Would you mind if I asked you about the path you went down to become a designer? Did you get a degree in interior design? Did you do an apprenticeship? I’m at a crossroads. I’ve been in a corporate career for the last ten years and I’m looking for a change. Interior decorating is something I truly enjoy and have a desire to learn more about, but it’s difficult to know where to start. I’m currently taking an interior design class at a local design college and am thoroughly enjoying it, but I want more. I’m supposed to be working right now but all I can think about is ordering throw pillows and slipcovers…
I completely enjoyed your letter and thank you for writing. In some, “what are the chances” sort of way, I think you asked the right person. Because- the basic gist of my story is, I just went for it!
Here’s the scoop…
I do have a lengthy design history. I have loved design, art, color, visuals, since birth really :) They are a very important part of my life that I couldn’t live without.
I fell into an art degree, and went on to work as a graphic designer in advertising and merchandising. You name it I designed it- billboards, t-shirts, marketing materials, semi-graphics, wedding invitations, logos, etc… I enjoyed the work but it never felt effortless. Throughout the jobs I held, people commented on my color sense. That was one element of the work I enjoyed most.
At about the ten year mark (sound familiar?), I started daydreaming about other possible creative outlets… I had this paint color consulting business idea that I contemplated for a few years (not a lot of competition in the area), wasn’t sure if the concept would take? But the idea really excited me! And it seemed attainable.
So one day I was feeling lack-luster and thought, what am I waiting for? And that was it…
Time to get focused- I selected a paint brand, met with a really nice rep. (Benjamin Moore), learned the products, choose a business name, designed a website and card, and worked really hard (sometimes for free)… waited…waited… First call, second call, third call… I’m in business, yahoo!
I admit, I sweat out the first appointments (lol) and thought… what the heck am I doing? But- to my surprise, this work felt effortless! I loved/love every aspect of Color Zen especially the fact that simple changes like new paint colors, can completely change a client’s perspective on their home for the better. And that feels powerful.
I am really lucky, I took a chance and it paid off. The business is expanding and I’ve had a lot of “right place at the right time” experiences. I can say I’ve always been hell bent on loving my job so much, it doesn’t feel like work- and I believe that has happened, and for this I am deeply grateful.
And Sophie- I hope you go for it too, and the career shift brings you much happiness!
(thank you Real Simple for the photo)