Badassery Magazine April 2018 Issue 23 - Page 45

W hat comes to mind when you think of an interior designer? A fashion victim (usually over ac- cessorised) who makes you feel less than for not having the latest trends in your home? Yep, I used to think so too. When I first started as a young designer I thought I had to play the role that most people come to expect when first meet- ing with a "designer". So not true I would later find out. I was super fortunate first start- ing out in the design industry be- ginning with my internship. While my classmates were getting their asses kicked and taken advantage of by large design firms, I was with a Las Vegas builder who flew me over from Los Angeles on week- ends. We worked in the day, par- tied at night and I was generous- ly paid in chips! Returning back home I worked on projects during the week and returned to Las Ve- gas again for more monkey busi- ness. Hell yeah! This was fabulous and this "interior designer" stuff was great! We were building spec homes (specification) meaning they had no homeowner yet, so there was not a client to object to our choices. Sweet as it gets. Fast forward to my first "real job". I fell into what many design- ers would consider a dream job designing custom homes, luxu- ry custom homes, McMansions. Money was no object with these homeowners. While I learned a lot about the construction of luxury homes there was still a problem, the homeowners. While some that were lovely to work with and had an excellent sense of style and taste with there were just as many who were not and had none. I learned that money cannot buy good taste or a sense of style! This job is where I developed one of my favorite sayings, "just because you can doesn't always mean you should". I was questioning my decision to work with "these types of clients" and decided to strike off on my own. I thought I would simply flip houses. Easy right? It would have been easy enough if the housing market had not burst shortly af- ter my first flip and home building screeched to a complete halt. This how I ended up at Marriott Hotels in a management job where we had "meetings about the meeting" day after day and I quickly learned I was not a corporate girl. In fact, I am a rule breaker. Fast forward a bit more and I end- ed up at a local showroom selling cabinets, counter tops, tile, floor- ing, blah- blah- blah... I used to tell myself daily that at least I as "back in the industry". I used that time to make mistakes at someone else's expense and I learned everything I could from the crusty old cabi- net guys I was working with (l still adore them). They had been doing this for 25-30 years and were a wealth of knowledge about what not to do but were lacking in the creativity area a bit. I lasted there three years too long, the last year being especially difficult where I used to agonize about having to return the next day on the drive home. When I was reduced to crying on my lunch hour about having to back I knew it was time to take the leap. I say all this to tell you," don't be me" LOL! I realize there are many people who need the structure of a job and that's okay. If you are a cre- ative type, the rules of the typi- cal workplace can be the kiss of death... My biggest fear in life has always been being shoved in a cu- bicle from 8-5. I would encourage every young designer or creative, and by young, I mean new, (many designers start later in life), to dis- cover what area of design and which clients light you up. It is only then you will come into your own as a designer and begin to create incredible things. Do whatever you need to do, moonlight somewhere, cocktail waitress, sell Mary K, if you have a rockin body, pole dance if you must (kidding) but don't let the grind of a job you loathe get in the way of your pursuits. I would have never had the push I needed to step out there (again) if it had not been for the online world and the support of my online tribes. I cannot begin to tell you the impact of hundreds of people I really don't know except for online relationships, have impacted both my confidence and my business. Ya'll stretched me further than I would have ever stretched myself and continue to do so on an almost daily basis! Thank-you, seriously. The support of my online commu- nity has given me a stick-to-itness attitude that is so hard to maintain if you are alone in this adventure. I learned so many new technical skills that were not even in exis- tence yet when I first started in design and it's been a process to say the least. It is a process at times I enjoy and other times it's effing frustrating! Can anyone else relate? I am currently developing new online streams of incomes with the support of my online groups planning for the day when I am not longer comfortable getting dirty out in the field. 44