When she was 41 — a high school teacher and mother of two — Julie Sawchuk was hit by a car while biking, and that accident resulted in a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the chest down, and changed her life forever. She and her husband built a new home that was fully accessible to her, and which in turn led her to a new career — helping people build better residential and commercial spaces for all. The co-author of the soon-to-be-released book, “Building Better Bathrooms,” Sawchuk thinks of accessible design as an umbrella that must include three elements: safety, independence and dignity. “It’s just not about a turning circle on the floor of a drawing [for a wheelchair] or the width of a doorway — there’s so much more to it.” On the podcast, Sawchuk talks about her journey and her mission to have people rethink home design. Go to juliesawchuk.ca to discover more.
Since she was a girl, Robin Baron felt different. She had big dreams, chased them, and dove in. Thirty years into her interiors practice, Baron is energized by the recent launch of her multi-faceted ecommerce platform, robinbarondesign.com, which allows her to utilize her relationships, share her knowledge, and exercise her creativity in different ways. In this podcast we discuss the new site as well as how she got started in the biz, her indispensable sidekick, the notion of having it all, spiritual routines, and the benefits of joining industry groups.
Lucy Penfield, of Lucy Interior Design based in Minneapolis, has a BFA in Art History and Interior Design, certificate in business, and an MA in Design Thinking. She chose a career in interior designer because, for her, it checked all the boxes and encompassed all that she loved to learn about – culture, psychology, philosophy - and do – travel, art, write. Her projects veer toward modern and are infused with color, art, and optimism. With a full plate of projects, philanthropic commitments, a recent pillow collection debut, and new ideas in motion for 2021, Penfield discusses her circuitous path to design and the wonder of it all – with a sweet-sounding Midwest accent which makes it all the more heartening. Check her out at www.lucyinteriordesign.com.
Meet Lorna Gross, a Washington D.C.-based interior designer who was always determined to create an independent life and arrived at interior design, after a journey of introspection, as a second career. In addition to being the principal of Lorna Gross Interior Design, she is also Designers Today’s first guest editor in chief, a role that aligned perfectly with a declaration she made for the year – that this would be the year of unapologetic visibility. In this podcast, Gross speaks to the intricacies of design work, how design is like a spiritual offering, getting into the creative flow and why designers need to be selective about clients. Along with DT’s managing editor Andrea Lillo, we reflect on Gross’ editorial debut and discusses the similarities between magazine work and design. And lucky us, Gross also serenades us with a few notes from a classic Whitney Houston song.
Kia Weatherspoon, the captivating and straight-up founder of Determined by Design, is a passionate advocate for design equity, busting myths and preconceived notions of what affordable housing communities should be. Weatherspoon creates aesthetic environments for all regardless of socioeconomic level and shares her message generously. In this podcast, we discuss how past experience informs her design and inspires her direction, why design equals empathy, and the importance of storytelling in interior design. Weatherspoon also shares the way she prospects for new partners, the keys to staying positive, and the relationship between mental health and the success of her business. If you ever need a pick me up, go to Weatherspoon’s personal Instagram and watch her dance, and discover more about her at www.determinedbydesign.com.
Jennifer Grace is a transformational coach who has a lot to share about mindset and mindfulness as it relates to your creativity and output. An ace at leading others to breakthroughs, in this keynote, which was delivered live at the Designer Experience, Grace shares techniques and tools that can help you move through setbacks, sadness and fear to get back in the flow. Her monologue is followed by a brief Q&A with Designers Today’s Jane Dagmi. Learn more about Grace at her website, jennifergrace.com.
Join Jane Dagmi and her colleagues from Furniture Today (Thomas Russell and Powell Slaughter), Home Accents Today (Thomas Lester) and Casual Living (Adelaide Elliott) as they discuss what they saw and heard at the fall 2020 extended High Point Market. Visit each publication's website for a deeper dive.
Brad Clinard is a certified financial planner at High Point Financial Design, his family’s practice that caters to interior designers seeking financial abundance. Skilled in empathetic listening and fueled by authentic connection, Clinard believes personal finance is more personal than finance and that the most gratifying saving and spending is derived from our values. The podcast touches on topics such as the challenges business owners face, emergency funds, grief, family financial discussions and much more. Additionally, listeners can download three handouts and ABA – Ask Brad Anything –by going to his site, www.hpfinancialdesign.com/designerstoday.
In August, after 25 years of working at one of Philadelphia’s well-respected interiors firms, Nina Pritzker Cohen launched her own firm, Nina Pritzker Designs. Looking back and ahead, Pritzker paints a frank picture of the opportunities and challenges that came with working for an established mid-size company and also discusses how it’s been, so far, to start a business in a pandemic.
Spokane, WA-based Erin Haskell Gourde, the big cheese at Design for the PPL, is a fresh face in design. In business for 3 years, with a staff of 5, her journey to being an entrepreneur is dotted with design-related posts such as working at Herman Miller – as well as other gigs, like bartending, which seems to be oddly relevant to interior design. On the near eve of opening up a new studio and showroom, Haskell Gourde shares her background, strengths and weaknesses, current project roster, and more.