Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Assistant Designer

With the new year and some great recent press, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience an increase in design jobs.  As you’ve read my blog over the years, you know how much I love being a nursery designer. and product designer. I count my blessings each day as I have the opportunity to create beautiful spaces and whimsical products for sweet little babies and imaginative children.  Who wouldn’t smile having such fun at “work” each day?!
Another thing you might have observed about me over the years, is that I am a “do it all yourself” kind of gal. I don’t delegate well and I have always handled every aspect of my job all by myself.  As a perfectionist, I’ve found it easier to just do it all, rather than train someone new to handle any aspect. I’d rather do it myself and know it’s done correctly, than to risk my reputation on another person making mistakes within my company. So I’ve been the customer service representative, accountant, web master, photographer, purchasing agent, creative director, designer, shipping agent and basically have operated and managed my interior design companies (yes, I have two of them!) and my product line….all by myself! I’ve hired an accountant or two, have had occasional “helpers”, but usually just ended up going back to doing it all myself within a short period of time.
It’s not that I haven’t had plenty of decent resumes sent my way (I receive unsolicited resumes and offers to be a free intern on a weekly basis).  But I just haven’t felt that any of these designers have been someone who had the same vision as I, someone who compliments my style… and I definitely haven’t found someone local who was as detail oriented or more so- than myself. I would also want my assistant to enhance the services I provide…to bring something new to the table and make my company even better. I just hadn’t found the correct match. That is, until now!
Yes, I now have an Assistant Designer.  Not only is she an extremely talented designer, but she is every bit as meticulous and organized as I! I actually find myself wondering if we were separated at birth.
I’ve asked my new assistant to share some details about her education and experience below, hoping to give you a little background on my new right hand woman, Lisa O’Brien. Lisa will be attending some client consultations with me and handling the elevation sketches, floor plans, and more as she steps into her new role within my design companies.  I’ll remain the lead designer on all projects…I don’t want you to think that I’m planning on becoming invisible on any jobs. Lisa will be there to add some additional creative insights and to handle many behind the scene details that will also afford us the opportunity to take on more clients. I have often turned potential clients away when things were too busy. I won’t take on a new client if I don’t feel I can dedicate 100% to the job. With an assistant, I’ll be able to take on all of the wonderful new projects that come our way!

So without further ado, meet Lisa O’Brien.

“Personally, I have loved interior designing since I was a kid sharing a room with my younger sister.  I always had a flair for organizing and putting things together that would make the space look new, warm, welcoming and inviting.  I still have this motivation today in my own home; sometimes to the point where I have been accused of obsessing that every detail is covered and perfect.  After experiencing the building and designing of our new family home; I knew this was my passion and calling and soon after moving in I began my journey to obtaining a degree in this field and making my dreams a reality.”

Educational Background:
Graduated from The Art Institute of York, Pennsylvania, June 2009 with an Associate Degree in Specialized Technology in Interior Design.
Perfect Attendance Awards in 2009 for exceptional attendance through education at The Art Institute of York Pennsylvania.  (See, told  you she was a perfectionist!)
Professional Member of the NKBA (Susquehanna Chapter)
Internships at Mary K. Interiors and Interior Dimensions after graduation. 
My Home: Moving into a new home with my fiance and our families; I contributed to the design aspects of the construction process.  My involvement ranged from selecting appliances, floors, paint colors and cabinetry to overseeing the construction process. Since moving in, I have completed some additional home projects. I completely renovated our family room, added walls to include a water feature, designed a custom, elevated fireplace and a made to order back lit entertainment unit all to create the modern contemporary style that we love.
1st Professional Job out of school was a Bed & Breakfast 30’ addition in Bloserville, PA.  This space would be added to an existing home for use as personal space from the B&B.  It included a great room area, a master bedroom, master bath and home office.
I’ve also completed a professional office space in Camp Hill, PA, a sustainable home in Pittsburgh, PA and several residential spaces ranging from kitchens to master bedrooms throughout PA. 

Some of Lisa's Projects: 



Aaron Christensen said...

Congratulations Sherri on finding your twin. Based upon your blog post, we too have a lot in common. Could we have been separated also? It must have been a busy hospital that day....ha ha.

For all the right reasons, you've never had an assistant and for all the right reasons you need an assistant. I'm right with ya friend. Maybe I need to find out if Lisa has a long lost twin on my side of the country.

Cheers to your new work dynamic, I'm positive it will be a great step for you.

Sherri Blum, CID said...

Thank you, Aaron! Yes, I do believe you and I might be kindred spirits! We each seem to perpetually have many irons in the fire at once. And just for fun, we should really think about collaborating on a design project one day. We'd have great fun! Maybe for a charitable organization or event?

Anonymous said...

Awesome for both Sherri and Lisa (aka my Mom) The description you have placed on her is so true and she has given her children that gift also. CONGRATS to you both!