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How I became an interior design consultant and brand strategist  

Amanda Foster, 37, is an interior design consultant and brand strategist from Downtown Sacramento, California, USA.

I graduated from California State University of Sacramento with a degree in interior design with a concentration in architecture back in 2011. I then pursued my graphic design AA degree with a concentration in marketing in 2013. Ever since then I’ve been in the design industry with jobs at amazing firms for both. I’ve built up a lot of experience these last 10 years.

What do you love about your job?

I always felt like I had a tug-of-war relationship with choosing interior design or graphic design. So I had to work for firms in interiors 9-5 and then freelance after hours for graphic design. And vice versa.

I’ve worked for graphic design companies during the day and then have done freelance eDesign (online virtual design) partnering with eDesign companies by night!

But now with my own business, I utilize BOTH and it’s like the stars have truly aligned to use all my super powers and expertise finally in one business.

I understand architecture, interiors and eDesign and now I can coach my peers through 1:1 services or my self-paced courses to guide them in their businesses. Same for graphic design, I am an expert! And now after the coaching part, I can provide graphic design services like branding or website makeovers to help complete the process. I am a one-stop shop for my peers.

What surprises people about your job?

That I am a one-stop-shop. A lot of my peers try to make their logo or website and fail. A lot of them also are confused about marketing and the business side. I can provide social media help since that is also a big headache for clients (I totally get it).

It’s hard to be a small business owner and online service provider – juggling in-person clients and online marketing. I get it. And I have been able to successfully do this myself so I share my knowledge and expertise with them so they can also thrive online.

What challenges have you had to overcome?

Covid! Luckily I was already an expert in the freelance side of things, working online, and understanding marketing so my business thrived during these hard times for unfortunately the brick-and-mortar.

It’s been a lot to learn for myself over the last 10 years, but I am so excited I have now pivoted from homeowners to peers. It’s so much more rewarding to help them.

I am big in the eDesign and interior design community. They all see me as a bit of a leader – but I like to call myself the party starter. The definition of a party is to bring people together. That’s what I love to do with my social butterfly part of me. I have hosted design competitions (the biggest one for my birthday with 77 designers participating and $100, $50, and $25 cash prizes from my own pocket). I love what I do and the community are huge supporters of that!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

Get into what you truly love. If your heart isn’t in it – when it gets rough (no matter what the profession is) you’ll fail or give up.

So get into something you truly love and it won’t feel like work (at times)!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in the same field as you?

Learn to multi-task and treat your business like the CEO you need to be. I have seen it many times with eDesigners who are in it to make some fast cash but don’t understand there is a huge business side of things – you have to learn how to juggle.

Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games, but as many of us know – there are many hats to wear to be successful and once you get momentum you can expand and delegate out the tedious boring stuff you don’t like. Collaborate with your peers so you can keep learning.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

My consulting business is 3.5 years old and I’m hoping by the 5-year mark I will have a small team and double the courses. That way I can keep expanding and growing to help more eDesigners and interior designers in our awesome and supportive community.

I love sketching and would love to expand my courses to interior sketching. I already have eDesign courses for business, client onboarding, Instagram 411 for Interior Designers and Website 411 for Interior Designers. Fingers crossed we can get Interior Design Sketching 411 and who knows what else!

Hosting more design competitions would be great to and bigger prizes. I just started a podcast interviewing former clients. Maybe I can get some famous industry elites on – you never know!

You can find out more at Foster Decor Consulting on Instagram or visit: www.fosterdecorconsulting.com/

 

Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.
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