During my lunch, I headed over to the Laguna Design Center. It's open to the public, so I thought it may be a helpful resource to find some fabric that I'm looking for.
Ugh, I was wrong. I had a pretty bad experience and I would like to vent about it.
First let me start off by saying - I'm am not a designer. I have never been to school for interior design. I do have a design degree, but in graphic design and advertising. I do tend to use phrases like "interior design" and "interior designer", but I do not have qualifications. My clients who do work with me are fully aware of this. I do have plans in the near future to take some classes and get certification as well as establish my business as an LLC. I do plan in the near future to get my tax ID # so I can purchase to the trade. With all this being said, let me also say....
Great design does not have to be expensive and exclusive.
I walked into that design center and knew right away everything was way above my budget and my client's budgets. But I drove 14 minutes from my work to this place, so I walked into one store that has fabrics. Let me tell you - it was beautiful. I died and went to fabric heaven. But the issue I had was not with the fabrics, it was with the employee.
Unfortunately for me, I found a fabric that was exactly what I needed. Exactly. And found it right away, I was so excited! The shop keeper was eating lunch so I went to inquire about the fabric. The conversation went as follows...
Me: Hi, I've never been here before, I have a question about your fabric
[we walk over]
Me: I really do like this one, how much is it?
Her: Are you a designer?
Me: No. [It is much easier to just say no rather than explain my situation, especially since I don't have my tax ID which is the only reason she was asking]
Her: Do you know a designer?
Me: Not really....
Her: Well, see this price? This is retail.
[The "price" was listed 66/10... which I had no idea what that meant]
Me: So the price is $66?
Me: What is the 10 stand for?
Her: Oh, don't worry about that number
Me: Is it how much the fabric is to the trade?
Then she laughed at me, and not a friendly type of laugh. And walked away.
(It wasn't even high quality fabric... imagine the texture of cotton duck cloth.)
Yes, I am uneducated about this process. No, I've never been to a "to the trade" store before... I do this as a hobby and I buy everything from Salvation Army, Home Goods, Ikea, online and big box stores. But here is the thing that really bugged me - she laughed at the fact that I thought the fabric would have been $10. However, I should have been the one laughing because I get the exact same quality of fabric for less than $10/yard.
So this is my vent - I do know that there is a market for very high end materials and design and I hope to some day be able to work with clients who can afford $66/yard fabric. But why is low end design looked down upon in the design world? Why shouldn't people who can't pay $66/yard be able to have good design AND good designers to work with? Today was a milestone, so to speak, in my new "career"... it makes me happy that even though I am not trained, and I don't shop at the fancy design stores, that I can still create great designs for my clients and save them thousands of money while doing so. I hope that I can help change the interior design world so that it will no longer only be for the wealthy and exclusive.
Anyway, I don't normally do vents like this on my blog, but I just had to give my two cents.
After my depressing stint at Laguna Design Center, I headed down the road and stopped at Old Navy. I bought four shirts, one skirt and a jean jacket for $46... that's $20 less than one yard of that fabric. ha!
Also - any real designers out there know how much a $66/yard fabric would cost to the trade? Just guesstimate it... I'm curious.
1 hour ago