Getting the Dish
LD & Co.: Thanks so much for sitting down with us Amanda. We know how busy everyone is these days, so thank you for taking the time to chat. So…what is your back story? How did you end up working as an interior designer?
Amanda: Well, I’ve always been a creative individual. I’ve always loved coloring, painting, drawing. And rearranging my room; I was always rearranging my room. It drove my parents crazy.
LD & Co.: Ha, I could see that. Were your parents creative or artistic?
Amanda: Sort of. My dad really loves landscaping and focusing on the outside. I was more interested in the inside and making things organized, fresh, designed.
LD & Co.: Did you realize that you could go to school for that – for making things organized, fresh, and designed?
Amanda: Yes! When I was in high school they offered a design class, but by the time I was old enough to take it (you had to be at least a junior), they stopped offering the class. Apparently there wasn’t enough demand.
LD & Co.: Oh how frustrating! Where did you go to high school? [Tangent conversation ensued as Amanda went to rival high school as interviewer’s children. Don’t worry just some good natured teasing.] But despite not being able to dabble in design during high school, you still knew that was the career you wanted to pursue.
Amanda: Yes. I went to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. It is such a beautiful campus! I majored in interior design and minored in digital communications, which is basically graphic design. It was a terrific program and I loved the combination of being creative and the technical aspects.
LD & Co.: What made you come back to Colorado after college?
Amanda: Flagstaff is a really cute town, but there’s not a ton of opportunities there. And, I really wanted to be closer to my family. We are a very close family. So I moved back to Colorado and got a job working for a residential design firm. I started as an intern, then quickly became a junior designer. And, while it was a good job, I realized that there wasn’t a ton of room to grow professionally. At the same time I had that realization and thought maybe I should start looking around for another job, Lita Dirks & Co. contacted me. And the rest is history.
LD & Co.: Ooh seems like it was meant to be. Wait, how did LD & Co. know about you if you weren’t really looking?
Amanda: When I first moved back I sent out about a million resumes & portfolios. Apparently they had it in their files and at the same time I realized I needed a new challenge, they needed another designer.
LD & Co.: Love it! Definitely meant to be. And when was that again?
Amanda: I started in 2015. Wow, almost five years. Time has flown!
LD & Co.: What is it about interior design that excites you?
Amanda: I love the beginning and the end of a design project. I love coming up with the concept and design style, and then seeing it all come together is so rewarding. Oh and when you see that a client really likes your design. Oh my gosh, that’s so gratifying.
LD & Co.: I can imagine! What is something you’d like to tell a builder when it comes to working with an interior designer/model merchandiser?
Amanda: That we are all a team. Lita says it all the time. Teamwork and collaboration always results in a better product. And communication. When you have all these factors combined, the result is a much better design.
LD & Co.: What is something you are looking forward to in the industry?
Amanda: Trends. I always look forward to seeing which trends are coming back and how they may have morphed. Because you know, trends always come back, but usually in a different way. That’s always so fun.
LD & Co.: And just one more question before we let you go…what is one thing you’d say to your younger self if you could? Any pearls of wisdom?
Amanda: Explore more! Take advantage of opportunities and ask questions. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be creative and take risks. Don’t be so serious. Enjoy life!