Emerging Professional of the Month
Emerging Professional Profile - March
What’s your story?
When I moved to Manhattan in 2008 everything in the city was new to me. I was newly wed and had just been accepted to study at the New York School of Interior Design, which had always been my dream college. At the time I was facing one of the biggest challenges of my life, studying in a new country and yet to make friends. How could I meet and socialize with people who shared the same interests and passion as me? So I started to research about which associations could benefit me and further my professional career. That’s when I discovered and subsequently became a member of ASID. I felt like I had done something right. I found myself going to a lot of incredible events and networking like never before, and I was surprised how welcoming everybody was to new members. I liked the experience so much that I decided to start volunteering for ASID. These volunteering opportunities allowed me to meet many new designers, and I knew I was m
Ashley Fruits, Allied ASID
WrightWorks, LLC – Indianapolis, IN
Don't demand change. Inspire it.
What's Your Story?
After graduating from Purdue University in 2007 with a Bachelor's Degree in Interior Design, I began my career with Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. in DC. Case is one of the largest and most successful residential design/build companies in the world. I quickly gained a lot of knowledge and experience and was able to push myself new to limits. Although I loved everything about my job and DC, I wanted to narrow my focus to high-end, custom, residential design. From there I accepted a position with WrightWorks, LLC in Indianapolis, Indiana. I am currently with WrightWorks working on multiple, large scale, whole house renovations.
I am very passionate about design and I want every client to have a personalized design that is as unique as they are. At least once a week someone asks me, "How did you choose Interior Design?" My honest response is "I didn't." Growing up, if a copy of Nancy Drew wasn't in my hand then I was crafting, creating, sketching, or drawing floor plans of my different dream homes. I'm a dreamer, a creator, a puzzle lover, a problem solver, a people person, and I have a love for history and architecture. Being an Interior Designer, I get to do all of these on a daily basis…some days, you can add counselor to that list. It's a beautiful career that allows me to take a mundane house and transform it in to a place where dreams become a reality. Where everyday presents a new project and I get to meet amazing people from many different careers, cultures, religions, disabilities and backgrounds.
How has your ASID membership influenced your career?
Where do I begin? ASID has opened the door to so many lifelong friendships (a large extended family) and to many job opportunities, provided me with industry resources, and leadership training that has helped me become a better professional. I started as a student taking on many different student chapter positions leading to me accept Indiana's Student Representative to the Board position. Once I graduated, I continued my involvement with ASID taking on different various national and local board positions. All of these different positions provided me resources and knowledge that helped put my experience way beyond 6 years. In an industry that changes so much every day, ASID has helped keep me informed on new products through continuing education and sponsors, legislation activites, and has given me the opportunity to make numerous contacts all over the country. Everyone has their own career goals and their own resume, both personal and professional, that drive us everyday. For me, ASID not only helps drive me to pursue my dreams but continuously inspires me to be the very best I can be.
What is the best career advice you have received?
It's a tie...
During my sophomore year internship in college, my boss asked me if I had heard of ASID. At that time, I had not. Then he said something to me that my parents had raised me to believe. The gist of it was..."You're only going to get out of something, what you're willing to put in to it." He told me to look up ASID and join as soon as possible, get involved and emphasized to stay an active member. I could tell that there was so much passion and experience in his voice that if there was one major thing I needed to take away from this experience, this was it.
The 2nd is…
My family has owned and operated our business for 46 years. My Dad is the smartest, most patient, well respected, and hardest working man I've ever known. As a little girl, I use to sit (spinning) in his office chair listening to him talk to customers, vendors, and network with people from all over the country. I didn't know how he managed everything but I knew I wanted to be just like him. He had a newspaper clipping from the Wall Street Journal on his desk. It was the "Ten Commandments of Leadership". As I got older, this became more and more relevant. I keep it on my desk as a positive reminder.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
As a residential Interior Designer, I've been fortunate enough to work for residential design/build companies that have the same respect for quality, craftsmanship, and design. I want to continue building on the knowledge and experience that I've gained over the past 6 years. In the past year, I've also had the great fortune to have been published with Better Homes & Garden's and contributed to numerous print and online resources. I hope to continue this trend and am currently discussing different ways to contribute on a national level on a more consistent basis. As always, I look forward to the different leadership opportunities that ASID presents and I am excited to continue taking my ASID membership to the next level.
On a more personal note, I started the 2013 year trying to learn Spanish on my own time. Then on February 6th, my nephew Oliver was born and diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome. There are a lot of studies and design related research I want to dive in to as well as adding Braille and American Sign Language to my post-work studies. In 5 years, I hope to have added all three languages to my repertoire.