Beautiful Interior Designer – Erica Headshot Session
I had the luck to meet beautiful Erica Reiner through a mutual friend. She is an up and coming interior designer. During our headshot session, I found out that not only is she smart and funny, she is also extremely passionate and talented about her work. As a huge female entrepreneur supporter, I asked if it’s ok to share her experience with a short Q&A session (see below after photos), so it can encourage and inspire other fellow businesswomen.
Erica and her rescue pup, Hank
He is loving the attention
Not a traditional headshot…but I couldn’t help it, such a gorgeous smile
- Do you think it’s harder for women to be an entrepreneur?
Yes, I do. I don’t have all the answers as to why this is, but I definitely see a difference. I try and embody power and confidence whenever I can to counter balance potential biases, but it’s hard sometimes. However, I know it’s totally possible to be a boss ladyprenuer. I recommend listening to the Being Boss podcast for women creative entrepreneurs. Listening to other women’s success stories leads me to believe it’s something we can all over come starting with awareness of our weaknesses, strengths, and how we are perceived.
- How did the transition impact/effect your relationships?
Taking on something of my own that I can grow boosted my relationship with my significant other, because he is very entrepreneurial and a go-getter, so he was proud of me and encouraged me to do it!
- What do you do to balance life and work?
AAAHH! Sometimes it’s not balanced. But I utilize techniques I learned from David Allen and from Asian Efficiency. Setting appointments with myself in the calendar, keeping tasks organized on task lists. Thinking about my priorities, visualizing my day in the morning. Constantly trying to stick to my commitments of exercise and increased sleep. I am not doing too well with the latter two at the moment, but those are my goals – to keep working on efficiency and productivity until there is time for it all. Getting to a financial place where I can outsource routine tasks like grocery shopping or even accounting, that I don’t need to do myself, is another goal to increase the life part of the work-life balance.
- What keeps you going every day?
Knowing that I can be successful, that I can create a thriving business that supports me, that I can be a better boss than any I’ve had, that I can help people and make them happy, that I can do all of that if I just keep working at it an learning, growing, and trying.
- What would you say to fellow professional girls/ladies who dream about becoming an interior designer?
To think about what direct and even indirect skills they have that sets them apart, and brings value to a potential employer, or starting their own business (for me its my expertise in sustainability, and passion for organization which can go hand in hand with designing.) For instance, are they great with numbers? If so, maybe they can do budgets and estimates better than any other designer, etc. I would also tell them to pay their dues and do internships to learn from those who have something to teach them.
- What is the most important thing a client should look in an interior designer and why?
You want them to listen to you and ask questions, instead of just telling you what they think would work, right off the bat.
- What is the process like if I were to hire you today to decorate my office/home?
First we would meet, I would get you talking about the space and ask questions related to your priorities, goals, and get a feel for the style you like. Then I would put together some design boards with images of colors, materials and furniture styles to give you an idea of where I am headed, and to get feedback. Then I would start the 3d models and itemized procurement lists to turn it all into a reality. Then we process the payment and buy our new materials and furniture. I would oversee the instillation process too, like a project manager.
- What sets you apart from other designers?
I provide other closely related services too: First, I love organizing, so for those that need help with organization of a space before it’s decorated, I can provide that too. Secondly, I can also provide eco-friendly designs for clients looking to make their space more sustainable or meet green standards. I also provide eco-consulting together or apart from design, to help detoxify and green people’s homes and work spaces. Lastly I do native, drought tolerant landscape designs.
- What do you love about interior design?
There is something about breathing new life and beauty into a tired or unappealing space that grabs me. I see a room and if it needs some love, I immediately start thinking of ways to spruce it up and make it feel beautiful and inviting. I like seeing the potential of a space and satisfaction in transforming it.
- What style of interior design turns you on/off?
Personally, since I have a background in marine science and nature, I love elements of what you could call “coastal” design – think of linens and driftwood, teals and decorations made from nature. I am also really attracted to parts of industrial design. Industrial, in addition to playing off of aspects of commercial or manufacturing spaces, also throws up a vintage vibe where the raw elements from nature were more frequently used in tangent, like hard and soft woods, metals, and natural fibers used to make funky no-nonsense lighting or stately desks. Also, I am an environmentalist, so I love doing eco-designs and showing people what alternative products exist that can achieve the same affect with a reduced environmental impact. Surprisingly, even though it’s popular nowadays, I am not a fan of the ultra-modern. All white, plastics and straight lines make me feel cold and uncomfortable even from just looking at a picture! I like a pinch of modern but the ultra-sleek doesn’t appeal to me personally.
- What were some interesting challenges you’ve encountered working on some of the projects?
Time and budget are my biggest challenges just like any other service provider! My biggest challenge from a business point of view is having the start up funds to grow grow grow!
- What are some of the interesting things you’ve encountered dealing with clients?
I always find it interesting how the processes of getting to know someone and getting them to verbalize how they want a space to FEEL translates from abstract emotions to tangible elements.
- If you had all the resources in the world, what does your dream house/space look like and where would it be?
You know… I have always said I don’t want a mansion or anything like that. I want something reasonably cozy. A beach house with character perhaps, or a beautiful old Victorian: I adore Victorian homes with their bay windows and window seats, elaborate woodwork and front porches. I can’t stand those flat, California ranch houses… I want something with nooks and crannies, secret staircases or hidden rooms. Hardwood floors throughout and of course, all sustainable, eco-friendly materials. And because it’s my dream house, I am adding in two things: one of those natural swimming ponds that are maintained by native grasses and an aerator. If you haven’t seen one, you have got to google it – they are Way better than a pool. My second add-on is a large property to put the house on, with lots of gardens and a barn for all the rescued animals I’m going to have.
If you’d like to connect with Erica for some information on her services, go to http://www.eleighdesigns.com/ .