Guest Blog: Heather Spiers – NDA Graduate

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Hello all,

It’s that time again for another new blog post and this time we have something different to share. We’ve invited Heather Spiers to guest blog for us. Heather previously studied at The National Design Academy and graduated in 2012. Since graduation, Heather has succesfully opened her own interior design business. Read Heather’s guest blog below!

Heather Spiers

Let me tell you all about myself!
I have always been interested in art and design and got good grades in my GCSE’s, I was all set for art college when I fell under the spell of my now husband! – He was a few years older than me so I thought leaving school and getting a job would be better for us.  I took my other path option which was business studies and went into office work.  I do not regret this as it gave me valuable experience of how to run an office and dealing with accounts.

My husband is a carpenter and four years ago took the plunge and went self-employed.  I have found I can deal with his bookwork and accounts. We have now been married for 15 years and have two lovely boys so it was definitely the right decision at that time.

When my youngest boy was set to go to school full time I found myself with more time on my hands.  I Knew I did not wish to return to the office environment that I was in before and although the time was right to start thinking of returning to work I still needed to be there for my children should I be needed.

We had renovated our current property and this sparked my passion for interiors.
I noticed an advertisement for The NDA diploma course in one of the many interior magazines I had read and thought this could be my new career.  As the cost of the diploma was low, it would not be a big outlay so I could give it a go!
Distance learning was my only option as I needed to be there for my children and helping my husband.  I found it easy to fit completing each module around my other commitments.  Feeling happy with my results and spurred on by the tutors comments I decided to make the journey up to the NDA for a degree open day.

The open day gave me a fantastic insight into what would be expected of me, I met other students and was lovely to see the tutors face to face.  Having a tour around the private apartments also helped to see a design go from moodboard to reality.
I enrolled on the degree course on my return and I am very pleased I did.  I gained confidence on each module and always knew that my tutor was there at the end of the phone to help give me motivation and inspiration if required.  I found the VLS system fantastic, I could chat to people going through the same thing as me and everyone would offer encouragement – even now I am still in touch with some of them and we all encourage and support each other. Having a countdown to each deadline really helped me ensure that I learnt how to manage my time to meet the deadlines.  The end modules made me think of what direction I was going to head and the business plan I made is helping me with my new business.

Encouraged with the marks I was receiving I decided to enter into the NDA penthouse competition.  I was very pleased with my entry and delighted when I came in the top 20 highly commended – this was a big confidence boost.

Since I have completed my degree course I have set up my own interior business.
I have designed my website and flyers and have a facebook page.  Last week I joined a networking group for mums with businesses their meetings will give me a platform to meet many people across my area.  I do have a long journey ahead of me to get myself known but I do feel that after studying with the NDA I have the confidence and ability to make it work. When I needed to have some work experience I met a designer who is quite near me but not in my “backyard” she has been a great help to me and has offered me to join her in some of her projects and let me help on an interior photo shoot.  I have her to offer assistance and guidance which is fantastic.  I have set up trade accounts with wallpaper and fabric suppliers and have a sideline of sliding wardrobe doors that I can design and my husband can fit.

In the long term future I hope to have raised my profile and have a busy successful business that I can run alongside my husbands.  Together we can make my designs a reality and bring the option of using an interior designer to the reach of people who would not necessarily think of using one.

Overall I am extremely glad that I answered the advertisement…..I now can have a career that I really enjoy and can fit around my family life…..how many people can say that! -Thank you NDA

You can visit Heather Spiers website here, or take a look at her Facebook page for news, offers and updates.

Bedroom 1

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