Archived Emerging Professional Profiles
Andrea Pack – Apackdesigns, Co., Seattle, WA
What should we know about you? As an entry-level Interior Designer in the Seattle area, I am pursuing my dreams that I have always had since childhood. At the age of six years old, I would design entire residential interiors using my Commodore-64 computer on a program called" KidPix." I would take shoe boxes, and design to-scale models of homes, complete with wall colors, flooring, and furnishings. While most people go through life looking for their passion, I believe I was born to design, and feel blessed to have this niche.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Upon entering the field as an Emerging Professional, I have learned a lot. The most important aspect of being new in this industry is to stay on top of the newest trends, as well as thinking completely outside of the box. In previous design jobs, I have found my strong computer rendering skills to be highly useful in showing clients the ideas I have prior to beginning construction. Because I am naturally a people-person, I have truly enjoyed the networking aspect of this field, and have met some amazingly talented Designers, who inspire me beyond words.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? My greatest mentor has been Nicholas Bunning, a New York architect, that I worked under for a few months, doing construction documents and renderings for his penthouse in the Queen Anne area of Seattle. He was not only inspirational, but taught me a lot. His eccentricity and colorful personality were a plus, too.
Favorite website/app: My favorite website is Houzz.com. I love to see the many endless ideas that are out there in this ever-growing, and exciting industry.
Joanne Levreault, Allied ASID – JEL Design, San Diego, CA
What should we know about you? I am an aspiring interior designer who is passionate about Architecture and Design. I strive to bring intrigue, harmony and productivity to the spaces I design. I love to travel, outdoor activities and find time to relax with friends and family.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? As and EP, I have learned the on-going support and resources available to me through ASID, as well as sharing my knowledge I have gained as an EP chair with other EPs I meet.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? I will always credit the first interior designer I worked with in Colorado, Kathy MacQuillan, and my mentor Anne Kellet, an ASID member.
Favorite website/app: houzz.com, dwell.com and asid.org
Maureen Baker, Allied ASID – Thom Filicia Inc., New York, NY
What should we know about you? I love to explore, and my explorations have taken me down paths slightly less travelled by. I prefer these routes because as a designer I am attracted to the undefined, and even if I can’t solve every puzzle I take each lesson learned with me on my travels.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Although my education is never-ending, so to speak, since graduation I have been mentored by some of the most intelligent and talented designers, all of whom have left an indelible mark. One of them once told me to be passionate about my craft, even in the face of adversity, because true passion is the most effective form of persuasion. Another once said that a good attitude is just as important as skills on a resume, but that neither will make up for a lack of the other.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? My design idol(s) are Charles and Ray Eames. Beyond the tangible legacies they created, such as classic furniture and striking spaces, I identify with their design philosophies. My favorite quote is one by Charles Eames, "Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely, and to the best of your ability, and that way you may change the world."
Jeffrey Ramirez, Allied ASID – Lori Carroll & Associates, Tucson, AZ
What should we know about you? Originally from Puerto Rico, I recently received my Bachelor of Arts degree from the Southwest University in Visual Arts in August 2012. During my college experience, I was awarded 1st place in Commercial Design and 2nd place in Residential Design in the ASID Excellence Award Student Session. In addition, I also won the London Olympics Athletes Lounge Competition held by ASID and Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti. Due to this achievement, I was one of two students to have the opportunity to take a summer course, free of charge, in Milan, Italy this past summer. After interning at Lori Carroll & Associates and receiving my Bachelor’s degree, I am now an interior designer at a prestigious interior design firm located in Tucson. My tasks at Lori Carroll & Associates include creating CAD drawings, specifications, presentation binders, and anything else that comes my way.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? As an emerging professional, I have learned that the hard work at school – those endless days – is just a preview of what the professional world is like, but it is starting to pay off.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? I am very passionate about design and am inspired by designers such as Armani, Versage, Ralph Lauren, Calatrava, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Zaha Hadid, and Eero Saarine. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be an interior designer for this wonderful company because it is what I am passionate about.
