New Year, New You!

Jewel Toned InteriorsBlog

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Do you ever attend an event and what you learned sits with you for a while, possibly forever? Well, I’m still marinating in all that I learned from this year’s IIDA New Year, New You conference.

The conference kicked off with a welcome message from IIDA’s CEO and president, Cheryl Durst, about how Interior Design is at the forefront of society with the sense of place mattering more than it ever has before. Then keynote speaker, Aaron Estabrook, motivated the audience in his presentation on "The Power of You!". He brought insight into how small the world really is through social media and how your personal brand must not be overlooked.


Continuing the conversation, a group of panelists led by Maureen Mascaro, CEO of The Common Area, shared their experiences of showing up as an executive with impact.

The next day started strong with the Mugshots & Mimosas brunch where attendees had a chance to get an updated headshot and connect with others over a meal. IIDA invited Sean Rudin from CBI and me to emcee the event today. We had so much fun bantering while moving the program along!

Andrea Herron, author of There’s an Elephant in Your Office, spoke about the prevalence of mental illness in the workplace. She provided the statistic that 1 in 5 adults suffer from a mental illness, informing us that this data was taken before we all suffered the collective group trauma of the COVID pandemic. A forever student of psychology, I made sure to order her book to learn more. Learn about it here

After Herron’s insightful talk, a panel entitled Work Life, Well Life was facilitated by Doug Shapiro who leads the Imagine a Place podcast. It was a candid, authentic conversation between the interior design community that spurred many people to reflect on their own experiences in 2020-2021. Attendees then broke into groups to create their own story of 2021 in the spirit of Mad Libs! Here’s ours:

This conference is quickly becoming an annual tradition for us. It's an inspirational and encouraging way to kick off the new year alongside colleagues in the Interior Design industry. You can read more about our experience at last year’s New Year, New You here.