Meet our Director // The Unstoppable Amanda Grace
Our energetic founder Amanda doesn’t stand still for long – but we grabbed her for a quick Q & A about her life, passions and reasons for building her own interior design school.
At just 18 you won Britain’s Young Designer of the Year – tell us about this experience and how it changed your life…
“Winning with a children’s play structure affirmed that I wanted to pursue a career as a designer. The award was presented by Margaret Thatcher and got lots of press. A large multinational company put the product into production but unfortunately did it offshore and I only had a UK patent…..a big lesson learnt but also a great experience to see how the design process worked.”
You’ve developed over a hundred courses throughout your career – what is it about design and education that inspires you?
“I love design and I love seeing people’s confidence develop. It is incredibly rewarding. I am very fortunate to be able to combine both passions.”
You’re currently designing and building your own home – what excites you about this process?
“In my free time I am also an artist so building my own home is like creating a painting. It also gives me the opportunity to practice what I preach and work through the design process. I say to all my students that even after 30 years of building houses I still get to the end of the process and realise that I could have done some things differently. You are always learning when you are a designer.”
You opened Sydney Design School in 2008 – what aspects of the school are you most proud of?
“When I opened SDS I didn’t really realise the commitment I had made and I don’t think you realise this until you have started your own business. But I have learned so much, not only about how to survive and prosper in business but I have also learnt a lot about myself. I am so proud and am in awe of my staff and students and what we have created together. Today Sydney Design School is Australia’s leading interior design and decoration school.”
Why did you launch Interior Design Online? Why is it unique?
“I launched Interior Design Online because there were so many people who wanted to come to the School but because of time restraints or distance it was out of their reach. I wanted an online school that offered the same experience that our face to face students receive – with a really personal approach. I really think we have achieved that.”