Archive for September, 2013
Renee Gignac enrolled in QC Design School’s Home Staging course in 2011. Her business, Decor Innovation Designs, was still young at the time, and she hoped to develop it even further. Since that time, her business has grown into an award-winning company. She brings her own particular aesthetic – timeless, luxurious, and sophisticated – to each and every one of her design projects. We’re pleased to bring you her story here, as well as show off some photos of her work.
Company Name: Decor Innovation Designs
Description: Home staging, interior redesign, interior decorating
Region: Windsor, Ontario
Houzz profile: www.houzz.com/pro/decorinnovationdesigns/decor-innovation-designs
What motivated you to start your career as a design professional?
I was always interested in design as a child. In my spare time I used to watch the real estate channel and read home magazines. I was blessed with an artistic talent, and knew that I wanted to do something in this field where I could shine and be myself. I guess I owe the push to follow my dreams to my mom who always believed in me and my uncle who told me to never give up.
What are some highlights of your career so far?
This year has been the best year of my career, not only as an interior designer but also as a home stager. I truly believe in the saying “reach for the stars”. We have been recognised by Houzz for the Best of Houzz 2013 award. We are now working with several real estate agents and have been picked up by four builders to stage their model homes.
How did your course prepare you for working in the field?
I learned a lot through my QC course in home staging, things that I should have learned in my interior design course and never did. I still use my course books today and refer back to them if there is something I’m not sure of. I feel that since I took the home staging course it has made me a better designer and business owner.
Do you have any advice for someone starting out with their training or career?
I will say that this is not the easiest field to work in; however, if it’s something you really want you need to put your mind to it and push yourself. You are going to face a lot of bumps in the road at the beginning, but you should never give up, no matter how hard it gets. I’m speaking from experience. It took five years before my business started to take off. Just have fun, be honest, trustworthy, and confident, and you will succeed.
Take a look at some of Renee’s work…
Do you want to create your own success story, like Renee? Enroll in QC Design School now to start your new career in the design and decorating industry.
The career of an event planner involves a lot of change, adapting, planning, consulting, and sometimes even chaos. While it can be incredibly glamorous and rewarding, there’s more to it than just that. In this post, we’ll be discussing the job description of an event planner and what you can expect as far as working conditions, salary, and career path go.
The education requirements to be an event planner are minimal. Often, you don’t require any sort of formal training to get started in the industry. With that being said, it can be very helpful to have some training and experience prior to applying. QC Event School offers a comprehensive at-home Event Planning course that will provide you with the practical know-how and business savvy you need to stand apart from your competitors and land the job you want. Some people prefer to complete associates degrees (2-3 year college program), but it can be a little costly.
To get started in the event planning industry, it’s a good idea to have a grasp on the event planning process, current trends, and an idea of the many vendors with which an event planner works. Think: florists, caterers, entertainers, venues, decor specialists, etc. While you don’t necessarily have to have any hands-on experience to get started, it helps to have a certain level of understanding. We often suggest picking up a couple of books, tuning into a few TV shows, and talking to friends or family members who have worked with an event planner in the past.
The average annual salary of an event planner is typically between $45,000 and $70,000, although this largely depends on region and market demand. In entertainment hubs such as LA, NYC, London, Paris, or Tokyo, an event planner can make much, much more. The majority of event planners are paid hourly or per contract, unless they work for a corporation or hospitality business as the on-staff planner. In these cases, they’re generally salaried and receive other job perks such as benefits, vacation, and have their taxes automatically deducted by the employer.
