Now looking back, when I started school I knew nothing about interior design. Everything I thought I knew was wrong. Honestly, I was solely after my passion to create beautiful interiors. I had absolutely no experience and when I think about the floor plan I drew for my entrance exam with the interior design department director, I cringe.
I could say I lucked out with my first job but if it weren’t for my desire for experience I would have never applied for any job while attending school. Everyone around me was focused on school but I knew I wouldn’t get far with just a degree. I landed my first interior design job two weeks after enrolling at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising with ZERO experience and that is because I hustled. I applied to every interior design job I came across.
My first job was a dream job and I soaked in every bit of experience. I was hungry for design food so I didn’t mind folding fabric samples. I got to touch the latest and greatest fabric samples from big showrooms at The Pacific Design Center. I loved the colors of the fabrics; I loved ordering samples over the phone because then I learned the names of the people who worked in each showroom. As I began pricing out fabric for projects I started to visualize the client’s budget in my mind. If they were paying $95 a yard for fabric for an entire sofa I pictured how amazing that sofa was going to be! I imagined the coffee table, the rug and so on. Without knowing I was learning how to put projects together piece by piece. Then, I was asked to return bags of samples to the P.D.C. (Pacific Design Center) and you would have thought I had just landed my very own client. I was thrilled!! I picked out a cute outfit that made me feel like a professional designer and off I went. The entire time I visualized myself a full on designer. I was returning samples and loving it. Maybe I hadn’t landed that dream client but, I had gained experience and that experience was priceless. I would have done it for free for the experience.
If you are offered a chance to gain experience, take it!. Even if that task is not a paid one believe me when I say the experience is everything. Take every chance to gain experience, be excited to learn and be humble because there is a whole lot to learn when it comes to interior design.
Written By: @lifebymeli