Laz?r ?tefan is a Romanian designer and owner of EZZO Design, a Timisoara based studio. The interview below might give you a few answers about starting out as a designer, as well as the ups and downs that come with the job. We are certain you will find ?tefan’s experience captivating and inspiring .

  • Freshome: Tell us a few things about Ezzo Design and the man behind this studio, Lazar Stefan. Let’s find out the story that started Ezzo Design ( how did you decided to begin, how did you come up with the idea, what inspired you to start this business and so on )
  • Laz?r ?tefan: Passion is my beginning, my development and hopefully I’ll end just like that. Naturally, this chain started with the first ring: „Stefan Lazar”. „When I started making „ambiental design” I had a few dim ideas about what this field means. I had never met an interior designer up to that moment and even some time after I had decided to take up this business, it took a while until I met a real one. And, when I started meeting with such designers, it was all a queer experience. I’d look them up in magazines, find their contacts, call them and invite them for a chat at the brim of a cup of coffee. All this story started blindfolded. Every time I took a step forward I thought of the luck I had to have met people who trusted me and my powers and who allowed me to unwrap my inner self in this new job. Every work I made had been thus an opportunity to enhance my knowledge, absorbing new info like a sponge. I discovered I had resources I never knew I possessed and the rhythm I started doing things was very alert. I had the trump down my sleeve and I played it without having the slightest clue that it was a great card. Everything that I had won, I reinvested in information, I peeked at every ceiling and touched every background I came across, I traveled the world with a different perspective constantly feeling the need to quench the fire of my passion. From starters , I searched for a name as I didn’t want to go through this alone, I knew I’d have colleagues and we would all have to get along under the same umbrella whose spikes we had pinned up.”
  • Freshome: What did you do before starting Ezzo Design ?
  • Laz?r ?tefan: I grew up witnessing the actions in painters’studios in Pitesti (the city I was born in). I have studied for 12 years now  domains which involve the use and creation of image. I first worked as a graphic designer and then as art manager for different companies, but something was definitely missing. I have always felt myself drawn to spaces and beauty. I can even claim I sometimes feel out of order. I’d rather have beauty instead of functionality which, honestly speaking, may make me seem I’m superficial. However I might score higher at some other important characteristics in the field.
  • Freshome: Is it hard to be an interior designer in Romania ? How do people see you when they hear about your job ?
  • Laz?r ?tefan: It’s hard to be in any way and at any costs when you want to be proficient. Every day, there is the same hindrance, yourself. Once you have come to an agreement with yourself, it’s easier to stand out and evolve. My honest opinion is that, in this domain, you cannot have a job description , every person is defined  by one’s own authenticity and skills for the job. We can say that jobs in Romania fall in the stereotype of doctors, teachers, engineers,  „etc.”, and when you are enrolled by default in „etc.”, obviously people will ask questions about what you do for real. 90% of my clients are inquisitive from the beginning to reveal the mystery: what is that that you do?, What’s your offer?, us the designers ask each other „What do you do?” Considering the myths around the entire concept of interior designer, Hollywood has done a great job in misleading the public opinion. People don’t know what to expect when engaging with a designer and  what is more is that not being gay might actually come in as a surprise.
  • Freshome: Tell us 3 things that you’ve learned since you’ve started Ezzo Design.
  • Laz?r ?tefan: Since my mood is creative and I have an artistic background, I had never known until then what Maths applied in the real life was. (I will now feign bashfulness and you will believe me.) 2. Verba volant, scripta manent. 3. Being an interior designer means responsibility in the first place followed up by creativity.
  • Freshome: Tell us something unusual that happened since Ezzo Design started.
  • Laz?r ?tefan: Let me think, global warming started long before ezzo, right, so no, not this, world crisis started at right about a year that ezzo stood up and started taking its first steps, but I’m not sure I’m to blame for this either… Nope, I cannot dot the i.
  • Freshome: What is the most frustrating aspect of your job ? And the most rewarding one?
  • Laz?r ?tefan: What is frustrating about my job is that most beneficiaries tend to quantify my work just compared to other jobs which, honestly, I don’t think I share many things with, instead of looking at real results, aspects, time and money saving, feeling… I am often compared with architects, which is not necessarily a bad thing, let’s say we share the same domain of activity, but my job has been constantly compared to jobs I don’t find any similarities to.
  • Freshome: How do you come up with ideas for a new project ?
  • Laz?r ?tefan: Each and every project starts in the same way. I make an analysis of the requirements, I seek to improve the concept, I look for further information, I establish the image lines and then I start „knitting”. The most spectacular solutions come out of projects I first start with difficulty or great challenges. The ideas just roll, and are mostly extracted from nature, the surrounding environment, routine objects or experiences I’ve lived throughout the unfolding of the project. A new project makes my whole life slave to it. Even leisure tend to take shapes of the current project. Socializing, meeting friends and clients will always happen in locations that incidentally have to do with what I’m working on at that point. One particular project stands witness to  what I previously sais, as designing a house for a physically impaired person, I borrowed a wheelchair to better feel the environment and direct reactions.
  • Freshome: How do you find new clients for your business ?
  • Laz?r ?tefan: I don’t look for my clients, I let them discover me, but I’m sure to leave clear tracks so their search is made easy. For example: : www.ezzo.ro
  • Freshome: What is your motto or favorite quote ?
  • Laz?r ?tefan: No poultry, no fox. I tell myself that every day because deep inside I’m a poultry incubator and I need to leave that behind.
  • Freshome: Who is your design idol  ?
  • Laz?r ?tefan: Well, I could not mention only one.  There are many and I have my deepest thoughts about their work. Karim Rashid is just as naughty as Picasso. Why be modest and expect eternal grace when life can give you moist eligible benefits. Zaha Hadid- is revolutionary for world architecture and increased appetite for a new type of shapes. Philippe Stark- I may compare the reaction to his works of art with the same shiver I get once meeting a lady I admire. The list can go on.
  • Freshome: How is interior design as a business in Romania ?
  • Laz?r ?tefan: As profitable as selling green groceries, except we have to convince our client we are the ”healthy”  way to go and trust us.
  • Freshome: Did you got any unusual requests since you’ve started ?
  • Laz?r ?tefan: I have no clue now, but somehow, I think it’s normal for people to contract me for more  unusual jobs. As designers, we are the ones who can bring to life particular thoughts, ideas in resonance to our clients’ demand. All in all, I cannot name something particularly odd.
  • Freshome: What are Ezzo Design plans for the future ?
  • Laz?r ?tefan: A thriving development both personally and professionally. I yearn at creating and maintaining a high standard of values so that our hopes and our clients’ outspoken and hidden necessities meet harmoniously.