Sample Career Path
The sample career path of an event planner is one that’s hard to really nail down, but typically looks something like this:
Working towards professional certification
Assisting an established event planner or working as an intern at a business in the events industry
Working as a junior event planner or spending time beginning your own business and building client list
Working as a senior event planner or creative director within a business, or enjoying a now more profitable business of your own with a good sized client list
Working in a director-type role within an event planning business or moving to a more supervisory/management role in your own business, with other employees handling much of the hands-on work
The working conditions of an event planner are largely what you make them. Most event planners work out of their own homes for the beginning of their career, and rent or purchase office space later on. If you’re working for a business, it’s likely you’ll have a cubicle or small office within the hotel or business from which you’ll work. You’ll often be hitting the road to visit with vendors, meet with clients, and will have a varied and existing schedule. Much of your time will be spent on-the-go. The career of an event planner can be very stressful at times, and is not for someone who easily gets hot headed or experiences difficulty when it comes to communicating ideas or arguments.
The duties of an event planner range from meeting with prospective clients for consultations and planning an event’s purpose and layout to coordinating with vendors, managing invitee list, securing sponsorships for events and more. An event planner will often meet with a designer or printer to collaborate on programs, invitations, and other printed materials. They’ll also negotiate and secure vendors, create and work within a budget, go to tastings and decide on menu and food, manage correspondence between vendors and client, coordinate event on the day-of, keep track of all paperwork and payment due dates, and more. It’s a very involved job and requires time management skills and organization.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in event planning, start now with QC Event School. Their Event Planning course will help you get started straight away. You’ll love learning from their at-home study program, receiving your personal tutor’s audio feedback, and will be proud to display your beautiful certificate of completion.
Let’s face it, fall fashion is the best. All the layering options make for versatility and more interesting outfits…not to mention of number of different textures to mix and match. A fall jacket is the perfect way to top off an outfit, so we say let your jacket be part of your outfit instead of just a way to keep warm. Here are the top five styles in fall jacket trends for 2013.
The bomber jacket has been in style for a couple seasons now, so it’s a safe bet that if you invest in this style, you’ll be able to wear it for a while.
Wear it with: Bombers look great with dresses, skirts, and slim-fitting pants.
We love the moto jacket because 1) it always looks cool (as you can see in this picture) and 2) it’s warm enough to wear right up to winter.
Wear it with: Almost anything. You can feminize the moto jacket with a light-colored maxi skirt or dress, or go full-out rocker with some distressed denim and boots.
The fall blazer is great because it can be worn both outdoors and in. It always looks professional, and is a good way bump up an otherwise casual outfit to something put-together and office appropriate. Blazers will never go out of style, but this season the trend is a blazer with only one or two buttons, with a low stance fastening well below the bust.
Wear it with: A slim pant, skinny jean, pencil skirt, or structured trouser.
This menswear trend is a great way to add some drama to your night out. Because of that, it’s easier to have a little more fun with bold colors or patterns. Of course, you can never go wrong with classic black.
Wear it with: Because the tuxedo jacket is more loose-fitting, you’ll want to balance your outfit with a slim pant, skinny jean, or mini skirt on the bottom.
A military jacket is super structured, and has embellishments like big shiny buttons and epaulets. Despite that, it’s great for everyday outerwear, and looks best in military inspired colors like navy or army green. We’re so glad it’s still in style, and are excited to try out this season’s shorter, boxier versions.
Wear it with: Dresses and tights really balance out the structure of this look, and some medium-washed jeans help to keep it casual.
Arranging artwork can be a lot of fun, but it can also be one of the most frustrating and time-consuming components of decorating. It’s sometimes a bit tricky to arrange art pieces in a pleasing way, especially when working around existing furniture and architectural features in your home.
There’s no exact science to arranging artwork as each space is different, but today we’re going to talk about the top things to consider when deciding how to show off your favorite pieces of artwork in your home.
It’s important to mount the artwork at an appropriate height. A good rule of thumb is to hang pieces at 50-60 inches off the floor – around eye level for most people. Artwork that is hung too high will simply look awkward and make the occupants of the space feel small and like they are being towered over. Keep in mind that while photos might look great hung high in galleries, homes usually call for more down-to-earth design.
It’s important to be mindful of how you create visual height. If you are hanging artwork over a sofa or armchair, try and keep the work around 6-8” above the furniture. If you are hanging artwork over a sofa or entryway table you can experiment a bit – the height of table lamps and other accessories will play a big role in this type of arrangement.
