Everyone Needs A Designer Bestie
- By Sara Brennan
- April 15, 2020
I have to be honest…
…as I sat down to write this blog post, I was conflicted as to what subject or tone would be appropriate, given the current COVID-19 situation we are all going through.
On one hand, I thought I’d make light of it and talk about how we are all going to be better and stronger because of it.
On the other hand, I started to feel like that was insensitive because so many of us are going through such stress, fear and worry right now.
So I started to recap what these last few weeks have been like for me and I started to remember my “why” in writing here on LuAnn’s platform.
I have a calling, you might even call it a “passion”, to always be honest and real with you about my journey as an entrepreneur in the interior design industry.
Which is why this month, I have chosen to share something that is near and dear to my heart, something slightly emotional and something that I’ve found to be extremely valuable over the last few weeks.
I have colleagues who are my “Designer Besties” and, since COVID-19, we’ve connected more than ever. I truly believe this has been my “secret” to getting through this time.
I am very thankful for each and every one of them and the love and support they have given me during this time, so much so that it became apparent that I needed to share this and the value of having people like this in your life, if you don’t already.
A “Designer Bestie”
I’d heard the term “Designer Bestie” before and, thanks to LuAnn, I found mine straight out of the gate.
Natasa Jones, from Natasa Jones Interiors, and I met after a panel discussion in a showroom at High Point Market in Spring 2018 because LuAnn told us both to meet her there.
Natasa and I didn’t know each other at the time, but as we gathered around LuAnn for a post-panel chat, LuAnn said, “Natasa meet Sara, Sara meet Natasa. You two should be friends. I need to run, see you ladies later!”
And off she went.
There I stood with Natasa, my new Designer Bestie, and my shy, introverted self. I dug deep and went with it.
Turns out, LuAnn was right – Natasa and I were destined to be friends and have been ever since.
We check up on each other every couple of weeks, chat about life and business, and call each other when we have a question or need advice. We typically room together at High Point or any other design event we attend, our kids are the same age and over time have become true friends.
Our personalities are very different, yet we have so much in common, especially when it comes to our passion towards our business and design projects.
And look—we all know our spouses and real-life friends can only handle us talking about our business and clients so much, right? I’ve found that Natasa and many of my other designer bestie’s just get it, they get me, where I’m coming from and why I can talk about what I do for hours on end.
I’m so lucky that almost 2 years later I have a whole crew of amazingly smart, strong, talented, successful and beautiful designer bestie’s who I know and love and get to share this journey with—it’s truly amazing!
Lean On Me
When COVID-19 hit and life had to change quickly, I found myself turning to my besties for support.
Together, we have laughed, cried, Zoom called, Instagram chatted, attended virtual gatherings (including a cocktail hour) as true friends do during hard times like this.
I’ve seen my friends do heroic things such as shift their entire business model to now make masks for health professionals on the front line. I’ve also seen them walk through scary moments in laying off their employees and letting go of their office/retail spaces.
I’ve heard story after story of my friends’ clients putting the brakes on their projects due to COVID-19 and I’ve witnessed the advice and support my crew and I have offered them during this time.
Without these extremely amazing people in my life, I’m not sure where I’d be right now.
I’m not sure I’d be as confident and collected as I am when I look at my business today and for that, I am so thankful.
Don’t get me wrong. With other jobs I’ve always had “work friends,” but I’ve found that my designer besties are different.
First, because we are entrepreneurs and all entrepreneurs are a little crazy (wink).
But second, we are all so passionate about what we are doing and why we are doing it—we are a rare breed. So rare that when you find someone as unique as you, you are in awe, but also feel a little relieved that there is someone out there who really “gets” you. You know what I mean, right?
Take 19 Hours, the virtual design conference that MyDoma and LuAnn put on last week for example.
How did you feel when you were surrounded by all of that talent, grit, drive, motivation and raw emotion from each of the presenters? It was AH-MAZING, right?
It felt like someone was vulnerable like a friend would be, and let you into their life, but they all had the common goal to help others too.
You probably connected with some of the speakers based on their subject, their experiences, the way they talked, their tone, their humor, etc. Whatever it was, you now have the opportunity to act on that and reach out.
If something someone does resonates with you, follow up with them or, at the very least, follow them on social!
Being around the people who you aspire to be like will only get you that much closer to achieving your dreams.
19 Hours was such an amazing combination of hope and inspiration during a time when we needed it most. So hat’s off to LuAnn, Sarah Daniele and the MyDoma Studio team for making that happen so quickly and at the most perfect time.
Find Your Crew
My advice going forward is this, find your crew. Find your design business people. Find the people and coaches that inspire you and join forces with them.
Put yourself out there and introduce yourself because you need them as much as they need you.
Attend events such as seminars, panels, interviews, events, etc. If you connect with someone, stay behind and talk to them—you never know where it will lead
I did this with everyone I know and love today, including LuAnn, Sandra Funk, Taylor Spellman, Candy Scott, Lori Paranjape, Natasa, (and SO many more) and I would do it with Nate Berkus or Shea McGee if they are ever around too!
I am not afraid because I now realize that keeping to myself and being alone is the scariest thing I can do. I grow the most when I share my experiences with others and let them in. That is what friends are for.
I truly, from the bottom of my heart, wish you the best during this unprecedented time right now.
Don’t be afraid to share your heart with someone if you want or need to. Utilize social media and find a connection if you feel alone.
I want you to find your crew, just like I have, and see the benefits of these relationships. I hope my story helps you to see that it all started with one relationship, one introduction, that lead to so much more.
If you are feeling like you don’t know where to start, start with me. Email me or DM me, find me on Instagram (@saralynnbrennan) or use the contact form on my website to get in touch with me. I’m here for you and can be your first designer bestie.
Today, you can act and start making those connections that will lead to lifelong friendships.
Show up and be excellent, friends. I look forward to speaking with you soon!
Darcy(16 April 2020)
Thank you for this blog post.. I’m new to the design field as a career change at age 50. Just about to finish my Masters Certification with only 2 classes left. Due to COVID-19 those classes are being pushed back. I can’t wait for it all to be done and get back to life. ❤️
Melissa(27 April 2020)
This blog was so informative and helpful!! One thing I have learned is
I definitely need a designer bestie!! Lol
This article is so relatable and so relative to my current situation.
Thank you ?