Tuesday, March 13, 2012

post 24 of 30: designer

i read this post today and it inspired me to post about something i have been ranting about for the past 10 years. Rachel of Rachel Brenke Photography bluntly tells the world how she feels, and definitely had the right to do so when a client defriended her on facebook for being "too pricey".   she mentions that like a BMW or Lexus, hiring a photographer is a LUXURY.  this brought me back.......
Studio class trip to Columbus, Indiana

all of my life i knew that i wanted to be an architect.  the best program around was at ball state and at the time (if memory serves me correctly) they only accepted 16 students per year.  just to apply you had to write a pretty long essay.  i was super intimidated.  intimidated by writing an essay and intimidated that i was just setting myself up to fail.  so i resorted to an easier path.  i threw away the paper and never even attempted to apply.  this is something that will stick with me forever, something that i will never forget.  why was i such a coward? i had nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.  i resorted to what at the time was an easier route, i resorted to interior design, much like architecture but what seemed simpler.  that year i shadowed a local interior designer and was accepted at indiana state university.  once accepted i stuck with it never turning back.  i did zero research on their program, but lucky for me it is of the best in the state.  the program was FIDER accredited and i had some pretty amazing professors.  on the first day of class my professor asked me, "what are you doing here?"  "you should be in an architecture program".   i will never forget that.  maybe one day i will go to school again, maybe one day i will fulfill my dream. 
one professor, who i was sure hated me, but later learned she was just pushing me because she knew what i could come to acheive, taught us all something that i will never forget, something that makes me think of her at least once a week.  she taught us many things but one thing that really made her skin crawl was the word "decorator".  i cannot tell you how many times i have been called a decorator.  she explained to us that anyone is a decorator.  she would ask "did your mom pick out the furniture, paint colors, finishes, etc. for her home?"  "Yes", "then she is a decorator!"  anyone is or can be a decorator.  a designer is someone who like me, that went to school and earned a degree.  in many states, even with a degree you have to pass the ncidq just to practice.  did you know that interior design is the second hardest major at ISU?  did you know that i could no way possibly count the number of all-nighters i pulled? (don't get me wrong i had some fun too!) no, not because i was a procrastinator or poor planner, anyone who knows me, knows that i am neither, but that is just how heavy of a work-load we had. 
so for all of you who thought or think i am a decorator, know that i am a designer.  a designer who worked her a#* off to earn a degree, a designer who is not self-taught, a designer who did not just wake up one day and say i am an interior designer!  a designer who did not decide she would advertise herself as one even though she is not.
i worked hard to get my degree!
i worked hard and have continued to work hard.
after college i worked at a design firm for 4 years in the indianapolis area.  i remember customers would call when they got their invoice and threaten not to pay it exclaiming it was "too expensive".  we would ask them if they charged their customers for their work, and of course the answer was yes.  when my husband and i found out we were expecting, we packed up and moved back home.  home is a SUPER small town, less than 2000 people.  i got a job still doing design and hated every second of it.  i could not charge the same prices.  like rachel i would be called "too pricey".  i was the only person there with a degree, yet i was the same price as everyone else.  does that make any sense to you?   i assume you wouldn't pay me the same amount to do a physical on you as you would your doctor?  i assume after doing the physical i would not magically earn the title "doctor"? 
there is so much to be said on the topic, so much that my brain is currently spinning in many directions but i guess where i am going with this is i earned my title and deserve to be called by the correct title.  you get what you pay for people and hiring a designer is a luxury.

******please note that i definitely think you can be "grandfathered" in, i understand that interior design has not always been a college degree. i am not trying to bash anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. there are many out there that i have learned a lot from, many that have well surpassed me in years of experience. this is not directed towards you, i would list you, but i am sure you know who you are.

and just for fun, a few more photos for old-time sake!

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