Always relate artwork size to furniture and wall size. Trust us when we say you don’t want that oil portrait of your aunt Milly to dwarf the sofa and armchairs in your living room. Size also plays a part when grouping artworks together. If you have large piece, display it on its own as it will have more of an impact in the space. Smaller works look best when paired together or clustered artistically.
While you might be tempted to display every piece of artwork you’ve ever acquired, we suggest being selective and choosing only pieces that suit each room. Even if that means purchasing new art, it is so worth finding a piece that perfectly suits a space; art can be that perfect final touch that really brings a room together and makes it feel complete.
Protect Your Artwork
Something you might not automatically think about when purchasing artwork is how it is protected and how it will stand up to the conditions in your home. The major thing to consider is how much sunlight each piece will be exposed to. If you live in a sunny apartment, we suggest paying a little more to deck out your frames with UV Plexiglass. This prevents artwork from fading and yellowing over time.
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Event and wedding planners spend a lot of time planning to ensure that everything goes right on the day-of. However, they’re not always prepared for what can go wrong. When you plan and plan for something to go smoothly and perfectly, you often spend all your time focusing on things going right and forget about the possibility of something going wrong. In this post, we talk about the 3 things that can go wrong at a wedding – and how to recover.
1. The Timeline Goes Out the Window
A timeline is crucial to nearly any event, especially a wedding. With so many people involved and so many vendors, start times, end times, and typically at least one location change – keeping on schedule is important. So what happens when the timeline goes out the window? Maybe the bride arrives at the ceremony location 30 minutes late because she was held up in traffic. Maybe the groom’s tux just wasn’t fitting and a last minute replacement needed to be found. No matter what the cause, it’s all too easy for the timeline to be thrown off. A delay as short as 30 minutes can throw off the entire day, particularly when cocktail hour starts at X hour and the dinner reception starts at Y hour. When something does go wrong, however, you’ve got to be prepared.
The moment you realize something is going to take longer than anticipated, you need to alert anyone who may be affected. This means contacting the caterer, the day-of coordinator, the entertainment, and anyone else. Unfortunately, this might mean your client has to spend some extra money keeping the staff there longer (if they’ve agreed to a certain hourly limit or hourly fee). Giving others notice that a delay is in progress, however, will allow for the emcee to announce the short delay and the time to be filled with something else – like a game, contest, dance, or otherwise.
2. A Vendor is MIA
There’s plenty you can do to ensure everyone arrives on time and prepared, but it’s always possible that someone may go off the grid and become unreachable. You’ll need to get in touch a week before, a night before, and the day-of with nearly every vendor – from the caterer and cake shop to the entertainment and decorator. However, sometimes they simply don’t answer their phones. That’s why it’s always best to have someone on-call. When you’re researching and locking down vendors, make sure to have a short list of potential back-ups. Send a friendly email letting them know you’re looking for a back-up, to get an idea for availability. If they’re not available, keep on moving. Often, companies will charge a surcharge for having to show up with very little notice. Be prepared for this, just in case. Your client will be impressed by your organizational skills and management abilities. As always, be sure to get everything down in writing and with both parties’ signatures prior to paying any sort of fee.
3. The Bride or Groom Gets Cold Feet
This problem is in nearly every wedding movie, and is almost always the subject of at least one joke or comment leading up to the big day. It’s a tough situation for anyone involved, and incredibly stressful for the wedding planner. Be sure to have someone nearby that is emotionally supportive, encouraging, and not overly biased to either side of the party – meaning you shouldn’t send the groom’s best friend to convince the bride or the bride’s older sister to convince the groom. Someone who can encourage without assigning blame or making the person feel guilty is who you want to involve in this sort of situation. That is, if you can’t handle it yourself. Sometimes, all the person needs is the planner to give them a gently nudge and to let them know “this is normal” and you “see it all the time”.
