How I Became a Designer

I always wanted to be a designer— I wasn’t sure exactly that would look like, but I knew creativity was in my blood and I loved using it. My grandma was an interior designer with her own business and when I was little, I would flip through fabric samples and wallpaper books, picking out what I liked and wondering why some of them were ever made… I guess I’ve always been a little bit particular!

When I applied for college, it was as a graphic designer— I have a great eye for color, contrast, scale and proportion, and thought it’d be fun to work for magazines doing editorial layouts— I mean, I crushed yearbook my junior year of high school and thought it’d be a good next step! Buuutt, I thought wrong. I’m not sure if it was my not-so-great professor or what, but that first semester staring at a computer screen told me I wasn’t going this route. I knew I couldn’t sit at a computer for days on end— I had to be moving, interactive and using my hands too– the athlete in me can’t sit still!

I still LOVE graphic design and make all of my own business cards, promotional materials, Christmas cards, moving announcements and birthday invites. Let’s just say I like things a particular way, and when I create it, I get exactly what I want! I have hundreds of fonts on my laptop and will still be the first to tell you what font is on a billboard or movie poster— (visual storytelling is so important!)— and now Rob points them out too!

So I changed majors to interiors. While I’ve always had a fascination with architecture, I learned the history behind it all, the different design periods and fell in love. Isn’t it absolutely amazing that the Romans built aqueducts, roads and gorgeous structures that still stand today?! Through all of the wars and turmoil for thousands of years? And they’re still here and being used?! Umm, that’s beyond impressive. So ya, I love design history!

And on top of that, I learned how to create functional spaces where people can live, work and interact with their surroundings— how materials, lighting and style play together to create a certain vibe. It’s a million moving parts and pieces, and for me, it’s so much fun! It’s like a game of Tetris. While interior design was my major, I knew I wanted some business background too and opted for the marketing elective to complement it. I also have a love of photo (film and digital) and minored in that as well! It’s still something that I love and think they all go hand-in-hand!

The summer before my last year of college, I interned at an architect firm downtown right as the Recession was starting. Soon after I graduated and had been hired on part time, the entire interiors department was eliminated from the firm. Thankfully, my boss had recommended me for another job with a woman who had been doing custom, high-end interiors for her entire career— working together with Joe Ruggiero and Martha Stewart when they were all just getting started. The experience was invaluable and I learned how to run a business, create drawings, specify fabrics, finishes and materials, write purchase orders, pay invoices, make schedules, track furniture, plan installs and communicate with all types of vendors, reps, trades, and clients. I created my first website while working for her and began a marketing plan.

Little did I know how much that experience would pay off in the future! Fast forward to today and I still do all of those things listed above, but now it’s for my own business– I am a wearer-of-all-the-hats and officially a Certified Interior Designer in the state of California since passing my test in 2017. I made this website, run social media and continue to create content for marketing and inspiration. Then there’s the business side with accounting, taxes, and city and state regulations. An entrepreneur’s life involves all the things, and if you’ve ever been interested in being a part of this industry, check out the Top Ten Things I’ve Learned the past few years and what my first year was like as an entrepreneur– House of Brazier is just getting started!