Jenn Feldman: Accidental Interior Designer Killing it!
Joining me in the Lounge today is my friend Jenn Feldman, owner Jenn Feldman Designs. She is out in Cali, and growing an incredible design business…all by accident. Let me explain. So, she entered a contest as a homeowner that has designer her own interior. The contest just happens to be put on by Oprah, she wins, and the next thing she knows, she has Nate Berkus in her house for a photo shoot. After the show airs, she starts getting inquiries from people wanting her to design their homes. After the show re-airs six months later, she takes the cue, quits her PR business, and heads straight into interior design. I love how each road into interior design is different.
The Accidental Start
Like many successful designers we come across, Jenn came into Interior Design from a different path. She had been living and working in New York in Public Relations when love called and she moved to LA. New to the West coast entirely, she was in the midst of re-starting her career in PR when an opportunity presented itself– an opportunity with the likes of Nate Berkus and Oprah Winfrey.
For a special in Oprah’s O At Home magazine, Nate was looking to feature homeowners in who had decorated their own homes. Jenn applied, almost in secret, only to be chosen as the winner and featured on Oprah’s Home Run Homes segment. After that, calls started rolling in. It took Jenn a while to wrap her mind around a career change, though. When the show aired again, she got a second chance and went for it.
Through a lot of trial and error, she found the formula that worked for her. In many ways not having the education or mentor to model her business after allowed her to create a business that’s truly original and ones that’s completely authentic to her values. It’s still hard for her to put a finger on exactly how she did it. She worked hard, with a lot of integrity, but also feels like there was just an innate talent inside. “I don’t always know how to define what I know, but I know that I know it.”
The Firm Today
Today she works in both residential and commercial design with a team of five employees. It was the geographical nature of the work that prodded her to hire her first employee. A big part of the business is showing up on the job site and it eventually became clear that she couldn’t physically be all places at once.
She still makes sure that each project has her touch and that she is the main point of contact for the client. Being an artist at heart, it is very important to her that she stay connected to the creative process. “I am still to this day the only one who shops for bookcase accessories because it’s just my favorite part and it’s my art and it’s the thing I can do, and somehow it’s just not replicable.”
What’s next for Jenn? She’ll continue to tweak the business, experiment with new marketing techniques, and keep changing as technology changes. To learn more about Jenn and see some of her amazing work visit www.jennfeldmandesigns.com or follow her @jennfdesigns on Instagram.
If you are interested in posting a job you have in your design firm (you need an intern, a JR designer, a SR designer, etc) please visit our new Job Board for interior designers. If you are looking for an internship in interior design, an interior design job, or anything related, see our open jobs.
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