Emerging Professional of the Month
Emerging Professional of the Month - November
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
Kayla Weiner, ASID
Design Exchange, Inc - Fairfax, VA
www.designexchangeinc.com / FB: DesignExchangeInc
What's your story?
I've wanted to be an interior designer since I was 13, even though I really didn't understand the depth of the field at that time. I went to school locally at Marymount University and graduated in 2010. During the last semester of college, I interned for a small, full service interior design firm in Fairfax VA. Once I graduated, I was hired by that firm and have worked my entire 4.5 years in the field there. I’ve learned so much along the way and consider the owner and principal designer of the firm my mentor. When not working, I enjoy spending time with family, friends, and my dogs. I love dogs and currently have two beagle mixes, Pebbles and Maggie.
How has your ASID membership influenced your career?
While I did not have access to an ASID student chapter during my college years, I became very interested in the chapter and organization as I learned more from my boss and mentor, Carolin M. Schebish, ASID, CID. She has always been involved in the chapter, knew so many of the members and introduced me to many known people in the chapter, and was even a former president of our chapter. Her involvement and enthusiasm made me very interested in becoming a part of the chapter. My introduction into becoming more involved was to become a Co-Chair for the Emerging Professionals. Although my term for that has ended, I’ve met so many people from all aspects of the industry that I would never have known as well as I do now. I’ve developed so many great relationships that I value every day.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever had?
Best Career Advice? Two come to mind. One, always show your appreciation to co-workers or employees. A “thank you” at the end of the day goes a very long way. And two, you have two ears and one mouth. Listen more than you talk.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
Five years from now, I hope to still be working with the chapter in some capacity. Also, I’ve had a few opportunities to go back to Marymount in the past year to assist my former professors and I’d love to continue to help students and those interested or just starting out in the field. I know what it’s like to be in their shoes and want to make sure they know there’s someone there to support them, answer questions, and just help guide them in whatever they need. I’ve been fortunate to have that and would love to pay it forward as best I can. As for my own personal career, I want to continue to help grow the business for our firm. I’ve had such a great 4.5 years there and can’t wait to see what the next 5 will bring!