Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Whenever I tell someone “I am an interior designer,” their first response 99% of the time is — I kid you not — “How fun!”
I pause and think, yes, it is fun; and yes, I do like what I do; but is it always “fun?” Is any job always fun?
No; but if you can excel during those trying times and work through them, you’ll know you can succeed and experience fun with your career.
Lately, as soon as I arise in the morning, I feel like all I’m doing is putting out fires.
In a new construction project, one glass chandelier is missing an arm.
Another exceedingly expensive fixture (in a three-story stairwell mind you) is blinking when it shouldn’t.
Cushions that should last ten years are completely flat after eighteen months.
Sectional fabric that has become grossly pilled and looks like it has been sitting in grandma’s basement since the ’70s.
And the list goes on.
That’s precisely the moment I think of Cyndi Lauper’s top hit. (You know the one.)
With that in mind, another question I often get asked is “Can we shop retail?”
I don’t even have to think about the answer to this one. Immediately, I say no.
One of the best things an interior designer can have in their pocket is excellent sources and great relationships with designer-only resources.
Those product issues I mentioned? They would have been a disaster and probably bankrupted me, had I not had those amazing relationships with my suppliers.
Sure, perhaps it was the electrician’s fault. Perhaps it was a faulty product. Perhaps it was a clumsy installer. But in the end, I had backed it as a quality product that would fit my client’s needs and was well worth it for them to spend their hard-earned money.
Because I have such amazing relationships, my vendors and showrooms will back me up so I can give my clients the ultimate customer service they deserve. In the end, if I have to spend some of my money to make sure my clients are happy, then that’s what I have to do. But working with exceptional people that back up their product and know what’s really at stake — the customer’s happiness — those are the only type of individuals whom with I want to work.
This is why I cannot (and will not) shop retail for my clients. I won’t get that type of personal relationship and commitment. It is an entirely different ballgame.
Did my resources help out with the issues above? You bet they did! New cushions were purchased for me for the sectional. Any costs associated with the expensive chandelier were taken care of by the lighting company. I did spend six straight hours with a de-pilling shaver (why are they all so small?) on the sectional after finding out most fabric companies do not consider pilling as defective! Should my client have to do that after purchasing a sectional from me? Absolutely not!
My role as a professional interior designer is to be full and comprehensive service. My job isn’t like HGTV or the DIY channel; it is a luxury service, and I truly believe all aspects of the business should reflect that level of service and quality.
And when all is said and done? Yeah; my job is exceedingly fun.