Sometimes, it’s a little more complicated and there’s history and back-story to the nervous feelings, and someone aside from you will be better handling it. Whichever the case, be sure to let the person know that how they are feeling isn’t necessarily about who they are about to marry, but the fact they’re about to get married. It’s a nerve-wracking process and often the first time they’ve had to be in front of a hundred or so people with all the focus on them, and they shouldn’t confuse their nerves or the pressure of the day with how they feel about their significant other.
Are there any other things you think could go wrong at a wedding? Leave them in a comment so we can do our best to provide you with some easy, quick solutions. To learn more about wedding planning, be sure to visit QC Event School and check out its Wedding Planning course today.
It might just be the most important business decision you make. It’s also one of the first decisions you’ll have to make in your new business, which can make it all the more stressful! I’m talking about choosing your business name. Finding the perfect name can take a lot longer than you think, and some of your favorite options may actually already be taken. Read the following tips to stay on track when it comes to choosing your business name.
1. Start Early
The earlier you start brainstorming different names, the more you’ll have to work with when it comes time to actually make the decision. We suggest carrying around a little notepad and pen with you everywhere you go. That way if inspiration strikes, you can scribble it down! Your first choice might not be available, so the more options you have to fall back on, the better.
2. What kind of business will you be?
Before you can begin coming up with a name, you have to figure out the type of business you want to be. If you decide to use your own name, prospective clients will expect a one-on-one relationship with you, the company owner. It implies that you work alone and will be available to personally assist each and every one of your clients. It’s a great way to start, but if your business grows down the line, this name might no longer fit with your services. Think long-term when choosing a business name.
3. Do Your Research
When you’ve chosen a name you like, your first stop should be online. Check if there’s a matching URL available, or if there’s another business in your area with a similar name. After all, you want your clients to be able to find you as easily as possible, so avoid any confusion by picking something unique.
Depending on the type of business you’re running, you may not be required to register the name. Make sure you understand the rules, form, and documents required in your jurisdiction. If you are required to register your name, you’ll need to visit your government’s local business office to get the process started. This is when it becomes important to have a few back up options ready, because a name can only be used by one business.
5. Have Fun!
Don’t let the stress of choosing a name get you down! Let this be a fun, creative process that marks the beginning of your exciting new life as a business owner.
Did you know that QC offers full business training with each and every course? As a student, you’ll learn even more about choosing a business name, as well as other topics like creating a business plan, conducting research, and building your brand. To find the course that’s right for you, visit www.qccareerschool.com.
The makeup artistry industry is one that experience constant growth, evolution and change. If you do a quick Google search for a makeup artist within your area, there are without a doubt at least a handful of results – and millions worldwide. With so many people pursuing a career in makeup, you’ve got to wonder – why? In this post, we overview the perks of being a makeup artist including benefits such as travel, pay, and glamor. Read on to find out what all the hype is about, and if a career in makeup artistry is really all its cracked up to be.
Before we go on, we’d like to point out that makeup artistry is hard work. While it may seem easy enough, not just anyone can pick up a brush and expertly craft a well-shaded, eye shape-appropriate evening look. Not just anyone can line and fill a classic red lip in under a minute with no errors, smudging or color transfer. Not just anyone can bring out a bride’s natural beauty and magnify it so she looks absolutely stunning in every single wedding photo – from 8am to midnight without a single touch up. While, yes, makeup artistry comes with a lot of perks – you should also have a strong appreciation for the talented men and women who do the job on a daily basis. It takes time, commitment, and constant skill improvement.
Perk One: You get to Play
While the career of a makeup artist is definitely one filled with hard work, it’s also one filled with play and experimentation. What happens when we mix this color with that color? What happens if I move my contour line up just a pinch? Does this setting powder work best with that foundation or this foundation? Part of perfecting your craft includes experimenting with the products you have, products you don’t have, and all the different skin types and tones your clients may have. The classic winged eyeliner and red lip didn’t happen by accident, after all. It took a lot of time, testing, and they eventually gained huge popularity and took their places as classic makeup looks. Who knows – you could discover the next one.
