wendy goodman qc design school graduate feature meeting Jane Lockhart

Name: Wendy Goodman

Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

QC courses you’ve taken:

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. I was an elementary school teacher for 10 years before I enrolled in QC Design School’s Interior Decorating Course in 2016. When I was studying to become a teacher, I used to watch home design and decorating on television.

My favorite decorating show was Colour Confidential with Jane Lockhart. I was fascinated by the color wheel and how Jane completely transformed a room just by using color. When I found out that Jane Lockhart was going to be featured in QC Design School’s Color Consultant videos, I knew I had to enroll in the program. I registered for the course the first day it was offered!

In June 2018, I was hired by the major paint company Sherwin-Williams as a Decorative Product Specialist for one of their stores. My title is a fancy way of saying that I’m a color consultant! My main job is to help home owners choose paint color(s) for their home. They come to my store and show me pictures of room(s) they want to paint and sometimes they even bring me fabric from their sofa or window treatment to help match a paint color to.

It can be difficult leaving a job you were comfortable in—especially since it seems you were passionate about teaching. What finally convinced you to make the switch and start a second career?

I moved to Ottawa, Canada, in October 2014. Ottawa is the capital of Canada and a bilingual city (English and French). I grew up and taught in Vancouver where French was not a second language. When I moved to Ottawa, I had a difficult time finding a teaching job because I didn’t speak French and 70% of schools in Ottawa are French Immersion.

tropical relaxed living space color expert

I was able to substitute teach for four years at various private schools, which I enjoyed for about two years. But in my third year of substitute teaching, I found I did not like having an ‘unstable’ job. I was always a creative person and decided to find work that allowed me to be creative and have stable hours.

Are there any career highlights you’d like to share?

I love when home owners return to where I work and tell me how much they love the paint color(s) I helped them choose! They often show me photos of the room(s), too. I love seeing how the right paint color changes the look and feel of a space.

Jane Lockhart has been my color role model since at least 2007 when I first discovered her show. In November 2017, Jane was having an event in Toronto, Ontario, that was open to the public. I went to Toronto to visit family and attend the event. After the event, I was able to sit down with Jane and talk about color and the videos she did for QC Design School. I was completely star struck meeting her and enjoyed talking color with her. Jane is really nice!

Seven months after meeting her, I got hired by Sherwin-Williams, and I emailed Jane to share my news with her. Jane was so thrilled to hear my good news! I sometimes feel like I’m channeling my “inner Jane Lockhart” when giving color advice.

How do you think QC Design School has prepared you for working in the field?

I have always had really good color identification skills. QC has prepared me for working in the field by teaching me other factors that influence color, such as undertones and lighting. Undertones and lighting are so important when choosing a paint color, which the majority of people do not know about or think about.

paint swatch paint strip showing undertones of colors

The school has helped me learn what questions to ask to ensure that I help home owners choose the right color(s). Some of these questions are: “What type of lighting do you have?” “What mood do you want to achieve?” I constantly have home owners tell me after I have met with them, “You know a lot about color!” “You are really knowledgeable and passionate about color!” and “Wow, you have taught me so much about color!”

The Sherwin-Williams store I work at is a training store where employees get trained for eight weeks to become a manager at a future store. One of my responsibilities at work is training these new employees about color and the paint colors Sherwin-Williams offers. I have used the knowledge I learned from QC Design School to make a reference guide about color for these new employees to take with them after they’ve finish their training. I also include information about specific Sherwin-Williams colors. The new employees are always appreciative of the reference guide!

What’s one tip you could give aspiring color consultants who have a passion for color but may be struggling with color identification.

My biggest hack that I use with clients is the following: if you are struggling to see what undertone is present, look at the darkest color of that color family (there is usually between 5 to 7 colors in a strip, which is called the color family). The colors are always arranged with the lightest color on top and the darkest color on the bottom. The darkest color is the undertone that will be present in the lighter colors.

This is particularly useful when looking at grey, taupe, beige, and greige. Clients seem to be afraid of undertones, so once I show them the undertone, they relax and have an easier time making a color decision.

paint cans filled with paint colors

Congratulations on becoming a QC Design School graduate! Do you have any career/personal growth goals for 2019 that you’d like to share?

I’ve met other Sherwin-Williams employees as there are eight stores in Ottawa. To me, they feel like an extended family, and I’ve formed strong friendships with some of my co-workers! I know if I need a second opinion or advice on a project, I can ask my co-workers or phone another store. I definitely plan on staying with Sherwin-Williams, either at my current job or in another role that involves colors, such as working more closely with interior decorators and designers. I feel truly blessed to be working in a field that I love with such wonderful people!

In terms of personal growth, I have a small side business, called Wendy Joy Creations. I would like to expand my side business to include more home decor items.

Want a sneak peek into the Color Consultation course? Check out a sample of Wendy’s own work for unit A!