Reflections of Ten Years as Kimberly and Cameron Interiors
I'm in the process of organizing various events around the 10 year celebration for my interior design firm, Kimberly and Cameron Interiors. So much has happened in ten years and I know that with social media it can seem that things have always been pretty and easy, but in fact, there have been a lot of advances that I simply was not privy to at the beginning phases of my business.
For one, I didn't consider the design projects that I did for my friends and family. It wasn't until I had clients who actually signed contracts, paid full retainers, and full design fees that I registered my business with the state. From the beginning I was blessed to have amazing clients. My first project was the 2,200 square foot tri-level city home of an NFL executive. I was responsible for the entire project from top to bottom. All the rooms, hiring the gardener, selecting the art, each intricate detail...all of it. The experience was exhilarating and by the time I finished, it reconfirmed what I'd always felt inside. That I truly had the gift of being able to transform a space into something amazing, while still ensuring that the client's essence of who they are as a person remained at the center of it all.
Sometimes I encounter aspiring designers who only know me from blogging and they assume that I'm creating vignettes for each post in the corners of my home. Ladies and gentlemen, in case you've wondered the same thing, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, my designs are 90% custom high-end furnishings and decor.
I make this point because it's important for people to understand that when you make it to a ten year celebration, you've done much more than simply move around furniture. You have ordered more expensive sofas than all the furniture in your flat and lived with the reality that one mistake could bankrupt your entire practice.
One of my favorite clients was Houston Texan, Anthony Weaver. Anthony lovingly refers to his home as his sanctuary and if I had known more about the importance of photography then, you would have seen why. My only regret is that I did not fully photograph this home at the time. Interior styling and photography is big business now, but at the time, digital photography was just catching on and the idea of having insight to magazine secrets as we now do through blogs was unheard of. The home was fantastic! Not because it was overdone, but because it was a perfect representation of Anthony. It was masculine, yet very family friendly at the same time. We added an underground pool to the 7,000 square foot estate and I am sure that it's his most prized possession.
I have always been convinced that I know and work for some of the best people in America. They have been so helpful and have allowed me to transform their homes with little, if any, back talking. One of the things I love most is that I still have relationships with many of them and hope that I continue to grow along with them.
My final reflection has less to do with my past and much more to do with my future. I live this life and fully recognize that what I'm doing with both my company and my blog is unique to the evolution of the African-American experience in interior design. I have been lucky from the beginning to work with vendors like Marge Carson, Matlain Smith, Jeffco, Della Robbia, and Fendi Casa. We have always sourced primarily from the Houston, Miami and Atlanta design centers where I believe the best products are housed. In the last few years, I have worked to embrace new techniques that will satisfy the changing landscape of the interior design industry. I often wish that I could have chronicled my Houston design projects with the current social media platforms we now have available to us. Now that would have given me the ability to transform the entire design experience and serve as a point of reference not only for me, but for tens of thousands of people also.
Any whoo... I know that my life has unfolded exactly how it was always supposed to. I've enjoyed a fabulous career and made some amazing friends. I've learned so much and developed a strength that can only come from facing your fears, looking them straight in the eye, and overcoming them. I don't know what the next ten years will hold, but I am so excited. I can only imagine that things are going to be great!!!!