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Starting my Design Career

Remember in middle school when you started being questioned about your future?  School assignments were meant to lead you on a career path.  I can’t remember exactly what transpired, but I remember being fascinated with a family friend, Lauren, and her ability to transform a historic house into a beautiful home for her family.  When the time came to interview a successful person in a career path in which I was interested, Lauren to the rescue!  She gave a great interview, but to be honest, after the interview, I was a bit worried about becoming an interior designer in such a small town.  Years passed and I chose to study education and Spanish in college… at first.  My creative brain was drowning in these studies.  By second semester, I had changed my major and began taking design courses.  Art history, form & function, drafting, textiles…  I had found it!  I had found my people!

Four years later, I found myself designing commercial spaces, specifically selling office furniture, school furniture, hospital furniture, etc… but let’s be real… I wasn’t able to connect with my clients on a personal level, the way I had always dreamed that designing should be.  At that time, Ethan Allen was looking for design consultants and I thought that was a perfect transition.  I spent most of my days in the retail showroom, meeting with clients and learning as much as I could about quality furniture and creating a picture perfect Ethan Allen styled room.  The fabulous designers that I worked with at Ethan Allen were imperative to my growth as a designer and in customer service.  A few years of retail hours, however, and I was ready to explore another adventure.

Being a well rounded professional was my next goal.  I was ready to learn more about the business side of the world.  Believing that I could still find some creativity in an office setting, I decided to work as a leasing agent and administrative assistant to the sales team at an office machine company… we leased and sold copy machines to local businesses.  I loved the idea of learning as much as I could from the management and sales team there, as well as gaining additional customer service skills.  However, I missed the creative world.  These were not my people.  I searched for a way to combine both worlds… I became an office manager for a scrapbook store.  Three locations worth of scrapbooking!  I was combining the office skills I had gained and was still able to be surrounded by creative people and processes.  It seemed like a great fit, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to make a career out of this… and let’s be honest, the scrapbook stores didn’t quite last through the recession anyway.

Then, it happened.  The phone call that changed everything for me.  My dear friend from college, Angie, called to let me know there was an opening at her company for a design assistant.  Reese Kitchens was a very well known local kitchen and bath company in Indianapolis, with multiple locations.  Immediately, I accepted the position and the rest is history…

Or the rest can wait until my next blog post.

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