Many of you who know me know that I have been designing most of my life. Designing a room, a house, an office, even boats! My clients, who ranged from movie stars to family, have transformed my educational background and experiences quickly. As I recollect the joy, struggles, challenges, and sometimes the humorous moments, I can say that I will never trade this chaos, stress, and career for anything else. This has become a “quest” for me over the years, and has brought me to write this blog!
The first important point I need to stress: I didn’t chose this career, it choose me.
My educational path involved getting a master in psychology and work in the “therapy” industry. What happened? With the financial challenges of Masters programs, I was forced to broaden my interests, and this lead to the chance to help with several commercial design and decorating projects. As I dove into this creative adventure, I fell in love with the process, and enthralled by the outcome! From that moment on the creative juices began and wouldn’t stop.
I transferred to the design world with enthusiasm and a new luster for life!
I tell this story to entertain you with some of my experiences, but also to help anyone understand what it really is like being in this field. After discussing some of these experiences:
- You might want to challenge yourself in this field.
- You might want to run as fast as you can away instead of deciding on a career like this.
- You might want to have sympathy for your designer!
Let's step into my world.
MY FIRST CHALLENGE AS A NEW INTERIOR DESIGNER
As I began my new career, I was told by successful design entrepreneurs that you had to look “the part.” That was the key to success! I guess my wardrobe of the Petticoat Junction outfits and jeans didn’t fit this scope of work. I needed to learn the role of “Design Diva.”
My first challenge was to completely change my wardrobe! You would think this was a simple task, but when you find yourself in a dressing room analyzing the color, hue, and texture of the clothes you are trying on, you are in trouble. It gets deeper than this: clothing that I chose was clothing that completely matched the project I was working on! Ugh! Working with blue tones drove me to buy every shade of blue in the store!
You would think this is a bad thing, right? It turned out to be one of the best decisions I made. Remember, I am a psychology major. When working with a client’s specific color, I found that I was communicating in a more positive direction with my client when I dressed myself in “that special color.” I am glad that I found my niche in choosing a wardrobe that fit my career move and my instincts.
MY SECOND CHALLENGE
My second challenge was being a Libra. I am a fan of the zodiac signs and have an avid interest in following some of the crazy horoscopes of the sign, but the one thing that Libra’s are known for is keeping their scales balanced. They are very analytical and will try to balance all the information given to them to make sure everything is a perfect fit for anyone or anything. This could be a challenge in this field, but also a blessing in disguise. They will force themselves to try every possible solution before introducing the presentation to their client.
This might mean no sleep for 3-4 nights, 2-3 changes in the presentation, and a few practice rounds, but the outcome is lovely! If you are a Libra and would like to enter the design field, please realize that you might not sleep for many, many years to come.
MY THIRD AND FINAL CHALLENGE BEFORE COMMITTING TO THE DESIGN INDUSTRY
Life can get very complicated in this industry and require one to commit mind, body, and soul when selecting this field. You must realize right away that your life will be demanded not only from your clients, but your family and friends too! And don’t forget the neighbors and people you don’t even know! People in your life have a psychological urge to ask many decorating questions when they find out you are a designer.
Here is an example: I decided to run out to get a few groceries. As I got my cart and was walking in the bakery area, my phone went off. I had a short conversation with the person and signed off by letting her know that “I will be over shortly with the designs for her bedroom and we can then discuss the fabrics, etc." I heard someone in back of me ask if I was a designer. With a hesitant smile I said “why, yes I am.”
SEVEN AISLES LATER we had discussed her whole entire house, room by room. I don’t believe I have ever been so exhausted walking out of the grocery store! As you see, you can’t run from your career choice. I wonder if my Minister goes through the same thing? Or my Doctor?
Hmm…..I’ll have to ask.