Francesca Cavallin Mead, Allied ASID – SentireDesign, Los Angeles, CA
What should we know about you? Born and raised in the Venice area, Italy, I have always had a deep passion for design and a genuine curiosity about the world. My desire to travel abroad brought me to study, work and live in London, Beijing, Shanghai, and Los Angeles. Sunny California and its laid back disposition ultimately lured me into settling down in Los Angeles. Here I completed the Professional Certificate in Interior Design from UCLA Extension, and the Master's Degree in Interior Architecture from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Guided by the desire to bring balance and harmony in people’s lives, I founded my own interior design company, SentireDesign, to promote design as a comprehensive sensory experience.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Having a professional background different from design turned out to be one of my most valuable assets. It allows me to tackle the various aspects of running a business with a methodical and professional approach. Then, when it’s design time, I can confidently switch off the left side of the brain and focus on the fun part.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? Kelly Wearsler is a design powerhouse. From fashion, to interiors, to books, everything she engages in is passionate, personal, and glamorous. She is definitely my quintessential designer idol. My mentor is Katherine Fern, President-Elect of the ASID Los Angeles Chapter. Since the days she unveiled all the behind-the-scenes of running a design business, in her Business Strategies class taught at UCLA, she has been a knowledgeable resource for industry-related questions, a steady point of reference as my career unfolds, and a dear friend.
Katie Zahorski, Allied ASID – Interior Designer, Vancouver, WA
What should we know about you? I am a busy mom of three and wife of an active duty Officer in the US Coast Guard. I have my AAS in Interior Design and a Certificate in Kitchen and Bath Design from Century College. I am AKBD Certified for Kitchen and Bath Design. I love all aspects of the design world!
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Network, network, network! Networking with professionals is the only way to get somewhere in this field. Learning about all of your vendors, other firms, and the various areas of design is so crucial. Also, keeping up to date with continuing education classes and learning all you can from the endless webinars and seminars is a great way to become more educated and meet all kinds of wonderful professionals!
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? I met her at a seminar once and she was so fun, exciting, and just a great role model for designers. A busy mom just like me! She so easily can design traditional to contemporary and really meets the needs of her clients!
Tamara Archer, Allied ASID – Urban Eclectic Interiors, Miami, FL
What should we know about you? I'm originally from New York City where I started a career in the advertising industry. After years of working for some of the largest advertising agencies in the country, I decided to pursue my passion and earned a Bachelor's degree in Interior Design. The most important thing that I've learned as an emerging professional in this field is that your success is not measured by income or title, but by the satisfaction you gain using your design aesthetic to enhance the quality of someone's life by designing spaces that are a reflection of their personality and style.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? Some of my design idols include Vern Yip, Nate Burkus and David Bromstad because of their ability to appeal to a broad spectrum of clients from budget conscious to high end.
Kaitlin Jones, Allied ASID – Moore Design Group, Dallas, TX
What should we know about you? I graduated from Kansas State University in May of 2011 with a bachelor of science in interior design. I soon after moved to Dallas where I quickly began working for Moore Design Group and began learning all the aspects of multi-family design. I am enjoying living in Dallas and expanding my skills as an interior designer.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Communication is key to any design, whether you're discussing changes to the plans with the architect or talking to the developer about design direction. There is a lot that can be lost in translation if things are not communicated well.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? All of my professors at Kansas State University, I still keep in touch with them and if I ever have a question about anything I know I can always talk to them and they will point me to the right resources.
Favorite website/app: Houzz.com
Sarah Harajli, Allied ASID – Sarah Harajli Interior Design, Detroit, MI.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? To be yourself. Never try to be something you aren't. There is nothing more important than being who you are, especially in design. Being original ultimately reflects your work and what you do.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? I would say it's a combination of different designers coming from different eras, with different styles. From the great minds of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies Van Der Rohe, to moder day designers like Darryl Carter and Kelly Wearstler. For me, in order to evolve an idea to potential reality, it comes from being influenced by such innovative people.
Favorite website/app: Hipswap, Houzz, and butlerarmsden.com
Gillian Bowman, Allied ASID – Junior Interior Designer at KSA Interiors, Richmond, VA.
