Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was born in Toronto, but spent most of my young childhood in the northern part of Ontario, mostly in the Bancroft area. I love animals, photography, traveling, and being in the country. I currently live in Oshawa, Ontario, but spend a lot of time in the Kawartha Lakes. My career for the last 11 years has been in Communications, but I’ve always done interior design/decorating on the side for my friends and family.
Why did you decide to become a designer? What about it appeals to you?
For me, becoming a designer was heavily influenced by my mother. She’s an acrylic wildlife painter. This started my love for art. We also had several houses growing up, which were fixer-upper homes. On my time off from school, I would help with the repairs. With this, I learned the expression of art and that, with some imagination and the proper eye to see things others couldn’t, any place could turn into a home.
My mom’s artistic ability with paint, wood, and just about anything she put her hands on, was magical in my eyes. I learned to paint, work with drywall, and do simple construction. My mom was also a knitter. She sewed and crocheted, which is also where I found my love for textiles. When I design, I first go for the feel of textiles: soft, rigid, warm, cool, smooth, etc. After that, I then work everything else around that. I know this is against the norm, but it’s what’s always worked for me!
Do you have a particular field of interest (e.g. interior decorating, home staging, professional organizing, etc.)? Why is it your favorite?
Interior decorating is my favorite! I love the idea of transforming a space and making it my own, or making it for someone else. Being invited into someone’s home is an intimate feeling, especially when they’re looking at you to make it just right for them. That is a huge honor to me. We work so hard to have our spaces be our own, and I think coming home to your sanctuary should be truly designed with the things you love.
What made you decide to enroll in online design school, and how has the experience been for you so far?
To be honest, I enrolled into QC Design as an underdog, and my story of design is truly one of strength. I suffer from PTSD, and design has helped me combat the symptoms and struggles of this. See, I don’t design alone. I have a very loyal work companion: Zeppelin, my service dog. He helps me with all my designs! I know when I have them just right because of how comfy he becomes in the space.
When I’m doing my homework, or floorplans, or even going to the paint store, my companion and best friend is with me. I felt that having PTSD was something that would restrict me from doing what I was truly passionate about. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s given me joy and strength to know that even in my darkest moments, the most beautiful of places have been created.
Yes, sometimes my companion over-helps, and I have to clean paint paw prints of the floor! But the drumming sound of my dog snoring is the white noise that I complete my assignments to. In those journeys with Zeppelin, where I’d get the supplies needed for my next design, I’ve met some incredible people who have influenced my designs.
The second factor in my decision to enroll was thanks to my biggest fan and supporter, my husband. He basically asked me one day why I was not pursuing my dream as a designer. I told him that I was afraid of failing. But he said that he believed in me, and that very same day, I enrolled! Now, here I am: 8 months later and loving it!
With a straight A average on the go, you’ve been absolutely NAILING your course! Tell us a little about the program you’re currently enrolled in. What have you found the most rewarding, and the most challenging?
I’m currently enrolled in the Interior Decorating program, and the most rewarding thing for me is knowing (and truly feeling) that I’m doing what I am passionate about. When you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t feel like work. Sharing your vision and having your family and friends support you is also rewarding.
The biggest challenge for me so far was learning scale dimensions. But I have a pretty awesome uncle. He’s an engineer, so he took time out of his schedule to teach me how to read the triangle ruler – a.k.a. my nemesis. However, that ruler hasn’t got a thing on me now!
You plan to launch your very own design business in the New Year. Can you tell us anything about it? What are you most excited and the most nervous about?
I’m still keeping it pretty under wraps until I launch my site, but what I can say is that I’m very excited about forging my own path and transforming spaces! I like to think outside of the box and break the rules.
I like working with trends, but I also like going against the grain; incorporating the things that my clients love into their spaces. I want my business to really reflect that! What makes me nervous is leaving the comfortable, corporate world that comes with a 9-5 job.
What do you anticipate the most difficult part of being a professional designer will be?
I think the most difficult part is, and will continue to be, making sure that my clients’ needs and their budgets are matched properly.
What are your goals for 2020 with regards to your design schooling and career?
My goals for 2020 are:
- To get my company off the ground, and
- Continue with my education in the design world. My next course is Home Staging!
What advice can you give to anyone who wants to start on their path to becoming a designer?
The best advice I can give for any designer is: GO FOR IT, whatever it is! Life happens outside of your comfort zone, and broken crayons can still color. I think you’ve got to have a little fear when creating a masterpiece, because the world can’t see what you see.
I also think that you have to have an appetite for learning. QC Design School is an awesome starting point. I love QC, and would recommend it to anyone out there!