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Monday, November 5, 2012

Why I am a Designer- Connie McCreight

Today i am thrilled to feature not only someone who I regard as a close personal friend and Mentor, but also an inspiring individual in her own right. While she would scoff at the title of a "Strong Woman" she in my book embodies just such a title. The Designer is Connie McCreight and I hope you enjoy what she has to say.

I found my beloved profession by a circuitous route, although there were “signs” at many points along the way. 

My first bed as an infant was a drawer pulled out of an antique chest in the Deep South.  My father was playing professional baseball, and I arrived on the scene quite early.   I slept soundly in various drawers in various states for the first few years of my life.  So you see, I had an affinity for furniture very early on.

After his baseball career, my father made a career of the Marine Corps.  He would come home from work every year or year and a half and announce that we were to be transferred a few thousand miles and we were leaving the next week.  This was invariably in the middle of a school year.  We dragged around all of our furniture and belongings (antiques and artwork picked up from all parts of the country) from place to place.  Mother’s unbreakable rule was “No one goes to bed the first night in the new place until the pictures are hung”.  I know this was her way of creating a stable, comfortable, nurturing and recognizable environment for our family no matter where we happened to be.  This also meant that I could do an amazingly fast “install” from the age of 6. 

As life continued through college and my first apartments, I was the only one of my friends who would use my extra money on new accent pillows for my hand-me-down sofa instead of a new pair of shoes.  My personal environment was always important to me.  I was challenged in helping friends spend their budget of $50 on thrift shop purchases to “personalize” a dorm room or tiny apartment.  Thankfully, over the years, those budgets increased.  I’ve always viewed each new opportunity as a jigsaw puzzle, using what is handed to me, bringing in additional parts of the existing puzzle and incorporating outside influences to create a new “whole”. 

After a BFA degree in Fine Arts, Education & Painting, a stint in a law firm, and a year teaching high school, I settled on the business of “Interior Design”, and went back to school completing UCLA’s comprehensive Interior Design program.   My passion was ignited; I had finally found a way to combine my love of art, decorative objects, interiors, teaching and business.  I thrive on the ever-changing landscape of art and design.  I am reaffirmed in my career choice daily when I view a beautiful new painting, an inventive piece of furniture or an amazing decorative object.  I delight in every meeting, when my clients have inspired me to create an environment just for them.  The artisans I work with continue to raise the bar on my ideas.  Every day is a new one, every client is different, each new locale presents excitement.  I am constantly being challenged, as well as renewed and regenerated both in work and in life.

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