From Desk Job to Dream Job: DeAnna Mackensen’s Interior Design Journey

Interior Designer Podcast, Interior Design Career, Interior Design School, Interior Design Business, Interior Design Mentor, Interior Designer Journey

Do you have a passion for design but are stuck or feel trapped in your current job?

In today’s episode, I chat with my dear friend DeAnna Mackensen, a retired interior designer in Northern California. She shares her creative journey that started with her innate love for creativity and making things. 

She also shares her experience of learning from others and how it has shaped her career as an interior designer. She emphasizes the value of gaining knowledge and skills from different sources, whether it be through formal education or personal interactions.

She also raised one common misconception about interior design and the importance of being compensated for the work of an interior designer.

Deanna’s story is a testament to the fact that it’s never too late to follow your passion and embark on a creative career. She didn’t start off as an interior designer but found her true calling later in life. 

If you are looking for career inspiration, tune in and get inspired and motivated to pursue your creative career.

Why you’ve got to check out today’s episode
  • Recognize the value of recognizing interior design as a professional career
  • Learn to embrace your unique path and use your previous experiences to your advantage
  • Identify your strengths and learn how to delegate/outsource tasks that are not within your expertise
    About the Guest:

    DeAnna Mackensen has been serving satisfied clients in her residential design business since graduating from California State University, Chico, in 2009 with a BA in interior design. She is now retired from interior design.

    With a love of textiles and artwork, she’s pivoted into creating her own things and selling them on her Etsy shop. She began sewing at an early age and this skill helped her with her abstract design and fabrication of many different elements. She has a knack for customizing and personalizing her designs for her clients and think outside of the box. 

    Connect with DeAnna Mackensen:
    IG: @Reddezn

      Check out these episode highlights

      02:44 – DeAnna’s first job as an administrative assistant at a hospital and 

      04:24 – She always loved Science & Math and figuring out how things were made

      05:39 – How she got into interior design

      09:12 – Why she started her own interior design business at the age of 47 

      10:18 – How we met and the benefits of having a community like ASID

      • You learn about different topics
      • You get a sense of camaraderie where you bounce ideas off each other
      • Meet people with the same interests as yours and become friends 

      11:15 – How we met and worked together

      12:39 – The challenges of establishing her business in her city

      • Don’t know how to set up a business plan

      • Don’t know how to do the books

      13:48 – The misconceptions surrounding interior design and the importance of recognizing it as a professional career

      15:51 – Why she pivots into more textiles

      17:56 – 3 reasons why she retires as an interior designer

      1. COVID-19
      2. She had a stroke and recognized her limitations
      3. She has grandkids and wants to enjoy them

      19:15 – Being a DIY designer who likes to find creative solutions for her clients

      23:44 – The importance of focusing on one’s strengths and outsourcing tasks that may not be within one’s skill set

        Next Steps

        Take the QUIZ!! Find Out What Type of Interior Designer You Should Be!

        Grab your freebie:

        Join the Design Mentor to kickstart a successful career in interior design!

        Check out the best books every interior designer should have here.

        Enroll in Business of Design with Kimberly Seldon or DesignYou with Tobi Fairley today to scale your interior design business!

        Email me at [email protected] if you have suggested topics

        DM me on Instagram at @rwarddesign if you have a burning question

        Leave me a rating and review! Click here.

        Thanks for listening! I hope this helps you discover if interior design is the career for you. See you next week…