I didn't go straight to college after graduating high school. I knew that wasn't my path but I struggled a bit to follow the "norm" of what you are suppose to do in life. But as usually my own compass got the upper hand and the encouragement from my father wasn't bad either. My dad is an engineer and architect. As a child, I would be in his office at our home in Houston, looking at the blue prints on his drafting table, the designing books, tools and the pictures from his construction sites. I'm wondering if that's were I developed my love for drawing, painting and design.
In my senior year of high school I chose the elective drafting/auto cad. I was excited to see that, remembering
my child hood and the fact that I was watching HGTV a lot. I really enjoyed it so much that I joined the club and stayed after school working on designs and 3-D animation. So, knowing I didn't want to go to college. I decided I wanted to work in that field somewhere- somehow. That's when The Home Depot came to mind. I wanted to be a designer but I had to start as an appliance specialist, ugh. I did it thou, just focusing on my goal. When it was my time to get certified as a designer, I had to spend time as a greeter first and there was a new lady, Melody in that department. We clicked in a fun and edifying way. The synergy was nice and becoming a designer there...well, I felt encouraged.
When I finally decided to attend college, I knew what I wanted to do and before graduating I needed an internship in my field. I reached out to Melody, who at the time started a business called "Harmonize Your Home" that I did the logo and branding for. She welcomed me to the team. Not only did I learn more about design, running a small business, and her. I also learned a lot about myself. It was working with her that put me on my path to who I am and what I am all about now in my life. I started to discover my purpose and undiscovered talents as well. We made mistakes and grew together in a lot of ways I believe. I really owe her... and I am still keeping my promise - she is going to co-design my first home. She's a kindred spirit and a fellow Leo.
Melody Vaughn is an interior designer, an experienced kitchen and bathroom designer, renovation specialist and art consultant. Living in Harlem, New York, her work has appeared in New York Times, New York Post, Domino Magazine, and Luxe Magazine. Rolling Out Magazine in Atlanta & Black and Brown News has also featured her as a writer. I wanted to catch up with Melody, since it's been a while since we have seen each other and a little over a year since we last chatted. I wanted to interview her again, which will be seven years after my first interview with her. We've come full circle and we are both in better places.
1. Why did you choose the career path of Interior Designer?
It choose me....As a child I enjoyed rearranging furniture in my parents house.
I often painted walls or use pages of magazines and created wall paper. I think I was 9 or 10...
2. What were you doing before Designing and Renovating?
I spent many years in retail, worked a gallery coordinator in a museum even spent some time in corporate America. 3. What or Who inspired you?
My father - he worked as a landscaper. He loved what he did. And so did his clients.
4. How would you describe your style as a designer?
I've been told my style is clean .....while being on being well traveled and on trend.
Recently I've been drawn to elements of nature, raw wood, live edge wood tables, uncut stone....earth tones, monochromatic colors - all done with sophistication and hint of glamour. I focus on my clients lifestyle and needs first.
5. What is your favorite part and the worst/hard part of your industry?
My favorite part and worst part are the same... the internet.
There are so many web based designer design firms such as Homepolish or Waverly. It's crazy...but it's good because so many designers are now working.
The downside is many people feel they don't need to hire designer they can do it themselves thanks to HGTV and DIY shows. They want it quick because they saw it on tv. What they did not see was the time it took to source and create .
6. What has been the toughest part of your journey thus far?
Demanding my worth....Requesting my worth...Walking away for jobs due to price.
These are the though ones. 7. What would you tell your younger self when it comes to where you are now in life? You really are a cool chick !
8. You were originally in Atlanta. Why did you decide to move to New York?
Actually I was born in NY.. Brooklyn but family moved to Florida - Gainesville.
I moved to NY after college and lived there 20 plus years. I moved back NY in 2010 for work, I needed to grow.
9. What have been 3 key points in branding yourself and/or building your client base?
1. Become known as the expert in whatever you do 2. Surround yourself with those who are respected in your field. 3. Know your audience - your idea client
10. Where do you want to be in 5 years?
Expanded my business, Finished my 2rd or 3rd book, Have ran a couple of marathons. Working on my move to Paris.
11. If you could only choose one place to design or renovate in a home which would it be and why?
Kitchen... I started in kitchens. Kitchen are the hub of the home.
12. How does it feel to have begun the journey with your company "Melody Vaughn Interiors"?
Blessed and exciting. 13. What's one piece of advice you would give to anyone desiring a career in interior design? Find your niche ( your lane) and do it ! Really do it....learn everything about it, become it. Own it.
For more information checkout MELODY VAUGHN INTERIORS
Also checkout my first ever Interview with Melody Vaughn for "Famous in 15" in 2010
*I apologize for the quality of this video. This is before HD video existed*