No Interior Design Degree? KD Reid Shares His Take

Episode #253 the Wingnut Social Podcast

Do you need an interior design degree to successfully run an interior design firm? If you don’t get a formal education, where do you get an education? KD Reid is a successful interior designer with a passion for art and architecture and a reputation for crafting beautiful and functional spaces. Guess what? Zero formal design education. He shares how he grew from intern to business owner in this episode of the Wingnut Social podcast! 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:24] Check out our FREE photography webinar
  • [2:40] Mini News Sesh: Liking stories on Instagram
  • [5:50] Learn all about interior designer KD Reid
  • [9:21] A unique way to gain interior design experience
  • [14:53] How KD broke out on his own
  • [17:51] Advice for designers without an extensive network 
  • [19:50] How KD delegates large projects 
  • [24:54] Where KD’s innate talent stems from
  • [26:52] Where will KD’s future lead? 
  • [29:21] The What Up Wingnut! Round
  • [30:41] How to learn more about KD
  • [33:27] Blooper Reel!

Connect with KD Reid

Resources & People Mentioned

From Craigslist to creator

KD graduated with a degree in Sociology from Montclair State University. After graduating, he spent eight years providing mental health services in the LGBT community. Throughout his career, interior design was a hobby he enjoyed. But he never saw it as a lucrative career path. He would design spaces for friends and family.

At a time when Craigslist was popular, KD came across some design internship opportunities. He’d snag one here and there which allowed him to learn some interior design skills. Then he came across Dekar Design, a woman-led design firm focusing on hospitality and commercial projects. It was his first real look into the world of interior design. They saw that he had an eye for design and immediately let him jump on projects and learn hands-on. 

KD’s journey from design assistant to principal interior designer 

After working with Dekar Design, KD had the opportunity to meet Mikel Welch. One of Mikel’s first projects in NYC was a Harlem restaurant called B Squared. KD had the opportunity to work on the project which led to working with Mikel for five years. He started as a design assistant, transitioned to project manager, and became a lead designer. 

Mikel gave him hands-on experience and allowed him to learn other facets of interior design. KD got to dive into set design, staging, virtual merchandising, and more. This job gave him the confidence he needed to take on projects by himself. Because of COVID, many people in KD’s network wanted to invest in building out home offices, which propelled KD to start his own business. 

Where will KD’s future lead? KD wants to be clear that he is not anti-education. He simply learned that it’s not necessary to find success in the industry. But KD has goals. To reach them, he’s attending Parson’s Yellowbrick Design Program to take a product design course. One of his strengths is home decor, accessories, and styling. They’re the jewelry of a space, right? KD’s dream is to launch his own home accessory line.

What is KD’s advice for designers who don’t have an extensive network? What does his team look like? What marketing strategy does he employ? Listen to the whole episode to learn more!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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