Alicia Cannon: An Interior Designer Since Day 1
On this episode of the Lounge, Nick chats with Alicia Cannon. Alicia talks about keeping her business small, working in New York, and her love for hospitality.
Getting to know Alicia
Alicia Cannon joins Nick in the lounge from BDNY. Recently, she was able to enjoy a vacation off of the coast of Spain. She is also into Pinot Noir and loves accessorizing with scarves. In terms of home decor, she is proud to have purchased a piece from her friend, a Roman artist.
How did Alicia get involved in the Interior Design industry?
Alicia has been interested in design since she was “in the womb.” Her mom attended design school in New York while pregnant with Alicia. Even as young as sixth grade, Alicia knew she was going to be an interior designer.
In high school, Alicia continued to fuel her passion by attending architecture school during her summer breaks. Alicia was able to then attend the Pratt Institute for Interior Design. After graduating, she started working in the industry at Gensler, but found herself burnt out after a short time. Alicia then transitioned to a completely different industry, packing materials, where she learned sales and business development.
Alicia was drawn back into the interior design industry and took a job in California with Cheryl Rowley, where she picked up some experience with hospitality. Since, Alicia moved back to the east coast, worked with an architect, and now owns her own business.
What the Business Looks Like
The firm currently works on six to eight projects at a time, with 90% being hospitality-based. The residential portion is mostly repeat business that includes new construction and remodels across New York, Texas, and Colorado.
Alicia and her designers follow a pretty specific workflow when taking on new projects with clients that include a meet & greet, a design immersion meeting to get to know the client and to learn what the brand is about, then they build a design narrative or story that dictates the concept. From there AJC starts on schematic designs and design documents.
Working in New York
Alicia says that logistics are a nightmare in New York. She has to measure the elevator, the freight elevator, the windows, and even how high up the unit is. Often, sofas have to be cut in half by a Sofa Doctor to get to where it needs to go, and then is re-assembled once it’s there.
Her biggest project is also located in New York at the Harlem Renaissance Theater, which has 211 rooms and was built in 1917. It is a state-owned project, which creates its own set of hoops to jump through. She was able to work on this project through building rapport and relationships with those in the industry.
- Wrap Up
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