Polinara - A career and a store built from passion and creativity
Sometimes people know they want to be a designer and sometimes the calling finds them. For DI grad, Polina Nezami, it was a little of both. Being a gifted artist in high school landed her a job in an art gallery which had connections with an interior design firm in Seattle. Asked to bring her talent to the sister company, Polina found herself interacting, and eventually working with, numerous interior designers. This fateful experience opened Polina's eyes to her true calling. All she needed now was the education!
How did you end up at Design Institute?
My decision to attend college coincided with my family's move to Southern California. I began searching for the best design school in the area, and found Design Institute of San Diego. DISD was CIDA accredited and much more affordable in comparison to other design schools.
There were quite a few! For design related courses, I loved 20th Century Architecture, Lighting Design, and Building Codes and Standards. A few of the general education courses I enjoyed included Environmental Studies, Critical Thinking, and Cultural Anthropology.
Polina explained that her experience at Design Institute helped her polish her skills and increase her overall knowledge of the design field which led her to work in both residential and commercial projects. There is no job she won't tackle; from babies' rooms to entire homes, individual offices to rooms in medical facilities and waiting rooms.
It was during her second year at DI that Polina started thinking of creating Polinara, a unique home décor boutique that offers interior design services. With the support of her family behind her, Polina turned her vision into a reality and opened the doors of Polinara located in Vista, CA in 2011.
What do you find most fulfilling about your work?
When I meet with my clients and help them design the space that makes them feel at home, it makes me very happy. It feels really good to help them find their "comfort zone."
What skills have you utilized to help you become successful?
Believing in one's self is the first step one should take toward building the future. Second: be strong and don't give up, no matter how hard it gets. No one says it's going to be easy to become successful, especially in this economy. The last thing is to be patient!
As a designer who just started her own business, yes, I am very grateful; but the most important thing is to keep my business growing. I am still working towards that goal.
What are some skills that you feel a designer needs to be successful in today's marketplace?
Think of yourself as the client. What would you expect from someone that will be designing your space? Whatever you're planning to do for your client, make sure you explain it thoroughly and clearly. When a client is confused, it's hard to get their business! This may be an odd statement, but it's true—don't make them trust you; help them to trust you on their own.
Any other advice to students at Design Institute?
Think like a designer. Take out your notebook and start sketching. Use your imagination, your creativity, and make it work. Make it different from what's already out there. Make it personal.
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