This year, in honor of WithIt’s 20th anniversary, student educational scholarships were awarded to women studying to be a part of the design industry. One of these recipients was our youngest team member, Hannah Carlton. This June, she had the pleasure of being flown out to the WithIt 2017 Annual Professional Women’s Conference for the Home and Furnishings Industries, in Charleston, SC. Here she had the opportunity to listen to many keynote speakers, given by influential women in the industry. The impressive list included Eleanor Beaton, President and CEO of Impact & Influence for Women, Carol Sankar, author of The Confidence Factor For Women in Business, Lynne Jensen-Nelson, Conversion-omics Sales Training, and many more influential interior designers, decorators and home furnishing industry icons.
Hannah first heard about WithIt during a session that Lisa Spoke at during Las Vegas Summer Market 2016. Here she met a WithIt representative who introduced her to the opportunities they have for women who are working in the design industry or hoping to after gaining a design degree. “My internship with Lisa that summer was the reason I was able to do this this summer, I am so thankful!”.
“Being new to the industry, this is one of the best opportunities I could have asked for. These women were so inspiring and taught me that there are so many aspects and ranges within the design world to look out for and develop talents and abilities in.”
Hannah’s most memorable learning moments came from the speeches. Eleanor Beaton spoke of the importance of taking chances, putting in the time, and doing all that you can to put you ideas out into the world and not just in your head. Carol Sankar spoke of the importance of confidence in every aspect of your career and life and how to be strategic on your journey towards becoming a professional businesswoman. Lynne Jensen-Nelson laid out the different categories and personalities of people you will inevitably come across in your business and design career, and how to recognize their particular needs in order to optimize your ability to get the job done. Other speakers talked about the basics about the design industry, the business side of our world, brand development, social media platforms, photography tips to help you gain new clients and social media followers, the importance of managing your website and it’s marketing value for your business, and how to successfully network and be remembered.
“The amount of notes I took…there was so much to learn!”
In between the many speeches, round tables and networking events, Hannah was recognized with a scholarship at the conference, and given her lifetime membership into the WithIt community.
“The networking was an amazing aspect of this conference. I met new and original WithIt board members, other scholarship recipients with similar aspirations to mine who have become friends in this short period of time, and many members of the design community. All of whom will add to my ability to navigate this industry as I learn and grow.”
These past two summers interning with us, Hannah has discovered her love for the interior design realm, and touched on a talent for drawing and rendering 3D custom furniture pieces and room layouts. “This real world experience is priceless to me, without it I would be going into my senior year of college nervous to graduate and get into the real world. But instead I am confident and excited to move forward. To keep designing and making dreams a reality.” Hannah will be graduating in May 2018 from Clemson University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, Travel and Tourism Minor.
Learn, grow, lead, encourage. The very fabric of WithIt’s mission within the design industry since 1997…pun intended! But the conference is not always about the serious, this group organized a range of fun social experiences as well! From a boat cruise on the Charleston Harbor, to group dinners, to a 20’s themed dance, much fun was had. Business networking turned into social networking and friendship building.
Need we say more? It is clear to us that this conference was a great experience for Hannah, and we hope to see more of WithIt in our design community in the near future. Congratulations Hannah!