Five Questions with Jessica Mendenhall, winner of the 2017 Pinnacle Award for Student Design Category
- What is your biggest inspiration?
I am constantly inspired by the things around me. While I love to travel and gain so much inspiration from new places, I also love exploring all the richness that exists right here in St. Louis. I’m currently documenting my “One New Thing a Week” experiences online through pictures and posts, and these experiences are constantly giving me inspiration for designs.
- What is your favorite thing about interior design?
A career in interior design allows me the opportunity to be creative each and every day. As a former social worker, I love that I get to use my background in understanding human behavior and the environment to design a space which is not only beautiful, but perfectly suited to the people living there.
- Whose work has influenced your designs?
My mom! She’s the most creative and stylish woman I know. I have so many fond memories of “assisting” her with rearranging or reimaging spaces in our home as a child. She taught me not only how much fun designing can be, but how a space is always evolving over time. To this day, her home of 35 years is still a beautiful work in progress.
- When did you know that you wanted to be a designer?
Fortuitously, my dad recently stumbled on an article about me from high school while cleaning out my grandmother’s basement. When asked what I wanted to do when I grow up, I was quoted as saying either a teacher or interior decorator. While I’ve taken the long road to get here, as design is a second career for me, I guess I’ve always known I’d end up in this field eventually!
- What advice do you have for students that are just getting started?
My advice is simple: just go for it! Whether it is beginning a new internship or applying for a student design award, don’t underestimate yourself. You never know where each experience will take you, and no doubt you’ll do a lot of learning along the way.