Daniella De Luca
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hey there! My name is Daniella and I live in Toronto, Ontario. I’m multi-certified from both QC Design School and QC Event School. I am also a professional calligrapher! In addition to my decor business, I have a calligraphy business as well. Some of my work can be found at Stop 14 Home Décor Shop, which proudly supports small local businesses.
Originally, I signed up with QC Design School for my own personal interest. I didn’t have the intention of starting my own business initially. However, the more I learned, the more my plan evolved. My certification courses gave me more confidence in my skills and eventually, I decided I actually did want to launch my very own business.
How did you get into the world of professional design?
In 2008, I’d requested a brochure from QC Design School but the timing wasn’t right. So, I went on to continue my education in another field. However, I could never keep my mind off of design!
After I got married and we purchased our home, I was constantly looking at ways to improve our home through design and DIY projects. I always had QC Design School in the back of my mind. Finally, I decided to enroll. Through the courses, I realized that I did have the skill-set to enter into the world of professional design.
Why did you decide to pursue your certifications online, rather than in-person?
Back when I first enrolled with QC Design School, I’d just had my son and was on an unpredictable schedule. I needed convenience and flexibility. Thanks to QC, I was able to do my coursework during naptimes and/or after bedtime! I knew if I couldn’t complete an assignment in one sitting, I could come back to it when I had the time again.
With QC Design School, I’ve been able to complete my online certifications without sacrificing the quality of my education or the resources that are available to me. They truly offer the best of both worlds!
How did you first hear about QC Design School?
I first heard about QC Design School back in 2008. I remember searching online for design schools, and QC standing out to me because of the flexibility of both the courses and their payment options. As time passed, I never forgot about QC. I think in my heart, I always knew I would enroll one day.
In 2016, the time was finally right. So, I enrolled in my first 3 courses at QC Design School while on maternity leave with my first son. From there, I kept enrolling in more courses – both with QC Design School AND their sister school, QC Event School!
Ultimately, why did you enroll with QC Design School (compared to the other schools out there)?
There are many reasons why I enrolled with QC Design School over the other schools out there. Firstly, QC was the only online school (that I could find) that offered an entirely self-paced structure – as well as 2 full years to complete each course.
Secondly, I really enjoyed the option of having hardcopies of the materials, assignments, and all the required course tools delivered right to my doorstep. At the same time, I also had access to the online version of the course materials as well. QC Design School sets you up for success and takes the worry out of having to find the required materials needed. They provide everything you need so that you’re fully prepared for your certification!
You’ve graduated from the Feng Shui Design, Professional Organizing, Interior Decorating, Staging for Designers and Virtual Training Courses. You’re also currently enrolled in our Color Consultant Course. How do you anticipate that having such a rounded-out skill-set and a resume with so many impressive certifications will help your design career?
I believe that having a resume with all of these certifications from QC Design School will help my design career because each course has provided me with a different perspective and approach to design!
These courses are extremely beneficial on their own, in terms of their content and the tutor feedback that’s helped me grow. When combined, they give a truly unique approach in being able to offer such a wide range of services and knowledge to clients – as well as in my own personal applications.
You’ve also graduated from some of the event and wedding planning courses from our sister school, QC Event School. Do you plan to incorporate any of these skills and certifications into your design business? If so, how?
Yes, actually! The fact that I’ve enrolled in so many courses – even those from one of the sister schools – speaks to just how much I love the courses and QC as a whole! I enjoyed these courses as well.
Currently, I have incorporated them into my new calligraphy business (wherein I provide event decor and design services). Just as an event would have personalized touches in its decor, I believe that homes should have the same. This is where I combine my event knowledge, design knowledge, and calligraphy skill-set. My myriad of certifications and backgrounds allow me to create personalized pieces for a client’s home.
You’ve recently joined QC Design School’s team of Student Ambassadors. As an Ambassador, what is the #1 reason you would recommend QC to aspiring designers?
Fun fact: I actually was recommending QC Design School to aspiring designers BEFORE I became a Student Ambassador. I know with absolute certainty that I’ll continue recommending it, too. Not just because of the structure, but also because of the amount of knowledge and mentorship QC’s courses have to offer.
Having graduated from both the Design School and the Event School, I have gained such valuable perspective and knowledge. Importantly, the practical assignments and feedback from the tutors helped me gain confidence in my abilities. QC can help you achieve your goals – whether you want to start a business, embark on a thriving career, or simply become a master of designing your own home.
Tell us more about your calligraphy business. How do you plan to merge the services offered there into your new design business, Maximize Design?
I started Doodle in Disguise in 2020. Thanks to the skills I acquired through QC Design School and QC Event School, I can now target my calligraphy for design and/or event purposes. I wish to find unconventional ways to create custom designed pieces. These pieces will supplement a client’s home decor or event, based on what I know about the style and the purpose of the piece.
I plan to eventually merge this business into Maximize Design. Once I do that, I’ll start offering virtual design services. I’ll specialize in creating functional spaces, no matter the size. Then I’ll incorporate my wall art and decor so that I can bring color and personality to my designs.
You’re located in Toronto, Ontario – a city with over 2.93 million people. In such a competitive market, how do you plan to stand out from the other designers in your area?
I believe that once my businesses are merged together, I’ll stand out from the other designers in my area. Being able to offer home design services AND custom artwork is a very unique niche to offer from one individual business.
Because I’ve also completed a number of DIY projects in my own home, I’ll be able to help walk clients through my experiences. This way, I can coach them through their own DIY projects, if they’re interested. Given the current pandemic, a lot of home updates and renovations have been put on hold. DIY renos are huge right now, so I intend to lend my expertise so I can help others with them!
Out of all of the areas of design you’ve been training in (and will train in soon), which is your favorite and why?
I am really enjoying QC Design School’s Color Consultant Course! I’m able to apply this to my calligraphy and digital art, as well as in my interior and event decor practice. Knowledge of color theory is so beneficial for all designers because color plays such an important role in every aspect of design.
I particularly enjoy color consulting because in addition to my interest in designing small spaces, I also enjoy designing children’s spaces. Color plays such an important role in these rooms, whether it be in their design or their decor!
What’s in store for Maximize Design in 2021 and beyond?
Although I didn’t start out with the intention of starting a business, I’ve found that this is something I really enjoy. I hope to grow Maximize Design and start to offer some packages in conjunction with Doodle in Disguise as well. I’d like to establish myself as a specialized designer who can make the most of small spaces and children’s spaces.
I would also like to continue to offer and develop more custom digital products. Currently, I offer these as part of my interior design for children’s rooms – and they’re some of my best-selling items!
Finally: what is YOUR definition of “success” as a professional designer?
My definition of success as a professional designer has changed. At first, I defined it as being able to gain knowledge and expand my skill-set for my own personal development. It’s entirely different now, though. These days, “success” means that my client walks away with a product or service that they’re happy with and would recommend to others.
Looking back on it, my first step towards becoming a successful professional designer was making the decision to enroll at QC Design School. These certifications have helped me gain the knowledge and confidence to start my Instagram accounts and ultimately, my businesses!