Saturday, May 10, 2014

The African American Top 20 Interior Designers: Day 2 A Designer's View

Panel Discussion at the Atlanta Design A Center

Kimberly Ward started the "African Amercan Top 20 Interior Designers" a few years ago. I first noticed her blog about 2 years ago after following her on twitter.  Once I saw it, I fell in love with it. Check it out for yourself.

 On May 9th, Michel Boyd, Ron Woodson, Joy Moyler, Alicia Lamar and Lisa Turner led the discussion on the business of interior design.  They discussed social media, building your brand, client/designer relationships and project management.  

Some of the tips I learned were:
-Aim for your target market from the get go. 
-Invest in a great portfolio.
-Know your legal mumbo jumbo with commercial real estate 
-Have a good business system.
- Interior Design is 90% project management and 10% creativity 
-travel is inspiration
-Great social sites: Twitter and Houzz

A few great quotes:
Even on my worst days I would not trade this profession.   Alicia Lamar

Losers wait for perfection, winners go with what they have.     Michel Boyd

I've had to fire clients because there was no connection.   Ron Woodson

Not only did I get to hear these awsome designers speak but I also got to meet many others. 

And then there was lunch.

Later that night.....
Kimberly Ward hosted the Blogger Party at Michel Boyd's Loft. Simply Amazing!

The infamous Top 20!

(Right to Left) Chanel Gaines, Alicia Lamar, Monique Ireland (me), Lisa Turner

Just adoring the table scape.

(Left to Right) Chanel Gaines, Ron Woodson, Kimberly Ward, Howard Brown, Monique Ireland (me again)

Left to Right: Michel Boyd and Kimberly Ward

Toasting to Michel Boyd. Happy Birthday Michel!!!

Leather Floor Tiles.... Insane!!!

The night was classy and uber fabulous!!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

The African American Top 20 Interior Designers and Events: Day 1

     A few years ago, I searched long an hard to find someone to shadow in the interior design business who was African American like me. It was so important to me because I never seen many black designers and wondered if they even existed.  I needed some inspiration and was desperate. 
     On twitter I ran accross a designers blog: . 
This talented black designer, Kimberly Ward, actually had an African American Top 20 Interior Designer list. I thought I was in heaven after reading her blog. Just what the doctor ordered. What that blog showed me was possibility.
     I ended up stalking Kimberly by seeking her out on all social media sites. I also sent her messages about the ins and outs of the business and she graciously responded to my questions (love her for that!). 
     Now a few years later I am actually attending the events for the Top 20 African American Interior Designers in Atlanta GA!!! 
     Last night I attended a mixer at the W Hotel in Downtown Atlanta. Right from the airport I jump in the car and go downtown to be amongst the elite.  It was absolutely marvelous to be in the same room with these outstanding designers.
     Who knew that these amazing designers were so approachable and down to earth. I finally met Ms. Ward for the first time and she is definitely some one I wouldn't mind cocktailing with. When the phenomenal Michel Boyd walked into the room my jaw dropped. A fly could of flew in and I probably wouldn't of known. He was flawless from head to toe. I stared him down like a true groupie would do and finally after waiting for him to make his way around the room, I was able to meet Mr. Boyd, the Jay Z of Interior Design! 

Pics from the fabulous Mixer.
Mr. Boyd and I

Interior Designers

Left to right: Sheila Bridges, Elaine Griffin, and Joy Moyler

  Me and Nile Johnson

Howard Brown and I

Left to right: Chanel Gaines, Monique Ireland, Kimberly Ward

Find out who the Top 20 African American Interior Designers are at