April Williams, Alliance Architects’ newest registered interior designer, has been with Alliance since May 2016. April is not only incredibly talented and dedicated, she is a valued asset to the team. Recently, April recently passed the NCIDQ Examination (National Council for Interior Design Qualification.) I had the privilege of interviewing April and got to learn quite a bit about her and about interior design. It’s not just Pantone’s paint color of the year and coordinating accessories, it’s creating a functional and safe space as well as an aesthetically pleasing one. Our employees are what makes Alliance. Please join us in congratulating April Williams on her outstanding achievement.
What interested you to pursue this career?
I have always been into design and art in general. My mom was going through some old things recently and found my papers from school. When I was in 5th grade, I wrote: “When I Grow Up, I want to be an Interior Designer.” Both of my grandmothers were artists in their own way and inspired me. One was a painter and the other had an upholstery business. My Grandmothers taught me to paint and to love furniture.
With regard to the test, what was the most difficult part to overcome?
The mental aspect. You don’t know what you know until you know it. The test is brutal and honestly, the only test that ever intimidated me.
What was your roadmap or education path you chose to be qualified for the exam?
After starting at a junior college, I found that a university one town over had a design program and my credits from the junior college would transfer over. I transferred to the university and maintained my grades while raising my daughter and working. I earned a double Bachelor’s Degree, my Master’s, and became a Certified Cake Decorator. After college, in 2009, the recession had just taken place and it was hard to find anyone hiring in the industry, so I took a job at an upholstery company learning about my craft and thoroughly embracing my love for furniture. From there, I worked under a licensed Interior Designer for the required amount of time.
How did you stay on track with studying? Balance work life/home life…
When I took my daughter to practices, I would go to the office early and study. I studied during lunch breaks, during my daughter’s practices after school and during warm-ups at recitals. I only studied when my daughter was pre-occupied and we still enjoyed quality time together.
What advice would you give to fellow test takers?
Try not to let it intimidate you. Prepare thoroughly and don’t second guess yourself.
What would you like to see more of in the design industry?
Realism. HGTV and other like-minded programs are unrealistic and mostly unattainable. There needs to be a voice in media created for the Interior Designer profession.
In regards to the test, complete this sentence: I wish I’d known…
I wish I’d known that I knew enough to take it sooner. I doubted myself and my abilities. Never do that.
Who is your favorite artist and why?
Betsey Johnson. Her use of color is amazing. She embodies freedom and freedom to really be yourself. If I had to choose another artist, I would choose Lisa Frank. Same reasons.