Perk Two: Meeting New People
No matter if you work with brides, theater actors, celebrities, or politicians – you’re bound to meet some amazing people. Sure, you’ll have those typical grumpy clients with whom you’d rather not work again, but you could also make long-lasting friendships and build up a list of loyal, repeat clients. Many of the strongest friendships makeup artists have were formed while in the industry – whether it was at a trade show, conference, or job. Never underestimate the power of meeting new people!
Perk Three: Travel
Many makeup artists are asked to travel for work at least once in their career, and often their travel costs are reimbursed. This means you might get to travel to places and cities you’ve always wanted to go, without spending a dime to get there. Many makeup artists travel for photo shoots, different advertising campaigns, beauty shows, fashion shows, and many other reasons. You’ll get to experience plenty on your time off, and maybe even pick up a few souvenirs along the way. Plus, it will look fantastic on your resume that you’ve traveled for a job – it means you’re that much more in demand!
Perk Four: Make Your own Schedule
As a makeup artist, you’ll be able to make your own schedule and decide when you want and can take on jobs. If you’re a busy mother or have an existing full time job, you’ll be able to work around it. Most makeup gigs are booked for weekends, which would allow you to work another job during the week – at least when you’re getting started. Makeup artistry is a fairly easy career to make a smooth transition over to from another career, so you wouldn’t be left high and dry and without enough income while you begin.
Perk Five: Makeup Discounts
Who doesn’t love to save money? As a makeup artist, you can apply to countless makeup pro discount programs – including 40% off at MAC. So, you’ll be able to build both your professional kit and your personal makeup collection with high quality products at a serious discount. Score!
Perk Six: Recognition
As a makeup artist, you’ll likely have the opportunity to work on editorial makeup projects. This means you’ll be able to get your name into magazine credits! If a bride submits her photographs to a wedding photo website like Style Me Pretty or The Knot, you can also request that your name be credited there. This will do wonders for your exposure, reach, and portfolio. Plus, who doesn’t like to feel a little famous every once in a while? Well-known makeup artists are often asked to write columns for major magazines, work with companies like Sephora, and even get their own TV shows or television segments. The possibilities are endless, so get your name out there!
Perk Seven: Glamor
Obviously the glamor of being a makeup artist and working in the backstage hustle and bustle is attractive. You might get to work backstage at New York Fashion Week for a major designer, or maybe you’re working on a well-known television show with some of the world’s hottest up and coming actors. Perhaps you’re working for a major advertising company or well-known luxury brand. No matter what you’re doing, you’re sure to feel the excitement and energy all around the room. This type of glamor isn’t easily accessible in many other careers, but goes hand-in-hand with those within the fashion and beauty industries.
Perk Eight: Make People Feel Beautiful
For many, this is the best part of working as a makeup artist and the #1 perk. You’ll get to leave your clients with a smile on their face and will get to make people feel beautiful. You’ll be able to take what you know and apply it to any skin tone, maturity, face shape, or skin type and make your client both look and feel incredibly beautiful. Making others feel good will, in turn, make you feel even better. It’s a beautiful cycle – literally and figuratively.
Perk Nine: You’ll Take it the Bank!
Makeup artistry is an industry that actually pays quite well. You can make a large amount per hour, which will add up to a substantial annual income – especially if you widen your skill set and offer editorial, evening, and other year-round makeup services. Bridal makeup is one of the most well-paying services you’ll offer, but it can sometimes be limited to specific times of year and certain seasons. Many makeup artists have made plenty of money, and some have even become very well known and celebrities in their own rights! If you get to work on the makeup team for a fashion show, television show, or for celebrity clients you’ll be able to charge more, and will also have the opportunity to join an agency that will regularly book you work.
