When work is an art

Nina Ferrier was host and designer of “Clean House NY” and expert designer of “The Holiday Special” for the Style Network and appeared on the fifth season of HGTV Design Star, the highest rated reality television show network, showing its daring personality and design know-how. As a design architect for Ralph Lauren and Anthropology, Nina has completed both national and international projects.

I had the opportunity to interview Nina recently. Here are some of the highlights of this interview:

Jill Griffin: Tell me a little more about yourself.

Nina Ferrer: I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and have always had an internal drive since a young age. I knew how to use my presence, my confidence and my creativity to my advantage, which eventually led me to pursue a career in architecture and interior design.

Griffin: Tell me about your beginnings in architecture and design. What do you like most about what you do?

Ferrier: I graduated with honors from the Pratt Institute, but before that, I believe my beginning to fall in love with it was something I learned at a very young age. I grew up in an old Victorian house, on three lots of land that, in Brooklyn, were almost unheard of. My mother’s love for this house and her eye for design really inspired me and instilled in me the same passion for architecture as hers. It has always been important to me that people are happy. I can be part of that when people buy or design their dream home. I’m a part of big moments in people’s lives and it’s important that this journey isn’t filled with fights or animosity, which is quite common and something I like to eliminate. I try to help them see each other’s ideas and sometimes I really feel like a therapist. Before I opened my business I was a designer for Ralph Lauren and I knew I wanted to have a thriving career while being a current mother, something I aspired to as a child was non-negotiable as an adult. I have seen so many women who have been pushed out of their leadership positions shortly after giving birth and I knew that if I wanted the life I had dreamed of, I had to start making personal decisions to prepare myself, as well as my future family, to success.

Griffin: Are you able to bring your children to work with you if needed?

Ferrier: Absolutely! It’s a part of being a business owner that I love. If I need my kids to sit next to me, with me on a job site, that’s where they’ll be and I like that they can watch what I’m doing.

Griffin: Please give me three tips you would give to a young woman just starting out in her career who hopes to one day see herself like you?

Ferrier: Whether you are male or female, someone will always be looking to point fingers. So how to avoid this? You must love what you do and be fully immersed in architecture and design. This job is a vocation and should never be considered a job. Discover trends and the latest home appliances. Subscribe to online and print resources. Be ahead of the curve in everything you do.

Second, you must be an art historian. Understanding the different styles, periods and trends is imperative to guiding your client in the right direction.

And finally, understanding construction in this industry is very important. As a woman, you can’t just think that as an artist or designer you shouldn’t understand how a house is built or know how kitchen cabinets are installed, how hinges work, how drawer slides , etc. Don’t expect people to educate you if you want a job. Be more educated and aware than anyone on your job site. This is how you will succeed. Know more than everyone else.

Griffin: Is there anything I missed that I should know?

Ferrier: I think what people need to know is that you can have it all. I have never been afraid of tradition. I’ve never been someone who was afraid to admit that I wanted to get married. You need to find a partner who supports you and your dream. So even though I was at home and raising my kids, I never stopped working. And I never stopped growing my business. I never stopped auditioning or performing while we had kids.

He doesn’t have to be a romantic partner. Not everyone will find the husband, wife or anything that looks like you. It may be your circle of friends, your family or your business partner.

Not everyone will find the husband, or the wife, or whatever looks like you.

Griffin: Thank you. Lots of wisdom here. So appreciated.

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