Last update: 07-Dec-2013 3:12 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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To compete with the world and stand out front is a rarity for most professionals but for Randall Waddell, principal interior designer of Homework Design Studio, professional success has taken him to the doorstep of Candice Olson, one of HGTV’s biggest stars then to HGTV where he has space for his designs on the popular cable network’s Web site.
Waddell began stepping up to success at the popular Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) 2012 in Chicago. He went there to purchase Olson’s products to include in his designs. Olson, who delivered the feature address at KBIS, invited participants to fill out a form for a chance to speak to her for 40 minutes. Waddell was not only successful, but his 40 minutes turned into more than an hour.
“My meeting with her was basically to access her products in my designs because I source a lot from the United States and I wanted use her products in my designs. That meeting was a lot more, it was about talking about T&T, the kind of people we are—she wants to come to T&T but work prohibits her from coming.”
“From that conversation, she introduced me to HGTV editors. They in turn said they would be interested because they have little or no Caribbean interior designers on their network. I went through a 15-month process of submitting projects to them, which they from an editorial process would review, get back to me. They featured about three of those in that period, on their online network.”
Finally, after six projects and 15 months had passed, Waddell was awarded the HGTV badge which means he can use it to promote his work. The badge allows designers to carry the HGTV name on their Web site and Facebook page, “so you can use that to promote yourself but they explicitly want it to be used from an online perspective in terms of publication, not anywhere else,” he explained.
Waddel, a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, is also on HGTV’s three online networks— Designer Showcase, Designers’ Portfolio and Pro-Galleries. He said: “I will continue to be a featured designer throughout their network.” The link is: http://www.hgtv.com/randall-waddell/package/index.html Recalling the interview where he was awarded the HGTV badge, Waddell said he was excited and very happy all at once. “Walking into the room for that final interview meant controlling the nerves too.
“I’m thinking they wouldn’t have wanted to have a conversation with me if they thought my work was crap, or I didn’t meet their standards,” he said. “I think their listings of their professional designer network, which I am now a part of, features highly established interior designers. I am privileged to just be associated with it.” Commenting on his journey which began in Chicago and ended in New York more than 15 months later, Waddell said it was worth it and he is urging young designers to strive to be the best they can be.
For Waddell, designing is a gift which comes naturally and brings fulfilment. With more than two decades of experience behind his name, he takes pride in his early projects which include designing the Cunupia headquarters of Columbus Communications, a restaurant in Cunupia and several other residential projects between Port-of-Spain and Arima. Regionally, he has done design work on a home in St Lucia. His studies in design began at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.
Now that he turns the page to another chapter in his design career, Waddell said he is proud to showcase the red, white and black internationally. “I am very proud that somehow in my little way I represented T&T. My marketing tools (Facebook and other online sites) have an international reach and I am always asked when projects are online, is this in T&T? Where are you based locally? I am putting myself out there.”
The future is bright for Waddell’s company—Homework Design Studio. He wants other interior designers to work with him on local projects.
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