We are often asked by eager young designers how they can break into the always changing and ever evolving design world. Happy to help the tastemakers of tomorrow to grow their businesses and make their marks, we thought it the perfect opportunity to ask Krista Blair, Communications Manager for Nate Berkus, for her advice. As a woman who balances the public relations of interior design firm Nate Berkus Associates, Berkus’ own celebrity appearances (catch Nate’s new reality design competition show premiering on NBC on March 23rd at 8pm ET), and oversees the product placement of a mega-successful décor line for Target, she knows a thing or two about building a brand. Read on for her tried and true tips for young talent wanting to get noticed.
Be aware that whatever you’re doing, at every moment, you are an ambassador for your brand. Whether you’re at a dinner party or vintage shopping on a Sunday. And with each and every tweet and Instagram picture you post, you are telling your story. These are opportunities to show your personality, your aesthetic, and help the world identify what you love as a designer.
Know who the influencers are and be a part of the conversation. Information is everywhere, so take 15 minutes in the morning before you start your day to check in on your favorite design blogs and shelter sites. I like to make sure I’m keeping up with Domaine (naturally) and The Editor at Large to name two. Find out what or who people are getting excited about. What are you excited about? Being inspired and informed at the same time is a great place to start.
There are so many talented and brilliant people in the design world (I should know; I work for one of them). There’s nothing like learning from someone who has been there and is doing it!
Attend design events, visit show houses, and go to talks and fairs. Volunteer at your local chapter of DIFFA. Whatever it is, get involved because you’re excited about what you do and love the design world. When you’re friendly, eager, and involved, the contacts and connections will follow.
You probably have more to offer than you think. Reach out to your favorite design site or home editor with a great idea or project. Content is king, and they are always looking for something fresh and interesting to profile. Why not you?
Did I mention social media? It is one of your biggest assets. Have fun with it and post often.
Be yourself. But remember, with social media it needs to be an edited version. Think of it as your best self! Know the kind of work you want to be doing, and the clients you would like to work with. You can’t be all things to all people, so don’t try to fit something that isn’t truly you. Let your talent and creativity shine through. I admire the rise of photographer Gray Malin. His carefully curated blog, Instagram, and Twitter are excellent examples from someone who is building their brand by remaining genuine. Trite as it may sound, it’s all about authenticity. You should always be communicating that.
Follow along on twitter as Blair navigates the career highlights and happenings in the busy life of a world-class designer at @Krista_B.
Are you an established or emerging designer who has some tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments below.