We just wrapped our second installment of Design Camp LA, and to call it a success is an understatement. This event brought together designers from across the country, and we spent our time learning, growing, and bonding over this incredible industry that brought us all together in the first place.
If there was a common thread among the keynotes delivered by Jake Arnold, Brigette Romanek, and Eneia White, it was the importance of being authentic to who you are as a person and a designer. The industry leaders we heard from all design from a unique perspective and take risks to create spaces that are really memorable. And that’s in addition to growing their teams and increasing profitability along the way. There was so much dialogue around finding your niche instead of appealing to the masses—a mindset carried through each session.
Needless to say, the Design Camp high is still very much real, and we’re sharing a recap of the week’s highlight moments. Read on for a day-by-day breakdown, and if you’d like to join us next time, keep an eye out for Fall 2022 Design Camp details coming VERY soon.
After our session back in January, it felt so good to be back at The Santa Monica Proper Hotel. It’s a one-of-kind property designed by Kelly Wearstler, and between the rooftop views and stunning interiors, it’s really the ultimate setting for Design Camp.
Of course, day one always comes with a few nervous jitters as everyone gets checked in, settled, and starts making introductions. But once our first keynote speaker, Eneia White, took the stage, she managed to break the ice with her contagious charm and insightful delivery. Eneia held nothing back as she shared the industry secrets she’s learned over the years and really set up our attendees for the knowledge-driven experience.
Next, we took to the Proper Hotel rooftop for the official launch party of Home with Rue by Kelli Lamb. The event was graciously presented by Emtek and included an evening of mingling and celebration as we raised a glass to Kelli’s highly anticipated book.
Day two began with breakfast on the terrace, presented by Loloi. Once everyone had their fill of delicious bites and coffee, we got straight to work. Lindsey Borchard and I led the first keynote, and the small group sessions that followed were all about discovery and growth as we audited every touchpoint of running a design studio. Sessions ranged from software systems to use in your business to pivoting on social media to acing your studio’s PR strategy. Several of our IDCO Studio team members led these small group sessions, and we wanted them to share their experiences firsthand.
“I discussed the value of marketing on social, how to get started on social media, and how to maximize Instagram and Pinterest for one’s business. Everyone was so kind and engaged. I gave each attendee “homework” while they were at camp, which involved sharing Instagram Stories and creating an Instagram Reel from their time at camp.”
-Riley Campbell, Creative Director for IDCO Studio
“I spilled all of my public relations secrets and shared how you can get your own press without hiring a publicist. I wanted each of the campers to take away the fact that they are experts in the interior design field and are qualified to be published by leading media outlets.”
-Caroline Pinkston, PR Specialist for IDCO Studio
“I co-led a session on principles of a well-designed and well-written website—specifically, a guide to establishing a consistent brand voice and mission statement. I love how empowered our campers feel after they’ve honed in on their “why” and learned how easy it is to translate those foundational beliefs into intentional messaging. It’s so inspiring to hear so many stories and how their backgrounds influence their style and process.”
-Carmen Cristo, Copywriter for IDCO Studio
The day’s second keynote was delivered by none other than Brigette Romanek. We were so awed by Brigette’s openness and honesty, plus all the action items she shared from her day-to-day workflow. For example, the fact that she sends a weekly status report to each of her clients shows her dedication to her seamless business process. We capped off day two with a plated dinner hosted on the terrace, soaking up everything we’d just experienced.
As we went into day three of Design Camp, you could really sense the connections being made. By this point, attendees are forging such valuable industry relationships, and our PR specialist Caroline agreed. “I walked away feeling so inspired by everyone’s generous spirit of support and shared resources. There was no competition, only community.”
The morning started with breakfast presented by McGee & Co., followed by a series of small group sessions and implementation. In this session of Design Camp, we added three hours of guided implementation time to allow everyone the opportunity to put action plans behind ideas. Next, we were joined by industry legend Jake Arnold for a keynote session. Jake spoke to us about his career journey and how success involves a perspective shift when seeking opportunities.
“My takeaway was to go for it. Don’t be scared of your mistakes, learn from them. If you don’t ask, you won’t get,” Mandu Mbride from our IDCO Studio aid. “He really just went for it from the start. It’s inspiring to hear from designers who did not undergo traditional training and are still making such a mark in the design world.”
We capped off the day with dinner set under the dreamiest California sky. The final night together is always something special, and here’s how our copywriter, Carmen put it. “My favorite behind-the-scenes moment is watching campers get so close during dinner. After a long day of learning, it’s so awesome to see campers let their guard down and truly connect with other people — share struggles, pull up pictures of their family, bond over story times of traumatic clients — it’s really the glue that I feel makes design camp so special. Taking time to understand that you are not in this alone and that you have people that are not only in your corner but willing to learn as much as you are.”
“I walked away feeling so inspired by everyone’s generous spirit of support and shared resources. There was no competition, only community.”
-Caroline Pinkston of IDCO Studio
With one last breakfast on the terrace and a closing session, it was time to officially wrap another session of Design Camp. Before going our separate ways, we always make sure to cover action steps and provide a recap of all we’ve learned throughout the week. The best part of day four is seeing the friendship and community flourish among fellow designers that we KNOW will continue for years to come.
We wanted to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the sponsors who helped make this spring 2022 session of Design Camp LA happen. We couldn’t have pulled off this magical week without them, and we highly recommend a look through their websites.
If you’d like to experience Design Camp firsthand, make plans to join us this September 2022. Tickets go on sale next month—we can’t wait to see you there.
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IDCO Studio is a boutique creative agency specialized in beautiful and unique marketing solutions for interior designers. Focused on branding, web design and Instagram marketing, IDCO Studio is a woman-owned and operated team of creatives based in Austin, Texas. The Identité Collective, which began as a business blog quickly grew into a collaborative community focused on providing business strategy and visual inspiration to the interior design community.
Now you can find our shop of resources, templates and custom branding and web design work over at IDCO Studio—leaving The Identité Collective as a permanent resource for our beloved design community.