Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 47

What is the most important part
about being a designer?

I believe in living and designing on purpose, and
everyone deserves great design. I want to understand the "why" behind doing things, because
design is all about my clients and their lifestyles. I
listen to what they want and educate them about
the value I can bring to the table. Also, really listen
to your clients - especially once you reach a certain
level of your career. Listen to their needs and craft
a space for them, so they can really experience
something they enjoy.
What made you decide to start the Solomon Project?

In 2016, my church got involved in the Pregnancy Help Center, a place for pregnant mothers to go when they have no real resources. I saw
something of myself in those girls and had the
desire to help them in any way I could. Through
the Solomon Project, we select a young woman
every few months and interview them to learn
about their current space and needs. Then we go
about securing the donations - either monetary or
product - and then my firm decorates the nursery
with all the goodies the mom needs to bring her
baby home.
How has your Facebook group evolved?

I started "What They Don't Teach You in Design
School" about four years ago. I had been very active in some other groups, and when I had to leave
those for whatever reasons, I had a lot of designers
reach out to me to see where I had gone! Originally, it was just going to be a smaller platform for
the group to share resources, and it has evolved
into 4,600 industry peers all over the world. Not
all groups admit students, but mine does because
although they may have a natural talent for design,
they do not know much about running a business.
I want to help them hone in on both.
What is the most prized award you have won?

All of the awards I have received have been very
meaningful to me. Outside of this one, which
actually caught me off guard, I won a Global Architecture and Design Award decided upon by
an international community of architects. I was
a winner because someone out there thought my
work was worthy of this merit.
Do you believe in always learning?

Absolutely. I dropped out of design school years
ago because of a family emergency. Money was
tight, but I still wanted to educate myself in design
- even after I started my business. It was about
pursuing information as I needed it, which made
it stick better in my brain. I bought the National
Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Kitchen &

ABOVE For this kitchen in a

new-build home, Solomon
helped the client with the
layout and some custom
features, designed the
color scheme and selected
materials through their semicustom home builder, Partners
in Building.
Photos by Colleen Scott
Photography

Bath Planning Guidelines textbooks and used those as a resource, and I joined
a few local chapter meetings as well. I sat in on a lot of webinars and learned
how to read blueprints. I believe in learning something new every day, and I
do so by exchanging ideas with those I mentor. Sometimes I learn through
trial and error, and I am not afraid to make mistakes.
What's your advice for someone just starting out in the design industry?

Always be learning so you can always be growing your career. Focus on creativity, but don't ignore the business side. You need to be able to make money,
otherwise you may resent what you are doing. Invest in professional photos
to put your work out there in the best way possible. You can't expect things to
be given to you, you have to go out and get them.
How has business been during this pandemic?

It has only gotten busier. At the beginning, some clients scaled back and cut
the scope of their projects, but now I am not having any challenges getting
work. This year has been a bad one for a lot of people, but I am always an
optimist. I see many opportunities out there.
Can you tell us about a major challenge you've overcome in your career?

Running my business in the early days as a side hustle, as a single mother
while working a full-time job - imagine having to be in three places at once.
I became a master at planning and time blocking to be able to be there for
my kids, fulfill my obligations as an employee and build my dream business
all at the same time. Not having the support of a spouse meant that I had to
push myself and stay motivated. Back then, there were no Facebook groups
to reach out to, and no one was sharing their inside business information,
so I had to find that will to succeed and thrive from within. 
What does the future hold in store for you?

I will continue to build on what I have been working on all these years - a
strong and recognizable brand with a product line or licensing and a design
book or memoir or both. I will continue to find ways to educate and deliver
great resources to the industry and strengthen my collaborations with the
charities and ministries I serve - and maybe take a few more vacations.

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Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020

Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020
Contents
Editor’s Note
Show Note
NKBA Note new & noteworthy
Happenings
Hot Topic
Trends
Better Business
Tech Savvy
Research Roundup
CEDIA Expo
KBIS 2021
Color Find
Before & After
Solutions
Wellness Design
What’s Hot
Favorites
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Intro
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Cover2
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 1
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Contents
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 3
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 4
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 5
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Editor’s Note
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 7
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Show Note
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 9
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - NKBA Note new & noteworthy
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 11
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Happenings
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 13
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 14
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 15
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Hot Topic
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 17
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 18
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 19
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Trends
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 21
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 22
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 23
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Better Business
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 25
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Tech Savvy
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 27
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Research Roundup
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 29
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - CEDIA Expo
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 31
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - KBIS 2021
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 33
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Color Find
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 35
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Before & After
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 37
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Solutions
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 39
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Wellness Design
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 41
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - What’s Hot
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 43
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 44
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 45
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 46
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 47
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 48
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 49
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 50
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 51
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 52
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 53
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 54
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - 55
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Favorites
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Cover3
Kitchen & Bath Business - September 2020 - Cover4
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