Each year, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) awards the title of Fellow and Honorary Fellow to individuals who demonstrate outstanding service and contributions to the Society, the profession, and the interior design industry. Fellowship is the highest distinction a member can receive from ASID, and is bestowed on less than one percent of ASID membership, while Honorary Fellowship recognizes those who are not interior designers but have made outstanding contributions to the profession through their careers and their commitment to ASID and to the interior design industry.
This year, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab Founder + CEO, Kerrie Kelly, was honored with this prestigious award, becoming one of the youngest members of the College of Fellows.
On a trip down the west coast, Kerrie reported on her journey, the process of becoming a Fellow, and what this means for her future in interior design.
The Kickoff Party
First on our agenda was the keynote. Society is transforming and advancing technologies that are rapidly reinventing the ways we work, live, and connect. It is also reshaping the ways we lead. Instead of predictably replicating the success of the past, leaders must now embrace and navigate these new opportunities and the need for constant innovation. Being open to radical new solutions requires radically new ways of thinking, “leadering”, and being. I was very excited to learn more about ‘leadering’ in the world of ASID and curious to know what I could bring back home to our team. This was the perfect way to get our minds in the right place to do a lot of connecting and learning from other ASID members.
To really get down to networking, ASID encouraged us to mix and mingle over drinks and snacks at The Music Box. We love the way they described this event: “Remember the stuffy wine and cheese you went to at your last design conference? This is NOT that. Kick off The Leadership Experience by getting to know your fellow attendees over drinks, music, and dancing.” Needless to say, we took advantage of the beats, bubbles, and bites, and had a great time seeing familiar faces and making new friends.
Yoga Time with Sunbrella
I kick off most mornings with a yoga session so I was all too pleased to see this on my schedule for our time with ASID. Nothing like stretching with a dash of mindfulness to get the interior design party started on a productive note.
Power Panel: Women Who Lead
I love public speaking and telling stories. On the flip side, I also love learning about what other professionals are doing the wonderful world of interior design. The folks at ASID kindly asked me to be a part of this conversation and I was humbled to be surrounded by kickass women who wanted to share their experiences and lessons in interior design with myself and our awesome audience. A huge thank you to the amazing women beside me: Our moderator, Susan Wiggins, Senior Strategic Advisor at ASID, Annie Chu, Lisa Henry, and Charisse Johnston.
Show Time: Delivering My Talk on Building an Empowered + Engaged Team
According to Webster’s Ninth Edition, a team is what happens when one person cannot accomplish a job alone and several individuals must cooperate to fulfill a mission. As a CEO, business owner, and designer, I know that having the right team around me is critical to all of our businesses. In this session I broke down the anatomy of a successful team, including how I’ve engaged and empowered our employees, how we’ve outsourced talent to help build our brand, and the steps I’ve taken to create an environment of creativity and success. It’s always a good time when I can brag on our team and the things we’ve accomplished together within each of our companies.
Closing Remarks: A Lesson in Leadership
With all of the wisdom that was whirling around this weekend, it’s a wonder that I don’t have notebooks full of amazing lessons and thoughts communicated by some of the interior design industry’s best minds. The closing remarks were delivered by Steven Clem, winner of the 2017 ASID National Award, Susan Szenasy of Metropolis Magazine, and Sam Aguillano from the Design Museum Foundation. Needless to say I was completely inspired!
Time to Celebrate: The FASID Awards Presentation
The moment I’ve been waiting for was finally here, but there was quite a bit that happened leading up to accepting my award! We rehearsed for an hour at the beautiful Aventine Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla, with the master of ceremonies, Reed Kroloff, leading us through the motions.
After rehearsals were all said and done, members of ASID and honorees all gathered to toast one another’s successes. Looking around the room, I appreciated the amazing company I was in and couldn’t wait to be on stage with this fabulous crowd of professionals.
When the clock struck 7pm it was time for the cocktail hour that led into the awards ceremony. Mixing and mingling with other winners and those being awarded for their contributions to the industry was awe-inspiring and humbling, to say the least. After the hob-knobbing, it was time for the ceremony. We enjoyed dinner and drinks, each other’s companies, and the glow of being accepted into this prestigious community. Thank you to my local ASID chapter for your continued support, as well as AXOR Hansgrohe for being a fabulous table mate. And as always, thank you to my favorite partners in crime, Vinny and Dad.
By accepting this honor, I look forward to many hours spent analyzing and contributing to our industry, helping make key decisions for professionals all over the world. Thank you ASID for the warm welcome and your constant support of our design firm. We can’t wait for our future projects and opportunities to partner with your organization!