Thursday night we held our very first meeting of the Ottawa Design Network Group (ODNG).
This has been a pet project of mine for several years since starting my education. I thought, hey, I’m meeting all these amazing people with a future in this industry and I’m going to loose touch with most of them, how can I change that? Recently, inspired by Kimberley Seldon and her Business of Design seminars, the project has taken off.
We, as design professionals, have an abundance of inspiration when it comes to design. I am ashamed to even admit how many home decorating magazines arrive in my mailbox – in fact I don’t think I even KNOW how many – and lets keep it that way OK – denial isn’t just a river in Egypt you know :)! And then there’s the internet. Just have a look at my blog roll, full of amazing inspiration from people all around the world.
What we lack is business information. You know, setting up your business, dealing with accounts receivable, dealing with the government and taxes, marketing yourself, and so on … These are all areas with many unknowns and frankly they are a little scary.
So, back in March, when Kimberley Seldon brought her Business of Design seminars to Ottawa, I signed up (I posted about the experience here) and came away with a renewed energy for my small business and some great business advice.
The piece of advice that I think will have the biggest impact was get to know your peers, network with them, share with and support them. When Kimberley suggested we establish a networking group in Ottawa to do just this, I volunteered to organize one. Over the last month or so I’ve been working with Custom Home Interiors in Ottawa to get this group growing.
Our first meeting was very well received in the local design community with an overwhelming turnout of over 25 designers, decorators and home stagers – WOW! It was personally very validating to know that I wasn’t alone in my search for information and support for my new business – many of us expressed the same concerns and issues.
80% Business / 20% Design
I am feeling the change already! I now have established connections to more people in the local design industry and am anxious to get planning our next meeting.
So, if you are a design professional (decorator, designer, home stager, organizer, landscaper), design enthusiast or student in the Ottawa area and are interested in joining the Ottawa Design Network Group, sign up here for our next meeting at Custom Home Interiors at 6:30pm on June 24th, 2010.
I look forward to meeting you!