Friday, January 30, 2009

Young Designers and Collectors

Thursday was an interesting day. It started with a Design Big: From Conception to Reality a panel discussion about how to start and manage a successful design business that was sponsored by American Express Open and Domino. (Talk about timing.) Tori Mellott was moderator to the panel with included Stephanie Odegard of Odegard, Inc. and interior designers Christopher Coleman and Ashley Whittaker. It was a very informative discussion and the bullet points that I can give you if you are thinking of starting your own design business is to be extremely organized, learn how to sell yourself and your work, don't turn down your nose at any small job because a simple bedroom job could turn into an entire summer house in a year or two. Also, don't be afraid to get financial advice. We all know that creative types sometimes aren't the most business savvy. And if you're a design assistant looking for work, be open to freelancing which some designers are turning to instead of full time employees.

The day ended with the Young Collector's Night at the Winter Antiques Show where I ran into everyone's favorite Top Design Contestant and Blogger, Eddie Ross with his partner Jaithan Kochar (I can't stop humming the Green Acres theme song whenever I think of them moving to the country!); Emily Eerdmans, the fabulous author of Regency Redux (along with Kelly Wearstler who wrote the forward) who also works for Hyde Park Antiques and was manning their booth; and Natalie Obradovich, a former design assistant to Kelly Wearstler who is currently looking for a design job in NYC.

One of the other topics of the panel discussion earlier in the day was where to find inspiration in this tough economy if you can't afford to travel the world and Stephanie Odegard suggested museums like The Metropolitan Museum of Art where you can visit the art of the world. I also think that The Winter Antiques Show is another great place to be inspired and to also learn something new. I studied art history so I have a little knowledge of decorative arts and antiques but when I look at all the wonderful booths, I realize that there is so much more to learn. Even if your decorating style isn't traditional, you can still be inspired by the paintings or a pattern on a vase. The Winter Antiques Show benefits the East Side Settlement House so your patronage would be greatly appreciated in these tough times. I'm going to stop by again on Saturday to see what I missed the other night so maybe I will see you there! Bon Weekend!

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