You might notice some differences if you look at my website –even in this blog title. I no longer bill my self as a kitchen and bath designer but a 3-D rendering artist. The content of my website has changed to reflect this new enterprise. But it’s a temporary fix until a total revamp of the site is completed. The changes will evolve over the next few weeks. I’m excited about the future for the first time in quite awhile.
A dozen or so years ago after graduating from college and working in commercial interior design, I had the opportunity to switch gears and take my career focus in a new direction. That was designing kitchens and baths. While in college, we were consistently pointed toward working in the commercial and corporate arenas because we were given to believe that was where money could be made and futures built. I never really felt comfortable there, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to break into residential design work. So, I packed up my family and moved back to the West Coast and began my career anew once again.
After a couple of years of working for others and learning the kitchen and bath trade, I decided to break out on my own and worked as an independent contractor. Things were going pretty good until the Great Recession hit in 2006. Suddenly my workload dropped from about six kitchens a week to six a month. This is when I formed PamDesigns offering my skills doing drafting, specification documents and rendering to the kitchen and bath trade. Part and parcel to taking my business online has been building my brand through social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and most recently, Pinterest. In the past few years I have had several wonderful projects and have had some great adventures due largely to my social networking connections. Finally, a few wonderful projects and my great adventures do not pay the bills. In time a reality check was in order, and in accessing my situation have come to the realization that a dramatic change was ensuing once again-a dynamic shift if you will.
The industry as a whole is beginning to show the signs of wear brought on by recent years of declining business opportunities due to the housing market. Of the many kitchen and bath designers I’ve met through social networking, I’d have to say that at least half of them have also taken their careers in a different direction. Many of them are still connected to the kitchen and bath industry in some way or at least residential design in some capacity. Many who have had their own gigs have closed their doors and are now working for someone else. Many have just dropped off my radar. In summary, it doesn’t look like there is any great recovery looming on the horizon and I have come to feel I need to acknowledge what others have already known. It’s time to move on.
So here I am at a crossroads once again. I recently designed and drafted the plans for my own home remodel. In the year prior to that, I created many beautiful renderings of my ideas in the process of deciding what the design would be. Through this exploration, I created many scenarios from building additions and changing various parts of the house. This process was a great way to try different designs on for size. It also gave me a basis for forming my budget in relation to what I wanted to accomplish against what I could accomplish. An unexpected aside of this process, along with some work on some client projects, I honed my expertise using CAD and photo editing software and developed my skills creating artistic architectural renderings. I came to realize that this is what I really want to be doing with my time and talent.
Time will tell if my transition to 3-D rendering online from kitchen and bath design was the right business move to make. I already know that it was the right thing to do in my heart… my head may or may not catch up!