Expert design that brings spaces together in unexpected ways
Ever since I was a little girl, my heart belonged to design. It took most of my life to realize it – but all that matters is that I finally did. I always envied people who were born knowing what their purpose in the world was; those people that it just came naturally to. I had to work at it, and it wasn’t easy for me.
The earliest memory that I have of what I thought my career would be is somewhere around the age of 5 or 6. I wanted to be an artist. I imagined myself perched in front of an easel all day with a paint brush and a palette. Art always made sense to me; it was always the one thing that was naturally my own. My mom had me enrolled in weekend art classes at the age of four, and from then on, my spare time was always spent drawing, coloring, and painting. As time went on, my career goals shifted. At one point I wanted to be a teacher, and at another I wanted to own a day care. There were times that I wanted to follow in my mom’s footsteps and become a hairstylist, and there were times I wanted to become an attorney. My ideas bounced all around, but I could never settle on one thing that I knew in my gut I was supposed to do.
One memory that stuck out to me once I finally realized interior design was my calling was my strong desire to have my own playhouse in my back yard. It sounds silly, but the thing that mattered most to me as a child was to have a place to call my own. I imagined a pretty little shed with shutters and window boxes. Inside it would be set up like a little house for myself and my friends to play and hang out. Even from a young age, I had an entrepreneurial spirit, and so I had started several businesses throughout my childhood and early teen years. The common purpose of all my businesses was to make money to buy a playhouse and decorate it as my own. I sold everything from balloon animals to ankle bracelets, to frogs I had caught to homemade carpet cleaner (I still get made fun of for this one), to my babysitting services and even some of my art. I always had the drive, but never the passion for what I was doing and so I never made enough money, and I never got my playhouse.
Eventually, I turned 18, finished high school and had to make a decision. I chose to enroll in beauty school because it was only one year long and then I could figure out what I wanted to do from there, and work through college should I decide to pursue something else later. When I was 21, I moved into my first adult home. I had begun settling into my career as a stylist and hadn’t thought twice about it at this point, but every second of my free time was spent renovating my home. That became my purpose. Every waking moment was spent selecting paint, furniture, fabric and more for my home – in some cases it was spent doing the work myself.
Soon after this was when I began to feel unfulfilled in my career as a stylist. I chose to enroll in The Art Institute for graphic design. I feel that I chose this path out of boredom more so than because I actually wanted to pursue graphic design. However, I kept chugging along and eventually earned an A.S. in graphic design. As I explored the field and the profession, it didn’t feel so much like a match for me and so I never truly pursued graphic design as a career. I enjoyed having the ability to create graphics and so I would for friends and family, but I never felt like I had endless creativity in that arena to pull an entire career from. After a couple more years, I knew I wanted to earn a bachelor’s degree. I didn’t so much have a plan, I just knew I wanted to earn a bachelor’s degree before I turned 30, and so I earned my B.S. in marketing. As I began interviewing for marketing jobs, I felt major panic as I quickly realized, I am just not meant to work in an office. I started to realize that I had spent most of my 20’s trying to fit myself into a box that I would never fit into, and I was so frustrated with myself for not knowing what my purpose was or where my path was supposed to lead me. This is when true envy of those born knowing their calling set in – I was green with it.
Then one day, it clicked. I thought back on a time – a couple months after I had enrolled in my bachelor’s program – I had overheard my husband having a conversation with one of my family members. They were talking about me enrolling in school for marketing and my husband said, “I know she wants to get this degree in marketing, but I always saw her designing something. I don’t think she’s going to work in marketing – I think she’s going to be some type of designer.” That memory opened the floodgates and suddenly I was able to see every clue that had come before it. In the words of Ted Mosby, “You can ask the universe all signs you want but ultimately, we only see what we want to see when we’re ready to see them.” I started asking myself why did I want to own a daycare when I was young? I have never been good with kids, and for that matter, why would I have wanted to be a teacher? The one commonality in everything I have ever wanted to do was that I wanted to do those things so I could design the space I did them in. Even as an attorney, I never pictured myself in law school or doing any of the hard work, I pictured myself litigating in an architectural masterpiece of a court room. Everything I had done up until this point, was so I could design. It was so obvious how could it have taken me so long to realize this? This brought me back to another How I Met Your Mother quote, “What is it that you want to do with your life? Every decision you make from here on out should be in service of that.” And every decision I have made from then has been in service of becoming an interior designer.
I chose to finish my marketing degree because I believe life happens the way it does for a reason. I felt that my marketing degree would somehow serve me as a business owner in the future, and it is. I interned with a local designer, and I enrolled in an M.A. of interior architecture program.
As soon as I learned the tools I needed to work with clients and become a designer, I knew I wanted to start working for myself. The only thing stopping me was deciding on what to call my business. I had spent over 6 months thinking about it. When I name something – I take it seriously. It must be the perfect name, and I can’t ever force it – it must come naturally. So, one night out of frustration I said to my husband, “I’m about to just call myself Little Green House since I work out of our Little Green House.” The next day I bounced the idea off a couple of people, and we all agreed it was perfect. And so Little Green House Interiors was born.
I don’t know where this path will lead me, but I know it’s the right one and that is what is most important to me. As it turns out, I always was an artist, I just had to find my medium. Now, every decision I make from here on out will be in service of that.