By Renée Biery

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Add-on’s, renovations, and new construction homes can seem intimidating to take on. How do you even get started? How do you find and manage contractors? What surprises should you anticipate coming up? How long do these things take?

In this podcast, you will learn all that and so much more!








In talking to designer after designer after designer, I was hearing in each conversation how they were feeling isolated, alone, and unsupported and questioning their every move.

We need each other. We need support. Being an interior designer who wants to focus on construction management can be a very challenging position. We are an anomaly – not a norm.

You go on a job site, and you get the feeling you’re not wanted there. You come back, you might work by yourself, and there’s no one to say, “Hey, what do you think about this?” There’s no one there to boost you back up. 

So what happens?

You start second guessing everything you do. 

And you also need someone to celebrate with when jobs are going right because they do go right, too!

I want you to know that I am here to support you. I am here to tell you you are doing a great job. And I hope you will take the time after listening to this to write down three, four, or five good things that happened this week. And if it’s hard to get that number,  then make it the month or the quarter, whatever it takes to remind you that you are doing a good job. You’re crushing it in your own way. 

If we don’t tell each other that, I can promise you that there aren’t going to be that many people in our surrounding industries who are going to be giving us a pat on the back. 
I am SO proud of the community that this podcast has created. Everyone in it has been selfless and supportive and truly believes community over competition, which I cannot scream from the rafters enough. There is no competition. Period.

You have no competition. Because what we do, on a fundamental level, comes down to personalities, style, and experience. Freeing yourself from this thought of competing with others will give you permission just to be YOU. And your people will find you. 

So today, I’d like to ask each of you to support another designer. It may be someone in your town. It may be someone in a Facebook Group you belong to. Be supportive. 

Don’t be worried, nervous, or insecure about what you’re doing. 

A designer I was talking with shared how she was feeling alone. And that’s totally understandable. She had gone to design school, and nothing about construction management was taught to her. The majority of schools don’t teach this, and frankly, I don’t know why. But there are designers and podcasts like this that are out there wanting to talk and educate about designers being on construction projects. 

This leads me to my next point….

I had been running some ads on Facebook. And wow, was I caught off guard and I guess, naive about some of the comments that would be left on these posts. One guy ranted that he was a construction manager and that interior designers have no place on projects. They should at least have some sort of a GC license and a decade of experience. One, we’re not trying to be a GC, so why would we need GC licensing? And two, if we need a decade of experience yet have no place on a job site, how does that work?

That is out there, which I’m well aware of, but that is real and why we need to support each other even more. We have every right to be on sites. We add insane value to the job sites. And the contractors and clients who have utilized us on job sites know it. I need you to know it. I need you to believe it.

You need to understand your value.

You also need to understand your role and how it compliments a contractor.

But more importantly, how it’s independent of a contractor. 

I broke this down with a designer, asking what she felt her role was on the project. You see the design from concept to installation. Contractor – he takes the design and implements it. He is not holding the vision throughout the project. That’s not his role.

Again, I am here to support you and break those points out.

Maybe you need to hire support. I have virtual assistants, about whom I will share more details in today’s episode. Having this help takes some of the responsibilities off of me that don’t have to be done by me and allows me to focus on what I enjoy. And what does that do? It keeps me calmer. That’s the reality. When I’m calmer, I’m much more comfortable in my skin and in my value, and I’m overthinking everything. 

Now’s the time (the beginning of the year) to get the support you need. Whether through this podcast or other designers in your area, or somewhere else, and be supportive of one another. Community over competition, always.

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