has such a variety of beautiful scenery to explore.

 A book that has changed my thinking…

A Black Englishman by Carolyn Slaughter set in India in the 1920’s. It is a novel based on a true story about love and loyalty, revenge and faith, race and identity and what it takes to be human.

On top of my bucket list is…  To go to Bhutan – but my life has been so full, if I don’t go it, no hardship.

My success mantra is…

Twofold: the first is well known – ‘The only day you have to worry about is today, as yesterday is gone forever and the only thing you know about tomorrow is the sun will rise, therefore you only ever need to worry about one day – today.’ In those dark hours, which we all have, I am reminded that living for today is so important. The second is ‘Be kind and have courage’, which I think covers just about everything.

In 10 years I hope to…      Still be in Oman.

Mastering Handstands – The Fahad Al Abri Way

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