Eighteen years old and full of TLC (before HGTV was that popular) I entered Baylor University knowing exactly what I wanted to study; Interior Design. I loved Christy Proctor and TLC’s trading spaces. I loved color, I loved being a free spirit, I loved dreaming of what could be, and I loved transformation. I knew this was the place for me.
Well straight out the gate the first classes you take are drafting 1 and 2, followed by building systems and codes…followed by historical design (which I actually really enjoyed because I love history), but you get my point. There is NOTHING colorful about these classes, nothing whimsical, and certainly nothing seemed to be transforming. It was hard pushing through and I was starting to wonder what on earth I had gotten into.
It was a strenuous four years (most people don’t realize that about the degree), and I would definitely say there is NOTHING whimsical about studying interior design. But it was very fruitful. Something they tell you from day one is that you can either see space or not… you are born with it and they cannot teach you that ability. That was scary to hear. In fact our class dropped in number significantly because I think many people were hoping to be taught how to create and envision space.
You see studying interior design is not about giving you an ability it’s about taking that ability and adding a trade to it along with a lot of diligence and attention to detail. In school I didn’t learn to put colors together, I didn’t learn how to arrange furniture – I learned Auto CAD, sketch up, rendering, drafting, codes, the basics of construction, and how to communicate what was in my whimsical brain.
I would say school really drained me, but it also shaped me. It set a foundation of working hard and sometimes pushing against the whimsical in order to create stability and lasting design. Now that I have been out of school and working for almost six years I would say some of that whimsical creativity is returning and I truly feel I am coming into my own again. Being an entrepreneur and working with clients I have found the root of my inspiration, which is the client. People inspire me more than anything else. I have learned that I genuinely love people and care that the final product is what they wanted and dreamed of. That is what pushes me through the whimsical, through the diligence, and through the “not so colorful side” of design.
I wanted to share this because a lot of people ask me how I got where I am today. This is just part 1… soon to be followed by my real world experience which undoubtedly changed everything. But I wanted to start here. The truth is pursuing your goals is hard, and can be stretching. Quite honestly you may even lose little bits of personality, or a bit of whimsy to achieve them. In our culture today everyone wants to be great over night, but that is not reality. Reality is pushing through the hard work, pushing against whats natural to learn something new, and pressing in when you feel like giving up!
This is coming from a 7 month pregnant momma who just finished 2 flips and is starting another, in the midst of several remodels, has 7 interior design clients (2 commercial/ 5 residential), is up to her eye balls in CAD drawings and sketch up, is setting up for a wedding tomorrow (flowers and decor), dreams of a successful online store (Amity Rise), and has a heart that burns for people. This is a whirl wind and sometimes I feel upside down in it, but the truth is I am so thankful. I am so thankful for so many things – every client and their unique contribution to my portfolio is enough to keep me moving. My business is growing and once again just like my 18 yr. old self, I need to grow with it. I need to press into the “not so colorful side”.
Thanks for being a part of my story and reading along with the colorful side of design and the “not so colorful side of design” – both are important and the two worlds coming together is what makes the amazing outcomes our culture craves and loves.
“Not so colorful sides of design”:
Learning construction in school. This was a group project and I remember thinking “there is NO WAY I am ever going to figure this out or need to know this”. Boy was I wrong, I had no idea what was before me.
This is an example of drafting. All of this was done by hand. Now of course I can use auto CAD and layers to create these types of drawings. I cannot post any of my latest work because of privacy reasons… you know those are people’s homes and projects they may or may not want their floor plans floating around the internet.
Thank you to my parents, family, and friends that all supported me in this journey – REALLY could not have done it without you!