Wow- I can’t believe that we’re already into 2014. As a matter of fact, in a couple of weeks I will be celebrating Cozy•Stylish•Chic’s 1st anniversary! 2013 was by far the most professionally rewarding year I’ve had to date. At the beginning of last year I felt unfulfilled as a designer in the fashion industry where my designs were constantly being ripped off ,copied by competitors, then sold for half the price – with no shame whatsoever. As much as I loved the creativity and challenge that came with designing clothing, there was always the ugly side of the business that really wore me down. My nature is to share with others , but as much as I loved to share everything my knowledge and everything I had, I was always wary (for obvious reasons) and I hated that feeling. So I decided to do exactly what I set out to do the very first day I enrolled at NYSID (New York School of Interior Design) back in 2006, and made a leap of faith by ditching my career in fashion in favor of interior design. The two design disciplines are surprisingly similar. I always tell people that the business of interior design has the same amount of creativity as fashion, but without the attitude and back stabbing.
At the beginning of last year, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, and Facebook were all foreign to me – I knew NOTHING about social media, other than Pinterest, which I had started using early on as a personal account to catalog my fashion finds and inspiration. In fact, my first introduction to Twitter was just prior to attending the Design Bloggers Conference, where I discovered the power of the #hashtag and power tweeting. In April I opened an Instagram account prior to attending High Point Market and discovered that by following the High Point Market hashtag (#HPMkt) during market, I could pre-shop many of the newest looks through the Instagram feeds. Yes, people do look at the Instagram market feeds and even though they may not “like” the finds you are posting, they are taking note. The not so confident buyer at market may also peruse the feeds to see what new market find has the most likes (which presumably translates into a safer purchase) Soon thereafter I joined the Interior Design Community on Google+ and met a community of influential and knowledgable experts that were willing to share everything they knew about the business, market trends, and social media.
Writing has never been my forté, but this last year I have found myself sitting down in front of my computer typing away blog posts (until 2 AM on many nights) but missing is the energy drink that I used to keep next to my keyboard to keep myself awake, as now the content I am writing about is the adrenaline that keeps me engaged, interested, and awake! Yes, I was stunned to learn that I actually do enjoy writing – when I am writing about what I know and love, and not about Moby Dick, The Brothers Karamazov, or The Scarlet Letter (snooze!)
The thing that surprised me most this past year is that I learned that I actually remember how to draw with pen and paper (as opposed to a computer mouse). As dependent as I’ve become on my computer and my countless electronic devices, I’m a sucker when it comes to an old fashioned hand rendering. So far I’ve only pulled out the markers, but this year I also plan on breaking out the gouaches and watercolors. I was formally trained illustrating fashion croquis in gouache as an undergrad at Parsons, and I have yet to use them to render interiors, but this year I will be sure to try!
So what else is in store for 2014? A lot – more writing, more sharing of information and knowledge , lots of hand drawn renderings (I’m also taking on work from interior designers for commissioned drawings), travel to trade shows around the country (and perhaps the world, if I’m lucky), and an exciting new project in the works that I will be announcing on the blog in the next few months.
So here’s to a productive 2014 . Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it” I certainly do dream a lot and have a lot of grandiose plans, so now for me to put on my Nike running shoes so I can “Just do it” !