The 2018 Tommie Awards sees Advanced Interior Design Technology graduate Bethany Friesen on a winning career track.
Nothing is cooler than already being employed in your preferred profession before you have even graduated, unless – that is – said job is with an award-winning company that recently swept up an armful of awards at January’s Tommie’s. That’s like cool times two.
Bethany Friesen, in her sixth quarter of the 2-year AIDT (Advanced Interior Design Technology) program, is in this enviable position. She has just celebrated her one-year anniversary working with Ian Paine Construction and Design, a full-service, award-winning interior design firm based in Kelowna. Bethany was hired last year by owner and designer Krista Paine, who also happened to be one of Bethany’s instructors at the Centre for Arts and Technology.
“Krista taught me in the second quarter – she taught the studio class. She saw my work, and she needed someone, so it really worked out for both of us.” – Bethany Friesen
Ian Paine Construction and Design won several awards at the recent 2018 Tommie’s. They were gold winners in both ‘Excellence in Bathroom Renovations $20,000 & Under’ and ‘Excellence in Bathroom Renovations $20,000 & Over’. They were also Silver Finalists in the ‘Excellence In Any Room – New or Renovation’ and the ‘Excellence In Kitchen Renovations – $65k and Under’ categories.
“The Tommie Awards celebrate the achievements of our building industry’s finest, the ‘Best of the Best’ for the past year showcasing their vision, talent and commitment, setting the standard of excellence for our industry,” says Kevin Santos, 2018 Tommie Awards Chairman. “For the past twenty-six years, Tommie has been recognized as the symbol of this excellence in the Okanagan Valley. Since its inception, the Tommie Awards has grown into a first class event, attracting interest and recognition from well outside our region.”
What was IPCD’s winning formula? “The amount of detail and thought put into every aspect,” says Bethany. “That’s what makes great design.”
Bethany is a Junior Designer at the firm, which means she does “everything. Everything from answering the phone, to actual design work – which is awesome – project management, site visits. Everything.” She finds the combination of college work and professional work a powerful one. “It’s awesome to learn something in class one day, and then apply it the next,” she says. “You learn a lot more in real life, so it’s good to have both components. I’m lucky.”
“I like working on sustainable projects. I love residential. I love being able to relate to the clients, and obviously I live in a home and I know how important that is,” explains Bethany. “You can maybe be more creative in commercial design, but I see myself designing homes, right now. And I want to stay here in the Okanagan.”
As for potential students thinking about following in her footsteps to CAT, Bethany has a few words of advice. “Take every opportunity you get – whether it be practicums, the events that the school puts on, events in the community – you learn so much from everyone you meet,” she says. “It’s a ton of work, so come prepared.”