Home and business owners in the region are opening their doors, and their checkbooks, to a group of seven creative interior designers.
Julie Watts, Karen Hirschman, Stefanie Brooks, Karen Floch, Sunny Houser, Lise Weston, and Kathleen Clemens are making their designs popular throughout the area-and they also happen to be graduates from the Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) Interior Design program.
“It’s amazing for us to be able to help our community,” said Sunny Houser, interior design expert. “The program at Clover Park gave us the tools we needed to not only do what we love, but to also be good at it.”
Sunny and the other graduates make up seven of 14 executive positions working with Michael Bowman of Interior Design, a full-service interior design company located at 911 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma.
“Tacoma needs to keep good designers,” said Bowman. “My idea is to keep fun, exciting, and creative interior designers together in an affordable, supportive, and non-competitive environment.”
And getting hired is something CPTC graduates are doing well. Former students, including these seven, are currently employed in 20 different types of design work. Ranging from residential to commercial, graduates find themselves working in a multitude of different positions.
The program’s curriculum gears itself toward national standards set by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). Sherry Nowak, CPTC Interior Design Instructor, says the real strength of the program comes from its organization and its ability to meet those national standards.
“Our students are getting jobs because of the complete training they receive,” said Nowak. “They just don’t specialize in one area. They have strengths in drafting, hands-on projects, realistic training and internships. This course is a full range program, it is not decorating.”
Each woman says the greatest thing about working together is being able to pull from each other’s strengths on a daily basis. They say developing creative energy keeps them in the forefront of their industry, and admit the educational opportunities at CPTC helped them reach their job-related success.
To see the work of current CPTC Interior Design students, attend the 4th Annual Portfolio Walk, Friday, March 17, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. in the Rotunda, Building 3. The CPTC Interior Design Portfolio Walk is an exhibition of work by 20 graduating Interior Design students.