Value of a Mentor

June 17, 2014

If you have been reading here for a while then you are probably aware of my story and how I got started in this biz. If not, you can go back and read a little bit HERE. Anyways, I wanted to touch on something I think is crazy important and has been SO influential to me working in the interior design business… experience and  having a mentor IS EVERYTHING!!!!

Prior to forging ahead on my own I worked for the incredibly talented Kirsten Marie Interiors. She is the type of real deal designer who kicks ass daily and is well respected for it. She works with incredibly skilled contractors and architects, but her vision and her dedication to see the vision through is what I respect her most for. Her “take no shit” and stand your ground attitude that has helped me get through the tricky times I am often faced with when dealing with Contractors who are mostly  men and who for the most part do not take kindly to being told by a 32 year old “Blondie” what to do. Whenever I hit a speed bump or need a little advice, I turn to her and its her candor that I appreciate more than ever. For example, I am currently on a big remodel, and lets just say the Contractor and I have bumped heads on the design of the space. She reminds me to stand firm and do not compromise myself or my vision. This may be an obvious answer, but coming from her it feels a little more like an “expert opinion”  rather than the Web MD version of an expert opinion.

If you plan on getting into the field of Interior Design, I would say that gaining experience from someone who has been working in the biz much longer than you, is invaluable. Like truly, truly, way more important than a fancy degree in my book. Lets take a look at some of Kirsten’s (or as I like to call her Kiki’s) work!!!

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 Pretty great right?

Well, I think so too. The moral of this story and this post is to get involved with a company in which you will learn something from. Working in a smaller but busier firm is pretty amazing and I feel super lucky to have had that experience and to now pass on that bit of knowledge to my girls.

  1. This post is so totally what I needed to hear today! I am in education and while I love working with children, I’ve become really disenfranchised with all of the politics and b.s. that come along with teaching. If I could snap my fingers and get my “dream job” I would totally do something in the world of design. I love it. All of it. But, I don’t know if I have the balls to quit my day job and go for something totally different. I have admired your work for a long time now so it was so nice and refreshing to hear that you had to “start somewhere”, too. I know you’re looking for an intern and I would totally apply, but I live in Redondo Beach and that commute to the Valley would be a killer! 😉 Or is that just an excuse I’m using!?

    Thanks for being awesome and providing some much needed inspiration!

  2. Love everything about this home! I would love to know what kind of plant is in the secong to the bottom picture?

  3. Hello, I am looking for a mentor, I read your article and was so touched by it. I am a student designer who has worked on projects as a consultant. I would like to learn how the Interior Design business side works. If you can give me a call I would appreciate it at 240-432-2813. I relocated to LA to build my business and brand and just need some advice.


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