Student Success - Nora Ramsdell

By Sarah Van Arsdale on January 13 2008

NYIAD students are out there in droves decorating clients' homes, serving as consultants in department stores, and re-designing everything from metropolitan penthouses to lakeshore cottages. If you've started your own business, if you've been hired by a decorating firm, or if you've achieved success in some other way in the field of interior design, we want to hear from you! Click here to let us know about the waves you're making!

If you missed earlier installments of this series, here's your chance to read more about the accomplishments of NYIAD students. Just visit our NYIAD Student Success page.

Nora Ramsdell Living Room design

Graduates of the NYIAD's Interior Design course know how much our training helps them to help clients take a house and make it into a comfortable, beautiful home. And they know how the NYIAD credential helps instill confidence in them.

Nora Ramsdell took NYIAD's backing one step further. Upon graduating from the program, she received the Press Release that we send all our graduates, announcing her new status as a NYIAD Graduate. She faxed the release to her local paper in Sandy Hook, Virginia, and soon a reporter called to interview her.

"I live in a small community, so the news made the front page," she said. In spite of the fact that there was no contact information for her in the article, one reader was so impressed by what she read that she contacted the paper, then contacted Ramsdell.

"My very first paying client came from that article," Ramsdell said proudly. "My clients trust me and my credentials."

Of course, the bulk of the help Ramsdell received from NYIAD came in the form of the coursework itself, in which she learned about everything from using color effectively to working with difficult lighting situations.

Nora Ramsdell Dining Room design
Living Room Interior Nora Ramsdell

"What I learned from NYIAD has been a big help when I draft a room, interview my clients, work with textiles, identify furniture styles or make presentations. The studies really gave me the confidence to act and feel like a real designer," she said.

Nora Ramsdell bathroom interior

Ramsdell initially chose the NYIAD Complete Course in Interior Design because she needed the flexibility it afforded.

"I was still working full time on my previous job as a Software Engineer so flexibility was key. The School credentials and reputation was just as important. I also had to consider time, because I wanted to complete the studies within a two year period. After extensive research on the internet and communication with other Interior Design students, I learned NYIAD would meet all my needs."

Her studies have paid off; today, Ramsdell owns her own full-service interior design and decorating business. She invested in a decorating franchise from Decor & You, and now works with national vendors.

Of course, there are always challenges inherent in the work. "Keeping up with subcontractors such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc. so Project Management for sure. Another challenge is staying alert of the pipeline for prospect clients. It's too easy for me to get involved in the 'fun stuff' and forget about the 'work' part of the business."

Looking back on her education, Ramsdell is thankful her instructor at NYIAD taught her to pay such close attention to the details, and she advises current students to listen carefully to their instructors' feedback.

Nora Ramsdell Kitchen design

"The Interior Design industry is very competitive and details are key to set yourself apart from others. You have to sell yourself first before you sell your work!"

Ramsdell continues watching her business grow, and hopes to become less dependent on marketing and rely more on referrals from satisfied clients.

"I love meeting new people and getting new projects. When I get a new project I can't wait to get to my studio and start pulling paint chips, fabric books and create floor plans and elevations on my computer!"

Besides the knowledge you may learn while taking an interior design course, the crednetial alone can often make the difference in getting the job! Get yours today!