As a teenager, Lesley Mowry first recognized her flair for interior design. She enjoyed decorating her bedroom and experimenting with the arrangement of furniture to open the space to new possibilities. What she did with this passion is extraordinary. She has been working as a designer with Spin Design New York, specializing in commercial office design.
“Originally, I planned to major in art education – I didn’t really know much about design,” said Mowry. “But as I explored the field, I was drawn to the application of art and design principles to solve problems and create functional, attractive spaces.”
As a full-time interior designer, Mowry works directly with clients and contractors. Her responsibilities range from project management to designing.
“Of course, there are the very fun aspects like space planning and choosing materials, all the way down to administrative duties, like updating our materials library,” said Mowry.
Recently, a coat showroom the firm designed for Elie Tahari, required Mowry’s involvement in the planning stages, construction drawings, managing construction meetings and making site visits and decisions in the field. She also implemented the company's standard finishes.
“What an amazing experience!” exclaimed Mowry. “Designing this showroom has really been a highlight of my career with Spin.”
In her spare time, Mowry knits, does embroidery and creates jewelry out of unique materials. She sells these handmade items through PinkGraffiti, an online boutique (http://lesleyanne.etsy.com). Subdivision, a boutique in Queens, sells her “funky” earrings created from puzzle pieces and children’s toys among other interesting objects. As part of her long-term goals, Mowry would someday like to establish a career in fiber design, an area of study she explored as a minor concentration at CCS.
“I learned so many techniques in fiber design while I was at CCS; I’d like to put them to good use,” said Mowry.
But fiber design techniques weren’t the only lessons the designer learned at CCS. While serving as the president of the College’s student chapter of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Mowry studied trends in the profession and practices in the industry. Her instructors, all working professionals, taught her how to cultivate creativity and rise above the competition – essential knowledge for all emerging artists and designers.
“There was a time when I wasn’t sure where to look for inspiration; I wasn’t sure if this career was for me,” said Mowry. “But instructors like Sandra Sabbagh taught me to look inside to find my distinct style and I realized that I was very much at home in this career.
“Even in such a big city, I am confident in my skills. There aren’t actually too many differences between trends I observed in Detroit versus those in New York. CCS taught me how to give any space a modern, contemporary look, and I am already familiar with the names and brands being used in the industry. The College also instilled a spirit of competitiveness among students. In a city that thrives on competition, this has been the biggest help to me.”
- Graduation Year: 2006
- Major: Interior Design
- Employer: Spin Design
- Title: Interior Designer/Project Manager
Designed and created by DDM Marketing & Communications.