Guess what everybody……. Next week is Rhonda’s birthday!!!!! In celebration of her wonderfulness I wanted to do a surprise blog that is all about her. It’s been in the works for a while with the help of our summer intern Nia and Rhonda’s daughters, Stefanie and Jennifer (Thanks guys!). Rhonda has been a true blessing in my life and has helped so many others and me in countless ways. Because of her I found my passion for design once again and I love coming to work everyday! She opened her heart and arms to me two years ago and I have loved every minute of our teamwork. While Nia was here for the summer we came up with some questions for Rhonda and labeled it as a “class assignment”. We wanted to share the results of our sneaky efforts with you.
What made you want to become an Interior Designer?
We moved around a lot when I was growing up and in my adult life. The idea of having a home that was designed to feel safe and to fit my personality was very appealing and I saw the importance and value of that early on. I had the most decked out Barbie house you could imagine! However interior design is my second career. I started out in fashion then went to merchantidiasing and retail. I picked up useful skills that I have been able to ably now to my design career.
What process did you go through to get your degree? Was it different from today’s process?
We did a lot of hand drafting back then which seems to have become almost a lost art. Architectural lettering was also a big deal and something I still think is important for a designer to learn and practice. When I was getting my design degree the instructors where all practicing designers. They were tough on us but gave us a realistic view of what the design world would be like. Most of my classmates were second career students as well. Just goes to show you are never to old to keep dreaming and working towards something that you are passionate about.
Why was it important for you to become a licensed Interior Designers?
I don’t do anything half way. When I decided to start a career in Interior design I wanted to have the degree and the license. I wanted to be fully equipped to handle everything that could come my way as a designer. I feel that having your license shows your level of professionalism, dedication to your field, and it was important to me. I wanted my clients to know that they could trust me to know what I was doing and that I was worth what they were paying for my time.
What goals did you set for yourself in the beginning? Which ones have you meet?
I am very blessed. I had a goal of owning my own business, which I have successfully done. I wanted to share what I had learned and my own experiences with others. I have tried to do that by having interns every year and to expose them to as much as I can while they are with me. I also wanted to make sure I kept relationships personal with clients and my employees. I love what I do and I have always wanted that joy and passion to remain and for others to share in it with me.
What is the main difference in designing in Tennessee and Texas?
It’s just a different clientele. Tennessee clients were traditional and loved incorporating historical names and brands into the project. Dallas clients love to keep up on the latest trends.
What is your favorite part of the design process?
The end result! I love getting a space completed from top to bottom, having an ecstatic client who is thrilled with the outcome, and getting it photographed.
What is your favorite project that you have worked on?
I really enjoyed the new construction job I did for a Dallas Cowboy player. He had a realistic budget and he challenged me in a lot of ways. He was a very hands on client so we were able to incorporate a lot of personal touches. That is what makes a house a true home. I liked the transitional feel we went for and it was a quick turnaround for a new construction project.
How would you describe your personal style?
Ever changing and adaptive! I used to love being surrounded by my antiques and a more traditional vibe. Now I love the idea of a cleaner and simpler style. As a designer I see so many beautiful things its hard not to end up with an adaptive personal style.
Is there anything you would have done differently to get to where you are now?
Yes, started younger 🙂 !
Is there any wisdom you want to share with up and coming designers?
Be determined. Set your goals, work hard for them, and stick to them, no matter what anyone else says. Set your self apart. Be willing to make sacrifices for what you want to accomplish and realize that most likely you are not going to be rich by being an interior designer lol. Do it because you live it and it brings you joy.
For this special addition of celebrating Rhonda her daughter Stefanie got the grandchildren together and asked them a few questions about their loving Ya-ya.
What makes Yaya special to you?
Gracie (6years old): “Because she is nice and takes me places and loves me!”
Payton (four years old): “She has popsicles and licorice”
Weston (2 years old): “Love her”
What is Ya-ya’s job?
Gracie: “Designing houses.”
Payton: “She moves furniture”
If you could tell Ya-ya something what would it be?
Gracie: “I love you so much you are the best Ya-ya in the whole world!”
Peyton: “Ya-ya hello!”
Weston: “Call me!”
Thank you everyone for helping us celebrate Rhonda this week. She is a truly gifted interior designer who has shared her love and passion with so many. She has touched lives with her caring ways and inspired us all to work hard, stay positive, and love what you do. Thank you Rhonda and Happy Birthday!