Posts Tagged ‘qc graduate’

July 8, 2013 12:43 pm

Featuring QC Graduate Tracy Black

Meet QC graduate Tracy BlackTracy Black knows the key to a career you love is passion and perseverance. With that outlook, she is now the owner and Principal Decorator of soulstyle, an interior decorating and home staging business. We’re proud to say that she’s also a graduate of QC Design School’s Interior Decorating course. Her approach to design is to create warm, comfortable and dynamic spaces for her clients.

We got in touch with Tracy to get her insight on the design industry and share her story. We encourage you to visit her website and Facebook page, and scroll through to view some stunning photos of her work below.


Company Name: soulstyle Interior Decorating & Home Staging
Description: Interior decorating, renovation design, home staging
Region: Greater Toronto Area
Phone: 416-508-8717 or 519-217-8717

What motivated you to start your career as a design professional?

My interest in decorating and design began with my first home purchase, and for years was just a hobby (or obsession!). I was teased about losing square footage in my house because of all the coats of paint! When the opportunity to begin a new career presented itself I took a leap of faith, left the corporate world after 15 years, and began my own business in a field I was passionate and excited about. I have been very fortunate with success thus far, and have never regretted the decision.

What are some highlights of your career so far?

I’ve had many features in blogs, which have been wonderful exposure to my projects and my business. However, the real highlights of my career have always been the clients I work with.

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

It’s good, sound training with practical and very applicable lessons. I am often emailed by potential students asking about my experience at QC, and I always recommend it. No course can teach creativity, but QC definitely provides the basis for developing yourself and your skills.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out their career?

Persevere. Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you do. We are given the very unique and trusted privilege of helping people create their homes – treat it as such. Lastly, work with a set of design principles that you truly believe in, and know why you believe in them! Be yourself and realize that your creativity is distinct. Don’t be concerned with trends or “magazine rooms”. Create spaces that your clients love.

A snapshot of some of Tracy’s designs…

A cottage-style bedroom design by Tracy Black

A gorgeous ensuite by QC graduate Tracy Black

Tracy Black, owner of soulstyle, designed this family bathroom

A family room design by interior decorator Tracy Black

A kitchen design by QC Design School graduate Tracy Black

A beautiful kitchen design by Tracy Black

A neutral master bedroom by Tracy Black


Meet QC grad, event and wedding planner Diane MerrissDiane Merriss believes in the power of education. That’s why she’s enrolled in QC’s Wedding Planning course. Her career has come so far since then, and she is now the owner of her own thriving event and wedding planning business. We’re so proud to share her story with our readers today, from her personal insight into the planning industry, to some seriously incredible photos of her work. Make sure you scroll to the bottom to see them all!

Company Name: Event Wedding Planning
Description: Event Wedding Planning is a full service wedding planning company that can customize any package to make it fit your exact needs. From the intimate weddings to the spectacular – we offer more personalized services, from multi-cultural weddings and events to destination weddings.
Region: Southern California and beyond
Phone: 949-940-8884
Facebook Page:

What motivated you to start your career as a professional event and wedding planner and how did you career unfold?

I was into photography for such a long time, and experienced a lot of behind the scenes of weddings and events. I thought that I would love to do it too, as I had always loved to host get-togethers. My ultimate dream goal was to own a luxurious wedding and event venue along the coast. I had thought about that goal many times over the years. I finally decided to go to school to be a wedding planner and start from scratch so I could learn the real way to plan weddings professionally.

I then enrolled in QC Event School’s Wedding Planning course, completed my course, and started by business, Event Wedding Planning, immediately. Less than two years later, QC called to let me know that they added the Core Event course and wanted to see if I was interested. I enrolled and completed it quickly, changing my designation from IWPP to IEWP (International Event and Wedding Planning Professional).

Right after completing the Core Event program, I started Special Event Producers, which is the corporate and private events side of Event Wedding Planning. I have planned many events and still love every minute of what I do.

In 2011 I decided that, knowing all I do about events, it was time to bring in even more education to my business to help with design, color schemes, and so forth, so I went back to QC for the Design and Decorating course. I love it! Adding professional design elements to my business gives me a greater advantage for designing an event from scratch and putting together color schemes. Most seasoned planners seem to have an interior design background, or vice versa.

What are some highlights of your career so far?

1. Planning an entire wedding from scratch in less than three months! It was challenging but fun, and worth every moment. The wedding turned out beautifully, just the way the couple imagined.

2. Having the opportunity to work with not only fabulous wedding couples, but also some amazing and talented wedding and event professionals, along with some amazing locations. We have developed long lasting relationships that are treasured by my business. I consider my preferred vendors and preferred locations like family, and I refer them to all my clients and to anyone needing their specific services.

3. Lastly, I had the opportunity to add “private estates” to my business to rent out for events. Great properties with great possibilities – I am just blessed to have been part of the estate renting experience, as it felt like my own wedding venues!

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

QC’s courses taught me a lot about the business end, which is so very valuable to any business. Learning how to properly price my services, the do’s and don’ts of business, and legal information has been so very priceless. My business is stricter because of this.

Learning the cultural diversities and traditions that were broken down into detail in the course has been such a blessing for my business as well. I love, love, love the religious traditions for weddings and events! That is one thing that has made my business stand out a little bit more from some of the others. The knowledge of different cultures and religious traditions has brought more business to my company and that is one thing I honestly cherish about my wedding business.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career?

My advice would be to finish all schooling first! I have many interns who want to “just be a planner already” and think they don’t need schooling. I quickly sit them down and tell them how important it is and how it benefits them for their own future businesses. Ultimately, having a certificate shows an employer how serious you are about this as a career and that it’s not just another job you are taking. Schooling shows you the back-end of running a successful business, how to run different types of events, and how to problem solve in worst-case scenarios, so it is very valuable to have.

Let’s have a look at some of Diane’s work…

Kerri & Jim’s Wedding

Photography by Jen Lauren Grant Photography

An example of QC grad Diane Merriss' work

QC grad Diane Merriss planned this beautiful reception

Creative ideas from QC grad Diane Merriss

Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding

Photography by Lin & Jirsa Photography

A stunning outdoor ceremony by QC grad Diane Merriss

QC grad Diane Merriss planned this impressive Gatsby wedding

A creative Great Gatsby-themed wedding by Diane Merriss

Jillian & Chris’ Wedding

Photography by Gavin Wade Photography

QC grad Diane Merriss is an impressive wedding planner

QC grad Diane Merriss

Rietkerk Wedding

Photography by Jim Kennedy Photographers

Wedding and event planner Diane Merriss

QC Event School grad Diane Merriss

QC grad and wedding planner Diane Merriss