Art & Design Background

Interior Designer Interview

Bonnie, works for Ethan Allen. She has a Cool Job as an Interior Designer.

How She Got That Gig:

Who would have thought that the Super Bowl could lead to a job as an interior designer? A few years ago on Super Bowl Sunday, Bonnie was perusing the help wanted ads when she came across an ad for an interior designer at Ethan Allen that read 'No Experience Necessary.' "I always wanted to do design so I gave it a shot." She went through an extensive interview process because she had no previous design experience and it turned out that she was the right candidate. She was a good sales person and she passed the required design test that all Ethan Allen employees must complete, where they draw a room to scale. She was nervous when they hired her because she wasnít 100 percent sure that she was qualified for the job. Three years later, Bonnie is designing the rooms of her dreams.

A Day In The Life Of:

"There is no real typical day here. I work every Saturday and every other Sunday."

Bonnie will spend six hours on the floor at Ethan Allen, assisting customers and working on projects. The rest of her day is filled by home visits where she will get measurements, samples and design layouts for customers. "Sometimes you just can't avoid those long days."

Favorite Project:

A few months ago Bonnie came close to getting her wish. She was hired to design a huge log cabin in the middle of the Tennessee mountains. She designed all the rooms, including accessories.

Career Path:

Bonnie was sick of waitressing after college. Her business degree from Waynesburg College in Pennsylvania hadnít been put to use in years.

Her first career step took her back to Waynesburg College as an admissions counselor. That lasted for two years before she went on to work as a temp for six months in a placement service doing recruiting. She then moved to a position in outside sales for a different temporary service where she worked for two years before finding her dream job in the classified ads on Super Bowl Sunday.

High Five:

"The projects are the best thing about my job. Helping people put together their rooms, hearing their comments and seeing them come back is exciting."

Down Low:

Bonnie says that itís hard when she disappoints someone by delaying a project. "I donít like when I have to call someone and tell them their products are three weeks late." Also, the long days can be a drag. She often works on holidays and weekends because thatís when the public can spend time at Ethan Allen. "Itís part of the industry. You have to be available when people need you."

Wish List:

"I would love to decorate a whole house with no budget! Thatís when you can have fun with design."

Words from the Wise :

"For people going into the retail end of design, be prepared for the duel role of sales and design. You have to sell yourself to get projects. You also have to listen well and make people comfortable."

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