You spent more than a decade working in the fashion industry. At what point did you realize you weren’t on the right career path? What ultimately made you decide to make the switch to an interior design career?
I knew coming out of college that PR wasn’t something I wanted to do forever. I actually had no idea what I wanted to retire doing, but I loved fashion and I just really “got" PR. I knew I would be good at it, that it would be a fun experience, and that it would allow me to make great connections that would help me in the next chapter of my career, which I imagined would involve me doing something entrepreneurial. Both of my parents are entrepreneurs and (my father especially) always instilled this idea that there’s nothing better than being your own boss. My mom was a residential interior designer in Michigan, and I grew up being exposed to design and the arts and being creative. I used to draw and paint, sew my own Barbie clothes, and rearrange my room all the time, so the creativity has always been in my blood. In 2008, I started my blog So Haute as a creative outlet, and as the blog started to grow, an audience I became more immersed in the design world in New York. I would attend events and network with designers and pretty soon I realized that this was an industry I wanted to work in.
Being the daughter of a decorator, did that have any influence on your career shift? How did you know this was the right fit?
You know, not really. My mother exposed me to the design world from a young age but growing up I never in a million years thought I would want to become a decorator. I had so many other interests. In grade school I wanted to be a doctor, but once I went to undergrad and discovered that collegiate-level science classes were not fun for me, I lost interest. Then I wanted to pursue broadcast journalism so that I could become an entertainment reporter like Shaun Robinson from Access Hollywood. I was a reporter on the campus news channel, I coanchored the campus radio news and was involved in a ton of journalism-related extracurriculars. I loved telling stories and being a voice of authority, but I wasn’t passionate enough about journalism to want to work in a tiny town doing one-man-band reporting. I decided not to put too much pressure on myself to figure it out. I felt that as a 21-year-old coming out of college, I should just do something I enjoyed in an industry I was inspired by, which is how the whole fashion thing came about. After I started my blog and got more involved in the design world, something just clicked for me and I knew this was the right fit. As I thought about what kind of business I wanted to build, I knew that I did not want to just build a design firm and only be a decorator. I had a desire to work in television and had also developed a great platform via my blog and wanted to continue growing that. I love that my business is multifaceted and that I can still work with clients and be creative while also growing my web presence and inspiring others on a larger scale through my work in media and television.
Source: Judy Pak for The Everygirl