First and Foremost...Candice Olson
The Kravet showroom in Stamford Connecticut hosted the amazing Candice Olson for candid talk, great design and the reveal of her latest fabric collection. It was a afternoon filled with blunt questions followed by honest, entertaining and reassuring answers. Yes reassuring, as a designer I have questioned on occasion if design divas like Candice Olson face the same design challenges I do. She has and she does.
After her introduction, which stated that the program would include Q&A from the audience, she stood tall, smiled and opened with “I’m 6’0″ and 51 years old!” … and set the perfect tone for the day.
So what are some of Candice’s “secrets”? I don’t know if there really are any. A lot of what she said, I found myself shaking my head up and down and smiling. She was asked what her must have in a space would be … lighting, layering lighting! Something I’ve preached myself for years. She spoke of designing for the client not for yourself which sometimes means you need to incorporate a bright yellow gold piano into a room! Candice spoke of the process of getting to know your clients well and developing that unwavering trust …. a process that I work daily here at LDD to hone and improve. She spoke highly of her contractors, the mutual respect they share and the relationship she builds with them. She even joked that all designers are on the hunt for the perfect contractor … she married hers to keep him! Funny … my Prince is one of my favorite contractors too. Candice also very seriously said, “First and foremost I’m a designer, interior design is a business”, then she chuckled and said “a fun business, but it’s still business, don’t forget that.”
I had the opportunity to share a few moments with Candice personally. I thanked her for being the only HGTV designer I knew of that built up our industry, rather than undermining it. I know that is a harsh statement, but Candice did represent, and still represents the real design industry. She didn’t falsely lead viewers to believe they can have all the high end design, talent and workmanship for pennies on the dime. She humbly accepted the compliments…and then threw her head back, laughed, and ‘high fived’ me when I shared that I married my best contractor too!
Candice, she’s real folks … she is that fun, entertaining and talented designer that graced our televisions for years!
Thanks again Candice, keep up the exceptional work. Your tribe can’t wait to share your next great endeavor!