A successful interior designer and owner of her own firm, Amanda Evans is a great example of how hard work and taking chances pay off. Her most recent accomplishment? A coveted showcase of her work in Vancouver-based furniture design house and retailer, Once A Tree Furniture. Both humble and passionate, Amanda stands firm in the belief that you should never “compromise who you are, what you do, and the high level of service you provide.” As Framework’s inaugural feature in our new Working Girl interview series, Amanda shares how she got to where she is today, what she’s learned along the way, and a few of her guilty pleasures…
Who: Amanda Evans, 29
Title: Interior Designer, Twenty One Two Designs Inc.
Background: Diploma of Interior Design from BCIT
How did you get here? After I graduated, I worked at a design firm that closed its doors in 2008 and I found myself without a job and without a lot of opportunities. I’ve always known that I wanted to start my own design firm and there was no time like the present. I started taking on jobs of family friends and then slowly but surely, grew my business.
A typical work day for you is… All over the map. Answering emails in the morning, trips to the design center, shopping, client meetings, sourcing and lots and lots of admin work.
Describe your style or aesthetic. Honestly, it’s always changing or evolving. However, the words that will always describe my style are, “classic with a modern twist,” meaning the spaces I design are transitional. They embody classic qualities and clean lines, yet are current, comfortable and inviting. Some of my signature design elements would be the layering of texture, mixing pattern, and the use of walnut, Grasscloth wallpaper, gold, and neutrals.
3 tips for someone starting out in your industry? 1. Get a job with a design firm or an internship before going out on your own as you will learn valuable information about working in the design industry. 2. Absorb as much information as possible from your mentors, other designers and the industry. 3. Network! It’s something that I am always working on myself.
Accomplishment you are most proud of? I am proud to run my own business, but my most recent accomplishment is my designer showcase that is on display at Once A Tree Furniture in Vancouver. I was fortunate enough to have my bedroom design selected to be on display in their showroom for the summer of 2013. I got to design almost every piece of furniture that they then made in their in-house studio. It was so much fun and such an honour to even be a part of the program.
Your greatest challenge? Balancing all the aspects of running your own business. There are so many different hats to wear as a business owner and responsibilities to juggle and finding the time to do it all is stressful.
Best advice you’ve ever received? There are a few pieces of wisdom that really stuck with me when going through business growing pains. One is, “If you only do your business part time, it will only ever be part time. You have to jump in with both feet.” And the second is not to waver in what it is that you do. Meaning, realizing that there is a real value in design work and not to compromise who you are, what you do and the high level of service you provide.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? I see myself running my business with a few employees, hopefully in a really cool studio! I also hope to develop a product line.
Favourite ways to spend your downtime? Reading magazines, shopping and spending quality time with my husband, friends and family.
// Photos by Tracey Ayton Photography //