Fancy a career in design? We met Zoe Hartridge, the Director of Design at New i.D. It sounds like a dreamy job doesn’t it, but it’s been a lot of hard work to get to the top!
We asked Zoe, an expert in her field, for career advice – which you know is what we do best! You won’t want to miss this advice…
1. How did you get into your career?
I’ve always wanted to work in the creative industry and originally wanted to be a fashion designer at 16. I followed quite an artistic route and completed art and textiles at GCSE level. After this I took A Levels in art and theatre studies. I then completed A BTEC in art and design.
The BTEC course encouraged me to focus on textiles. I followed the BTEC with a Printed Textile degree which lead to work with two curtain companies, the first of which sponsored me to go on an interior design course. I took all of this knowledge to the next role but I discovered so much about fabrics, colour schemes, design, client relations and more at both companies.
After working in soft furnishings, I was employed as a junior interior designer. I started to learn about residential and show home design. I have since worked on a freelance consultancy basis having built up enough experience and a solid portfolio.
I got back into this full time and I am now Director of Design at New i.d. Interiors.
2. What is a typical working day like for you? Morning to evening what do you get up to?
I have such a varied role at New i.d. – every day is different and brings a new challenge. I could be planning the beginning stages of a project, out sourcing accessories, meeting with supplies or installing a project. There is also a lot of travelling involved as we design interiors all over the UK.
In my position I also manage the administration of the designers, and make sure the department is running smoothly so we are as efficient as we can be in a very demanding industry.
3. Why did you decide to get into the design world? Is it a tough industry to work in? What are the difficulties?
I love my profession; but there are challenges. You have to be good at working towards deadlines, making difficult decisions and managing budgets and client expectations.
There is a lot of competition within the interior design sector. So we try and stay ahead of the curve by studying trends and finding inspiration at trade shows, lifestyle magazines and social media. We have a fantastic dynamic and conscientious team at New i.d which also helps us to win jobs from our competitors. It is very gratifying to see the finished project when an installation is complete and the clients’ reaction makes it all worthwhile.
4. What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a few projects at the moment. One is a small family home in Kent and I’m in the middle stages of an interesting project in Dorchester, which has a very regal and affluent feel.
I’m working on a refurbished plot in Leatherhead which is an old office block that has been converted into a residential space.
5. What would your advice be to someone wanting to follow in your career footsteps?
Being an interior designer is amazing but it’s not all glamorous and does have its challenges so be sure that it is something you really want to do and are passionate about.
Design is an ever evolving industry so be sure to get the relevant qualifications under your belt and stay up to date on the newest technology.
Find out more here.