Fascinating Women 2022: Jet Acuzar, “The Forewoman”
She shares words on embracing oneself and powering through a male-dominated field as a female
Interior decorator Jet Acuzar has been prettifying and upgrading homes for over a decade, and through working on countless spaces, has found a form of distinguished self-expression that she has blessed many spaces with, from her beautiful creations for the home made through her collaborations with local craftsmen and artisans, to tablescapes, to project management of hospitality projects . Known as “The Forewoman," this fascinating woman has been in the forefront of design with a uniqueness that continues to win people over.
More than her flair for beautiful things, it’s her attitude that makes her even more interesting. She believes that, “To be in charge is the ultimate form of empowerment,” as written in her website. She added how “it’s indeed a funny sight—a five foot two woman barking orders at burly men,” relating to herself as a female version of a foreman. And wearing this identity shows how she’s keen on living just as herself, something that all females can take inspiration from.
Of course, this character has been shaped by fellow ladies whom she looked up to. “I have always looked up to the example of my own mother, who taught me everything I know,” the designer begins.
She’s also in awe of her hero, Martha Stewart, for caring very little of what others say. “I am so amazed by women like Martha. They just want to do the work, and they want to do it very well,” she muses. “I admire women who just do what they believe in, without the fear of another's opinion.”
Jet followed this idea well—and continues to share her talent in design regardless of whom she meets or works with in the field. Good thing that the modern day generation has evolved into a more open and accepting society, prompting nations to find the value in women outside our traditional parts. “I am grateful I was born a woman in this age because we are all really beginning to reevaluate our roles in society. We are also learning to fight back and examine ourselves and our own biases, and then asking—does this bias serve me or a man?” the creative prompts.
This starts with finding things that fascinates you more than you being someone fascinating. Growing within your interests and people and things that make you feel good will allow you to welcome your true self and all the quirks that come with your own package.
While she values wearing her beliefs and confidence on her sleeves, admitting to one’s shortcomings is also an asset to tag along with you. Nobody’s perfect, after all, and embracing your flaws will constantly remind you to aspire for your best form.
“I am always doubting myself. I feel I have this chip on my shoulder constantly making me need to prove something. I am very insecure, to be honest, and I want to say this out loud for anyone who is feeling lost, unproductive and unsure.
“We need more people admitting to these things, because it is human to feel these things. And knowing that despite these personal challenges, we keep going is the most important message I can give. I feel that even if I am in pain or in doubt, this push to keep going is what produces good outcomes in the end—when you turn this negativity into something hopeful,” the designer explains.
And by being self-aware, you’ll be able to show kindness to yourself, she adds. This positive energy can be radiated to others—giving back good will through looking within.
“Be yourself,” is Jet’s message to fellow ladies. “And as a friend said, find your tribe, love them hard. When you are fully yourself, you will attract people who are kindred spirits and allow you to be the unfiltered version of you.”
Championing on women in design
The field she works in, is eminently dominated by men. However, as time went by, more and more women have showcased what our gender could contribute to the field—and with excellent results at that. Jet is one example; and she lists more names who made their mark in the scene.
“There are many exceptional women in architecture, like Sarah Canlas whose taste is just incredible. Jellie Cobar helped me build my first house. In construction, I truly admire Alice Eduardo. I love how she has built a kingdom in a field dominated by men and seems to be authentically herself. To see a self-made woman in full charge, at the top of her game is just incredible,” the designer says.
There are also her female idols in architecture and design—Rose Uniacke, Alyssa Kapito, Beata Heuman and Sam Magnier.
To provide more opportunities for other ladies, Jet advises one thing: to hire them. “Work with a woman—that's the only way to break the ceiling and pay them well,” she offers.
And another thing is to keep dreaming big dreams. When asked about who she wants to work with to design a house, Jet particularly mentioned Sofia Coppola and Autumn de Wilde. She praises these ladies’ attunement to the cultural zeitgeist without leaving out their own personal distinct style. “They seem to be fully themselves and view the world in such a specific way,” the Forewoman points out.
What’s more, the world would be a more fascinating place if more women designed cities. Jet reckons that there will be more spaces for dogs, children, and plants, should this be the case. “More order, definitely,” she ends.
From objects for the home in limited edition runs to corners of her own home, see Jet Acuzar's creations in this gallery: