Want a career in the design world? You need to read this!

Stuck in a boring job wishing you could be doing something more creative? Want to start your own business? Meet Kia Stanford, an interior designer with a difference who started Kia Designs when she was just 24-years-old.

With a real passion for moving the industry into the 21st century, entrepreneur Kia is a pretty interesting and unique woman. And she gets what you’re going through: “I hope in the future there will be a way that going from university to working isn’t quite as painful“. You’re going to love her so read on and enjoy.

1. Talk us through your career journey and how you arrived at your business today. 

I had pretty much fallen in to the design world and I never imagined that I would have my own interior design business at 24 but when an opportunity presented itself I didn’t think twice about taking it. Having run another interior design business for 18 months before I knew what the challenges would be but I also knew that I had a fantastic service that I would be able to offer clients.

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Image Credit: Kia Stanford


2. Did you always want to go into interior design?

Not at all, I was a history student and was pretty much on my way to a enrolling in a masters but by then I had fallen in love with my part time job. I working in an interior design store while I was at university and I adored it. I loved talking to people and finding out about how they lived, what they needed to feel comfortable. It was amazing and kick started my career in the design world.

3. What challenges did you face in starting your company?

Having started my company in December of 2008, it was a time when only the most streamlined of businesses were ever going to make it. My main challenge was not taking on too many projects while the business grew quickly.

We like to be able to offer our clients a very personalised service that means every client gets a good amount of our studio’s time – no one is treated as second best!

4. Your company has been described as ‘design with a difference’ – tell us about that. 

For us the difference is in how we create our client’s homes, they are a reflection of them and their lives not simply a copy & paste design scheme.  Our open way of communicating with our clients creates a fantastic result.


5. What is your advice for aspiring interior designers and where do you think the industry is heading?

Getting experience is essential, a degree or diploma in interior design will give you technical knowledge but remember that you need to be able to turn client’s dreams in to a reality. That requires a lot of knowledge that you won’t have until you get out there and try and actually specify items and learn about the industry. Use your holiday wisely and try and get as much experience in the industry as possible.

I hope in the future there will be a way that going from university to working isn’t quite as painful and gives new interior designers a kick start in the industry!