When I first got into the interior design world I was shocked at the way the design industry behaved as a whole. On one hand it was the way it had always been, catty and self righteous, egotistic and snotty. On the other hand it was glamourous and refined with luxury crowning everything it touched. It was the who’s who in a world of have nots.
It was the late nineties and homes were getting bigger and bigger and interiors were getting more and more extravagant with sumptuous chenille fabrics, faux paint schemes, and houses were flanked in travertine as far as the eye could see. Granite was the newest “it” surface and the “home office” was a fast growing trend that many of us sought out to achieve.
Design Galleria, was the first interior design firm I ever worked for, and it was the premier hot spot for the latest in high-end design and everything glamourous. It was also where you went to find the BEST interior designers in the city. When I was chosen to be a part of the 12 designer team I thought I had won the lottery. I wanted it so badly I thought I was going to crawl out of my skin with excitement! That is until the owner threw me under the bus right in front of a client and completely humiliated me. This was Designer Bootcamp 101 showing the new grad who was boss. I felt shame, humiliation and embarrassment (All below the cross emotions) which was exactly what the owner wanted.
Nope, not my cup of tea. So I left. I went on to two other design firms and guess what? Same. Exact. Experience. They were savages. Seriously,is this how it was going to be? Because if it was I couldn’t survive in this environment. This isn’t who I was at the core.
Luckily, I wasn’t the only one who felt like this! Like me, many of the new designers coming up were kind, collaborative and helpful to one another. We realized it took a village to navigate this thing called interior design and it wasn’t competition that would propel us forward but cooperation and goodwill.
In 2009, I read about a rising designer in Traditional Home, Tobi Fairley. With the advent of Twitter, a new platform that many of us were quickly plugging in to, I had instant access to her without even knowing her. To my surprise I reached out to her and she responded with kindness. KINDNESS! What a sharp contrast to my early introduction to the world of design.
One of the reasons I asked Tobi to come on to the podcast is not only for her amazing interior design skill set, but her responsibility in teaching others how to nurture and care for themselves and showing compassion to others. Unlike many designers she professes loudly the importance of eating well, sleeping well and above all else making self care a requirement.
For those who aren’t familiar with this business and only see it from the outside world it can become a soul sucking seven day a week, always “on” job that quickly leads to burnout and a ‘take no prisoners approach’ to life; which is misery.
It’s also why I combined our month of love with Jordan Pagan, a master reiki practitioner and herbalist who uses sound to heal your vibrations on a higher level with LaHoChi. No matter what type of career you have, self care is a priority.
I advise a lot of designers and designers advise me. Like a wolf pack we stick together and help each other out to ensure self care is considered. Trust me when I say, it’s imperative we all do it no matter what field you’re in.
Jordan is an expert at self-care who teaches us how to heal naturally with herbs to bring us back to equilibrium where it matters and to keep us centered and balanced for optimal healing. Living a high stressed life all the time taxes your parasympathetic nervous system and your internal organs. Without self awareness you’re driving your Ferrari at 100 miles an hour on a single tank of gas and expecting miracles.
Since February is the month of love, allow these two free audios to enlighten you on how work should be and how to be proactive in holistic practices to keep yourself beautiful and balanced. Because remember if you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot take care of others!