To Market, To Market
Fall is officially here, and you know what that means: it’s High Point Market time!
Obviously, this market won’t be like the 111 years of markets before it (although we’re curious about how they handled the 1918 pandemic). Gone are the sprawling feasts, champagne bars, fabulous parties, and bustling press room. Attendees will be required to participate in daily health checks, wear masks, and adhere to state guidelines. Social distancing is highly encouraged.
Although swanky parties and packed showrooms won’t be a thing, it will still be exciting to participate and appreciate the innovations of Market planners and staff, one of which is the new #HPMKTsafe
page on the Market website. Here, organizers share what High Point Market is doing to keep visitors safe, including:
Extending Market from five days to nine
Staggered admission in order to maintain social distancing and reduce capacity
Daily health checks for all staff and attendees (attendees will receive a colored bracelet to wear once they are cleared for the day)
Mandatory face-covering policy
Working with builders and exhibitors to make sure all spaces in the market district are safe
More than ever, it’s important to schedule appointments in advance and have a clear plan of attack from the outset. It won’t be as easy to simply meander in and out of showrooms as it usually is.
We’ll be sending Senior Editor Davina van Buren to check out the scene and report from the ground.
Designer Society of America
Tips & Insights from HighPoint Market
Steelyard survey finds uncertain times drive the need for greater transparency
If there is one word that summarizes how designers feel about their business given the state of the world in 2020, it is uncertain. But the design industry is full of resilient, creative people who insist on succeeding no matter what. And that resilience is evident in the results of the recent Steelyard survey: “Impact of COVID and How We Do Business Going Forward”.
In creating the survey, Steelyard did not want to assume anything about how design professionals were operating during the lockdown. When crafting their questions they chose not to speculate about how designers would handle business afterward. Open-ended questions allowed respondents to speak for themselves.
This approach worked well. Seventy percent of respondents claimed that just half or less of their business shifted online during the height of the pandemic. For these designers, half or more of their business continued to operate as it did before, and they longed for in-person experiences like High Point Market.
Q&A with Breegan Jane
New fans may recognize Breegan Jane
as the host of the newly-revived Extreme Makeover: Home Edition—but those who have followed Jane’s career know she thrives on wearing many hats. Among them: mom, deejay (yes, she has turntables in her house!), writer, feminist, fashion designer, and philanthropist.
Before becoming an interior designer, Jane worked in the fashion industry, managed international real estate projects, and served as creative director for a luxury yacht manufacturer, among other endeavors. This year, she brought her signature smile and high-energy vibe to the small screen on HGTV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition—all while building her own brand as a Los Angeles-based blogger and lifestyle influencer.
We caught up with Jane to discuss her background in design, doing business during COVID, and more. We’re excited to share more of our chat here.
DSA: Please provide a brief background and tell us what led you to a career in interior design.
Breegan Jane: I’m an interior designer, entrepreneur, and mother of two from Los Angeles. My design style seems to envelop the vibrance that makes L.A. the cultural microcosm it is today, and that allows me to cater to diverse tastes, styles, and preferences. My career is a culmination of various creative design elements, including fashion and branding. Once I found interior design, though, I knew that’s where I was supposed to be.
DSA: How would you define your personal and professional style?
Jane: My professional design style centers on creating modern, approachable luxury. It’s visually clean, but it never sacrifices glamour and style. Personally, I enjoy much of the same design: clean lines and shades of white that create a relaxed environment, and subtle hints of elegance. After looking at millions of tiles, stone, and fabrics all day, I want to come home to visual serenity to clear my head.
DSA: Has social media played a role in your success? How important is social media to our business operations? Any tips for designers on this front?
Jane: Social media is a vital tool for me to echo my efforts for a broader global audience. It allows me to connect with people, showcase what I love to create with interior design, and present my design passion to people outside of design clients who hire me. It also allows me to provide design insight to the everyday person who has questions. I’m all about sharing what I know, for clients and the curious alike.
My biggest social media tip for interior designers: start highlighting your projects and business ASAP online if you haven’t yet. It’s not about curating a perfect Instagram with your designs and work. Social media is constantly evolving, and there’s no one way to do it right. Just do something! Show people what you’re made of! Record your process in boomerangs, in stills, or in videos. Your social media doesn’t have to be “something else” that you’re required to do; do what you do every day, and record it to show on social media. It’s easier than you think!
DSA: What skills and experiences have contributed most to your success?
Jane: Honestly, I think one reason I’m successful is that I’m my biggest fan! I don’t think I’m better or smarter than anyone else, but I’ve learned to believe in myself. I’ve dealt with doubt a lot in the past. I now tell myself—and believe—there’s nothing I cannot do. Whatever the project or goal, I always try my hardest, I study like mad for the test, so to speak, and I believe that I will ace whatever it is. I always show up to give my absolute best, regardless of the task. I’ve also developed a strong drive to go after what I want, and that’s so key. I see so many great artists and designers who are extremely talented and have great desires, but they don’t have the drive to work like crazy to go after their dreams. Talent will only get you so far. You have to have the drive to make things happen. You have to be willing to fail, and you have to be your biggest cheerleader.
DSA: What three pieces of advice would you offer to someone entering the design field?
Jane: First, find a way to start practicing in the design field. I’ve started working with students, and there’s nothing that can replace the hands-on experience they get working directly on projects. The earlier you can attach yourself to doing, the more prepared you will be for the circumstances you’ll encounter that the teacher won’t be able to explain.
Next, practice art outside of design. Whether it’s music, painting, or something else creative, those things will help you stay imaginative and inspired. I find that DJing, painting, or even drawing with my kids all remind me of the artistry within interior design. Creativity that you use elsewhere will always mesh with your interior design – in a good way.
Finally, I’d say to reverse-engineer your future. Look at what you ultimately want, and work your way backward to develop the steps to get there. Begin with the end in mind so that you’ll always have a snapshot of where you’re going. Oftentimes people put one foot in front of the other without a goal, and they end up walking anywhere...with no direction.
Breegan’s Home- Photographer Ryan Garvin
DSA: What were/are the biggest challenges of growing your business/brand?
Jane: Letting go when necessary. I’m good at delegating assignments to capable workers, but it’s still difficult sometimes. I’ve allowed trusted coworkers to help me cultivate and grow my brand, and I now realize it wouldn’t have grown had I not done that.
DSA: What was your most rewarding collaboration and why?
Jane: Hands down, it would have to be my work on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
. I am a small, independent design firm, so to get an opportunity to work on the expedited projects with two other differently-thinking designers was ridiculously fun for me! I absolutely adore Carrie and Darren, and we all had an instant appreciation for each other’s creativity. We each brought different perspectives to the family projects, and that made the experience so much richer for me.
DSA: Do you have an all-time favorite room or home? What is it about that space that attracts you?
Jane: Kelly Wearstler’s design work at the top of the Proper Hotel in Santa Monica. It is one of my favorite spaces to visit and exist in. Kelly is so amazing at what she does with interior design. She employs such an unusual use of design. She thinks outside the box in unexpected and unpredictable ways. Yet, I find that the public responds to her design as if it is familiar. I love that impact.
DSA: What design/business apps or software can you not live without?
Jane: Pinterest. It’s a great tool for cataloging visual inspiration.
DSA: Describe yourself in 5 words.
Jane: Honest, kind, creative, curious, and ambitious.
by Davina van Buren