Molly by Design is a new direction for the blog. Not only do I like sharing helpful tips for decorating and making your house a home, but I also see this as a space to share my experiences as I am building my own business and my time in the interior design industry. As I have grown professionally and personally, I have learned that there are few things in life that ever go by the book, in result to our plans or by your own design. As much as I wish I could have carefully crafted my journey up to now, life as you know is actually so much more exciting and beautiful with all its ups and downs and twists and turns.
Had my plans for this my career in design and now owning my own business gone by design or by plan, I don't know that I would have learned these valuable lessons.
1. Be thankful for your experience. As the wise former Degrassi star Drake once said, "started from the bottom, now we here." (I can imagine Matt shaking his head right about now) While there are some cases where people fall into luck, fame or favoritism and receive incredible opportunities, most people have worked really hard to be where they are and have put in time under other established talent and hard work to learn what they have. We aren't Kardashians.
2. Cherish your Connections. I'm not just talking about linkedin, although it is a great tool for professionals. You never know when you meet someone if they might be able to connect you with an opportunity. Not that you should ever be fake, or hoping to gain something from everyone you meet. Maybe this isn't true in every business, but in my business, I feel that your personality sells yourself. No sales pitch needed. You are selling yourself. So be kind and be thankful for each person you meet- professionally or not.
3.Savor your Season. When I first started out as a designer working in design firms, I was so anxious and impatient to move on from my "assistant" title. What I didn't realize was that once I was promoted, I took on a much heavier work load, scary responsibility and had to learn a whole new skill set. Not that anyone should stay stagnant and not grow to their potential, but enjoy time working under someone else... especially when that person is bearing the brunt of the deadlines and responsibilities. I was able to learn sooo much from project and senior designers when I was an assistant and some days I would give anything to go back to that season of trying to soak everything up like a sponge.
4. Care for your Clients. Similar to the first guidelines, appreciate your clients. Whether small projects or large, you've been trusted to complete a job and to do it well. In Luke, Jesus says that whoever can be trusted with little can be trusted with much. Every opportunity means that someone has put their trust in you. It doesn't matter if you are selecting $30 accessories for a coffee table or $6500 countertops for a kitchen. This is a mindset I am always challenging myself with as I grow, I want to always present myself in a manner of respect of what I've been given.
5. Do Something. While I am still very young and technically a "millennial," I desperately want to break the stereotype of the lazy, skill-less, and apathetic generation that we are painted to be. That is not completely untrue as we seem to be pathetically co-dependent on our technology. While I think the world would be a better place with instagram filters, we are so fortunate to grow up with so much potential. The internet allows us to have a wealth of information, a global platform, and other infinite possibilities at our fingertips. While it can definitely provide a false sense of entitlement (i.e. people who are vine famous... still don't get how that is a thing. RIP vine), I don't think we have any excuse to not go after what we want. Having worked at other firms, I felt sometimes like I imagine a child in a large family would feel: never being able to get a word in, constantly competing for attention, or looking for angles to set myself apart. Being in the workplace, I learned early on that talent doesn't matter. Hard work doesn't even solely matter. There is favoritism, politics, and straight up drama, especially working with mostly women. One day I just decided to ask for what I wanted. Because I had put in the hard work, when I asked for larger project loads and more responsibility, I was given the opportunity to step up to the plate. So now I have to translate that to my current role. I am no longer competing with other designers in my firm, but designers in my community. It requires confidence, a solid foundation, and reputation for trustworthy and quality work, but my biggest lesson has just been to put myself out there. And I don't know how that would be possible were it not for instagram, squarespace, facebook... etc. I don't have to pay a newspaper, $500 for a 2x2 ad space to promote my business, or as we now all it "brand." So millennials, know what you want. Do something about it. Chase the dream.
A few years of disappointment, striving and frustrations, I realize you can't plan or design your life. Your plans might fall through. Your dreams might not come true, but what I have learned is that its at least worth a try. So join me as I dream and follow along as I am figuring out myself, Molly by Design.