Image courtesy of google-isuwannee.com
In 2013 I had the pleasure of conducting an informational interview with a successful black Interior Designer who doesn't live in Austin. I decided to reach out to her because I am a black woman and I didn't see too many black women representing the Interior Design field here in Austin. I wanted to get the opinion of someone that I could relate to on how to get started in the Interior Design field, because at times I feel out of place and as if people are looking at me differently because I chose this field.
My interview was with Sheila Bridges. She is a black Interior Designer in New York. She also has alopecia and embraces her disease and chooses to be bald instead of wearing a wig or weave. I had recently read her article about how race has played a role in her design career. Sheila was fortunately able to talk to me on the telephone and I didn’t want to take up too much of her time so I kept it short and sweet. She was very professional and intimidating at the same time. I was more excited to actually be talking to her on the phone and I stumbled around reading the questions that I wrote. She gave me a lot of good advice and I’m glad I got a chance to talk to her. She was honest and told me it’s going to be hard for me and I am really going to have to work hard. People are always going to doubt me and think that I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m going to have to work twice as hard as the next person to prove myself. She also mentioned that I should just be involved in as much design groups and activities and bust my butt in my internship in order to get my foot in the door.
I have now worked with plenty of Interior Designers and we talk all the time but I’m glad I got the opportunity to get advice from her just to get an idea of what I have in store for me and the obstacles in my way. I just want to be successful and she made me feel like if I put my mind to it, believe and work hard then what I want is within my grasps.