Inspiring and Investing in The Future of Detroit Through “Career Day” At Priest Middle School

May 18, 2022 | community, Education

Priest Middle School has always been an institution that encourages their students to follow all of their passions, going out of their way to provide students with the necessary information, advice, and guidance to carve out their future paths.

When the opportunity presented itself for our team to speak at Priest Middle School’s “Career Day” this past Friday, we were beyond excited. Not only did this give us the chance to educate our youth on the in’s and out’s of Interior Design, but it also let us teach on the most important element of success: what it means to believe in yourself and follow your dreams. The inspiration was palpable as we listened to and spoke alongside an accomplished line-up of professions and industries, ranging from attorneys to firefighters to florists, and so much more. 

For our entire Concetti team, as an organization that is built upon the motto of #GratitudeAttitude, it was so much fun to give back to our community and help to inspire and invest in the future of Detroit – the kids! We would like to specifically give a shoutout to Mrs. Riddle, the guidance counselor at Priest, and Principle Justin Hauser, for being so welcoming, and for doing such a great job of being prepared and getting the students excited for all that we spoke on. Your influence is such an inspiration to us and the Detroit community! 

It’s not just about WHAT we do, but about HOW we do it. 

We Design Through Listening

One of our biggest messages we wanted the kids to understand is that interior design isn’t just about decorations and pretty things- it’s also so much about listening. To help get the point across, we made sure to get super interactive, asking the same questions we would ask in our Discover process, such as: 

  • Who is using the space? 
  • Do they have dogs? 
  • Do they have a lot of friends that come over?  
  • What do they like? 
  • What makes them happy? 
  • What is it about their current space that doesn't feel right?

We Design Through Learning

In addition to using your ears to listen, we also taught them about the education we’ve all received, learning all about the rules around how to properly change a space. It was fun to explain how we use this information to create unique solutions for our clients, making them that much happier in the space! 

To keep things light and fun, we loved asking the kids “Did you know” questions, such as:

  • Did you know that all steps are the same height? 
  • There are 3 different standard table heights? 
  • Hallways have to be a certain width to be safe?

It was really special to see so many “AHA!” faces across the room, especially as we spoke around safety. The point we hoped to get across is that our designs aren’t simply about creating beautiful spaces, but are also focused on crafting each and every area to make sure that they're safe and comfortable for anyone interacting with it.  

We Design Through Creating

Just in case there were a few kiddos in the crowd that were dreaming of becoming an interior designer someday, we made sure to teach the class about the systems that go into everything we build. It was important we explained the process of “left and right brain” thinking, and how we get to big, exciting and creative ideas through both frames of thought. 

To give visual play-by-plays, we showed them samples of the computer program we use to “draw” digital versions of the space, and listed out all of the options and decisions that go into crafting your own unique, creative room: 

  • Floor: Wood, Tile, Carpet
  • Ceiling: Drywall, Panels, Soffits
  • Walls: Paint, Wallpaper, Trim
  • Lighting: Ceiling Fixture, Wall, Decorative
  • Windows: Curtains, Shades, Valence
  • Furniture: Sofas, Chairs, Tables + More!

Your Turn! Which Would You Choose? 

This was one of the students’ favorite slides – the chance to choose their own unique style! If you’d like, you can choose your favorite, too!

For Those Dreaming of Becoming An Interior Designer: 

For any child that was inspired to look into becoming an interior designer, we thought it would help to round out our presentation with a 3-step recipe for success: 

Step 1: Pay attention in school! Math, reading, writing and art are all so important. 

Step 2: Join a team activity! Learning how to be a good teammate is so important. Communication is key. 

Step 3: Go to a college with an accredited Interior Design Program: 

  • College for Creative Studies
  • Eastern Michigan
  • Kendall

With those steps, we then added a fourth, which is arguably the biggest message of all… 

To believe in yourself! 

Simply put, you don’t have to be the fastest, the strongest, or smartest… BUT, you MUST be the best version of you. This is so important to all of us on the Concetti team, and is something we really wanted these kids to feel and believe. No matter what career path they decide on, they can achieve anything they’re aiming for if they fully believe that they’ll get it. 

We Couldn’t Forget… The Goodie Bags!

As the final cherry on top, we thought it would be a fun and memorable touch to gift all of the kids goodie bags! We couldn’t have made these bags happen without our wonderful partners, featured by: 

  • A lookbook from Regina Andrew, a crazy talented Detroit Designer 
  • Pencils from Fabricut
  • Candy from Concetti – heck, why not? Throw a little sugar-rush inspiration their way!

As a final surprise, we raffled off one Regina Andrew lamp to a lucky teacher… who turned out to be Mr. Kyles, who won on his birthday!

Thank You Priest Middle School! 

As we wrapped up for the day, it was hard NOT to smile. We were so full of appreciation for the other presenters’ energy, for the students’ enthusiasm and respect, and for the faculty’s dedication to Detroit’s future.