Perk Ten: Career Versatility
As you now know, there is much more to makeup artistry than simply doing one kind of makeup application. The career of a makeup artist is one of great versatility. If you get tired of doing bridal makeup, change it up and pitch your editorial makeup services. There’s always the chance to evolve, change, and switch gears. It’s a thrilling ride that you’re sure to love.
One of the best ways to improve your writing is to improve your vocabulary. Yes, you could flip through a “word of the day” calendar or study the dictionary every night before you go to bed, but we think games are so much more fun – and effective. Your brain absorbs much more information than you likely give it credit for, so have some fun while you’re learning and kill two birds with one stone. The following 5 fun word games for iPhone are Winghill’s office picks. Read on to learn why we like each and try them out yourself by using the App Store on your iPhone!
1. Scrabble – $0.99
Scrabble is a classic favorite when it comes to word games, and the electronic version is pretty good too. We like Scrabble because it’s easy to play, the app is easy to use, and it allows you to connect with friends and ask them to start a game with you. Search “Scrabble” in the App Store on iPhone to download the game for yourself. There are a few free versions, but we like the 99 cent version the best.
2. Hexalex – $1.99
If you like Scrabble, you’re going to love Hexalex. It’s the world’s first hexagonal crossword game! We could sit and play for hours on end (or until our phones died, at least). We like this game because it’s challenging, fun, and lets you apply in three directions instead of just two – like traditional crossword puzzles. Search “Hexalex” in the App Store and grab the version for $1.99. It’s worth it!
3. Word Solitaire Light – $0.00
Word Solitaire Light is one of two free picks on our list and is a great starting point if you’ve never played a word game on iPhone before. The game works much like classic Solitaire, except for you build words. In the game, you want to reveal all the cards and build the longest words you can. Search “Word Solitaire Light” in the App Store and grab this one for free.
4. Bananagrams – $0.99
Bananagrams is so much fun, you might have to call in sick to work just to spend the whole day playing it. Much like a classic anagram game, Bananagrams will cause you some frustration but will have you feeling incredibly accomplished once you’ve won! Search “Bananagrams” in the App Store and grab the 99 cent version. It offers different modules so you can pick the game that’s right for you and play anywhere, anytime.
5. Moxie – $0.00
Another freebie, Moxie is sure to get you loving the world of online word games. To play the game, you need to know the Moxie rules – but a quick demo will have you turning into an expert in no time. The whole point is to make meaningful words within the boxes you’re given. Search “Moxie – Free Edition” in the App Store for this gem!
Do you have a favorite word game for iPhone or Android? Let us know in a comment!
If you have a passion for the written word, you’re sure to love Winghill. Winghill Writing School offers even comprehensive at-home writing courses to help you improve your skills and get published.
Your mother probably gave you the following advice when you were young: Never wear white after Labor Day! The truth is that this fashion rule is a little outdated. White can be a great addition to any fall and winter wardrobe…when it’s done well. Read the following tips to learn how to wear white well past September.
Look for Heavier Fabrics
Sheer fabrics look too summery (and are too chilly!) for the cooler months. However, an oversized, white cable-knit sweater or cardigan is always in style and looks incredible with some casual skinny jeans and boots. It’s also super warm and cozy, which is our favorite part of fall fashion.
Opt for Cream Instead
A lot of people shy away from bright white as their summer tans begin to fade. The solution to this is to choose a warmer shade of white, like off-white or cream.
Accessorize with White
If you’re not brave enough to go all-over white in the cooler months, keep it to the accessories. Sunglasses, scarves, or handbags in white or off-white will really pop against the more subdued, darker fall shades.
It’s All about The Layers
By adding multiple layers to your outfit, you can introduce white to an ensemble without becoming a snowman. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: layers are the best way to add depth and interest to any outfit, so have fun with them!
Faux fur is back again this season, especially when it comes to jackets and accessories. Since white is a natural color for fur anyway, it’s the perfect place to introduce white to your fall look. By keeping white to the trendier pieces in your closet, you’re keeping the investment low in case you change your mind next season.