What should we know about you? I am a junior designer at KSA Interiors in Richmond, VA. I started a little over a year ago and have really enjoyed getting to know the industry. I am constantly learning a new skill, technique, or computer program. When I am not at work, I am taking walks around the city with my dog, trying out new restaurants, or looking for the latest DIY project I can find.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Network, network, network! Whether you are looking for a job or already have one, the more people you meet, the more success you will have. Attend as many events (in or out of the design field) and start up conversations with the people around you. It may be a little intimidating at first but you will be amazed at the opportunities that open up through these new connections.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? Ray Eames is a very inspiring designer. She was absolutely ahead of her time and I admire that. Her creativity and drive to design not only interiors but furniture, movies, and textiles is something I hope to do in the future.
Favorite website/app: My favorite app is Instagram. It’s a fast and easy way to blog about your day. I have a blog (www.gillianbowman.com) but I like the spontaneity you get from having this capability right at your fingertips.
Lynn Frazier, Allied ASID – Freelance Interior Designer, Alabaster, AL
What should we know about you? As an interior designer I aspire to improve the quality of life for others even in small ways, which to me sometimes can be the most important qualities of design in everyday life. I design to be functional, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing for my clients needs.
Presently, I am a freelancing designer and doing some volunteer design work in my community while working in another career. I am growing my design profession during this transition in my life.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Timing and logistics are key elements of organization. And, sometimes you have to improvise your design plan when your original design is not possible.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? Candice Olson is my design idol. I love the way she designs a beautiful space always with functionality in mind.
Favorite website/app: http://www.asid.org - The site has informative articles on design and links to the global business community.
Laura Burkhart, Allied ASID - Free People, Seattle, WA
What should we know about you? A creator since the age of 5, I have both a Visual Arts and an Interior Design degree. A year after finishing my degree at IDI, I landed my dream job as a District Display Coordinator for Free People where I direct, install and create art and display in 11 Northwest stores.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? The most important thing I learned when entering the field is how important passion for your work is because it takes a lot of dedication and perseverance but if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? My design mentor is Sabina Vavra of Madison West Interiors who took me in as an intern while I was at IDI and taught and inspired me more than I ever could have imagined. She has since continued to be a constant inspiration to me and always there to lend her priceless advice and support.
Favorite Website/App: My favorite website currently is Pinterest, not only a great tool but a great source of inspiration!
Jesse Phipps, Allied ASID - Ink Architecture LLC, Mt. Pleasant, SC
What should we know about you? Originally from Duluth, Georgia, Jesse holds a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Georgia Southern University. She studied textile design at Designtex in New York City and has spent time in Italy studying architecture. After Graduation Jesse moved to Charleston to pursue her career in design working for GDC Home before taking the position at Ink Architecture and Interiors in 2010. Since working at Ink, Jesse has worked on new construction and renovation projects for residential and commercial clients. She works closely with Architect and Owner, Anita King, together creating cohesive designs that flow from the outside in. Jesse’s latest projects range from the furnishings and décor of a baby’s room to the complete interior design and selections for two new homes on Sullivan’s Island.
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? Trust your gut. I’ve learned that my initial feeling or idea is typically the best. Second guessing myself does no good since it just confuses the situation and makes everything more complicated. I know what I like and what I don’t, and if I sway from my initial reaction, I’m normally not happy with the end result. Trusting my instincts is more important than I ever imagined.
Amanda Jesse, Allied ASID - Eve Robinson Associates, New York City
What was the most important thing you learned in entering the field as an EP? The most important thing I've learned as an Emerging Professional is that my education cannot stop simply because I finished formal schooling. Interior design is unrelenting in the sense that there are always new things to learn and skills to develop in order to improve your practice. That's precisely what makes it fun and rewarding.
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? I am inspired by any designer that emphasizes function, aesthetics and, most importantly, the emotional connection between design and users. To name just a few, Thomas O'Brien, Annabelle Selldorf, Roman and Williams, and Ilse Crawford, have all motivated me.
Favorite Website Link: Desire to Inspire's "Pet's on Furniture"
Who is an interior design idol or mentor of yours? Since I’m located in Charleston, SC, many of my clients want a relaxed, coastal look. I’ve become a huge fan of Erika Powell of Urban Grace. Phoebe Howard will always be one of my favorites.