How I Know I’m Supposed to be a Designer

I’ve been a designer as long as I can remember. My first client was Barbie. I was never really interested in playing Barbies, I was more interested in designing her house. She had homes in my dresser drawers, in my closet, and on my desk. I even remember looking at a laundry  basket and thinking the cut-outs on the side of it would make the most beautiful full-length windows for her next house. I had the opportunity to live in a few different states growing up, and each time we’d move and I’d get a new bedroom it was so exciting to decorate it the way I wanted.

I took an interior design course in high school and loved it. I thought about making it my major when I graduated and went to college, but ultimately decided to take a more ‘practical’ route and went with Radiology instead. After a few semesters, I realized that Radiology wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wasn’t loving the classes and my heart just wasn’t in it. I had recently gotten married, and was still as infatuated with decorating and designing my new home as I was growing up. So,  I switched my major to Interior Design and registered for classes.

On the first day of Interior Design 1010, I couldn’t find the classroom I needed to be in and I parked in the wrong parking lot and ended up getting a $50 ticket. I was running late and was all sorts of stressed out. I took all of this as a sign that I was doing the wrong thing and I should just quit now. But, I calmed myself down, took a deep breath, and walked into class a few minutes late anyway. Class had begun and the teacher had asked everyone to introduce themselves and tell a little about why we had decided to major in Interior Design. While explaining her life story, a fellow student mentioned that she loved decorating her home so much that she would even select tissue boxes at the store that went with her decor. Instantly, a chorus of voices- mine included- exclaimed, “I do that too!!

And that’s how I knew I was in the right place and that I had picked the right career. All because I found a community of people who also match their tissue boxes to their surroundings. After that moment, I never looked back, and I have never regretted my decision. Now, I wouldn’t say a box of tissues changed my life, but it definitely reaffirmed the path I had chosen to take!tissuebox1

2 thoughts on “How I Know I’m Supposed to be a Designer

  1. Thank you for writing this article! I have followed the more “practical” path for 20 years. I did get a design degree on the side a decade ago, but have always kept to media and marketing because that’s just what I do (although I did get to do it for the Pottery Barn brands at the Williams Sonoma headquarters which was great). I love design, and have decided to pursue it more actively (small business and website coming soon), but as I make this move (and look at all the amazing photos on Instagram… is everyone here a professional photographer too) I am filled with so much fear and self-doubt, it is paralyzing. My “style” doesn’t look like others here… and that scares me. But the influences on my style are what they are… that’s who I am. I’m sitting here… with my box of tissues (LOL), tears welling up in my eyes as I read your article. You, and your posts on Instagram, inspire me. And I just want to say Thank You.

    • Oh Pam, thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a sweet comment! I also find myself completely terrified to put myself out there, and you’re exactly right- it is paralyzing! I can so relate to what you’re feeling. I’m so excited for you to take the leap! It is intimidating, but don’t ever give up! I often wonder if I have anything to offer a world so obsessed with the farmhouse look right now, because it’s just not me. So keep being who you are and offering a different perspective to the world! I hope you’ll keep me posted on your journey:)

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