We recently caught up with one of our Interior Design grads from Kelowna, Jolanda Redeker. Jolanda graduated from the program in 2010, and she currently works as an Interior Designer for her own business “Homme” in conjunction with a full time position on the Project Management team of a pipeline project at an oil and gas company. Her business “Homme”, which means ‘man’ in French, targets men who are seeking interior design solutions.
We asked Jolanda a few questions about her career and how she got to where she is today. Here’s what she had to say!
CAT: What was the one thing you would take away from your experience at CAT that you use every day?
The language, creative eye, and knowledge of products are what I use most in my business. Since I am self-employed and rely on myself to bring in business, maintain that business, and continually execute my visions. I use my communication skills and creativity more than anything else.
CAT prepared me for this by providing me with the technical knowledge of products and language to use in a professional setting. With constant presentations in school, I got valuable experience in explaining my visions to clients. It also gave me a lot of experience in dealing with criticism that may come my way, and to not take that criticism personally but use it as an opportunity to expand my creativity to come up with a different solution.
CAT: Tell us about your career path and where your education led you from graduation to today:
After graduation I moved to Calgary, Alberta to look for work. I quickly got a job contracting to an interior designer over the Christmas season doing small design projects and a lot of seasonal décor for her clients. I got amazing exposure to the Calgary interior design scene and was inspired and motivated to take my position as a contractor and re-work it into a viable business. In early 2012, I launched my own company which I run part time in conjunction with a full time position on the Project Management team of a pipeline project at an oil and gas company.
My company is called Homme Interiors and it targets men who are seeking interior design solutions (homme is ‘man’ in French). Generally speaking, most men have style but express it through their fashion and hobbies…very few express themselves through the styling of their homes. But men – just like woman – want to live in a space that represents who they are and what they love.
CAT: What would you tell potential students about your experience at Centre for Arts and Technology?
Personally, I came into the program thinking it would be a lot easier than it was. I guess I didn’t fully understand how much there was to learn. It was a real challenge at times; the work ethic and passion you have to put into it is very valuable to where I am now.
I chose to go to CAT for a number of reasons; the accelerated program appealed to me because I could complete a three year program in two years and get out in the working world that much sooner. The small class sizes allow for a lot of one-on-one time with instructors. The instructors are industry professionals and have relevant, current knowledge to share – which is priceless, and Kelowna is a great place to be a student!
CAT: What does it take to build a career in your industry?
Work ethic, passion, and the willingness to be open to ongoing growth; improving your ability to problem solve, be creative, and execute solutions faster.
CAT: What is your advice to potential students that are looking to pursue a career in Interior Design?
Work hard, be passionate, and make friends. It’s your classmates and instructors that take your ideas and designs to a whole other level, so be open to it.
CAT: Thanks for catching up with us today Jolanda – keep in touch, and all the best in your future endeavors!
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