The WALK: What inspires your personal design style and how did you channel that into Dormify?
Amanda Zuckerman: Like most college girls, I’m really into developing my personal style. Fashion blogs, street style and magazines inspire my look daily. Growing up in the graphic design industry, under my mom’s wing, I’ve always had an interest in design, beyond just fashion design. So naturally, the way in which I was going to decorate my freshman dorm room when I went off to college was important to me. Aside from my wardrobe, my dorm room served as a primary form of self-expression during my first semester of college, so I wanted it to stand out, and be really unique and representative of myself.
With this goal came a not-so-typical mother-daughter shopping trip in the summer of 2009, when I was preparing for my freshman year at WashU. We scoured shop after shop for sophisticated and stylish dorm décor, and found the task to be much harder than expected due to the lack of a centralized place to find products that fit our fashionable tastes. My mom owns a 25-year-old integrated creative agency (HZDG), so with our two creative minds, we were able to put together an amazing look, but realized that not everyone can do this on their own. From that moment, we knew we had to create Dormify to make it easy for style-minded people to find great room collections all in one place, as well as offering guidance and tips for dorm decorating and navigating college life.
WALK: What do you enjoy most about working for Dormify?
AZ: Our young staff! Of course because we have fun together, but even more importantly because we are forward thinking. We are up on current and future trends in design, social media platforms, and business.
It is also pretty cool to get real world experience at such a young age, while I am still in school. Even though I am a student, I am given a lot of responsibilities within the company.
WALK: How do you balance working for Dormify and also getting your school work done? Does the job ever interfere with your studies or vice versa?
AZ: As a double major in Communication Design and Marketing, my days are usually filled with school work, but fortunately, everything I study in school I can apply to my role at Dormify, and vice versa. A lot of times I find myself basing my in-school design projects on Dormify and our team may even use my projects as content on our blog or through our social media channels.
Working for Dormify is another education in itself and I feel fortunate that I am given the opportunity to augment my WashU education with a real-life learning experience.
I am not the only one who has this opportunity though! Through Dormify, high school and college girls have the opportunity to have a similar experience by applying to our Style Advisor program to gain experience in writing, social media, design, marketing, SEO, and working as a part of a team. It is a fabulous way to enhance your in-school education with real life experience.
WALK: What is your best advice for students trying to decorate on a budget?
AZ: Make the most of the pieces you invest in by decorating with multi-functional products. My favorite examples of this are our poufs. These multi-functional cushioned cubes are this year’s most coveted home accessory, as they are a perfect way to make the most of small space and still keep the space stylish. They are perfect to use as an extra seat, coffee table, or ottoman.
DIY projects are also an inexpensive way to add unique and personal touches to your décor. Our blog offers tips and tricks on how to decorate your dorm room, with a highlight on DIY projects. For example, the book lovers might create a bed side table from a stack of books, while the fashion junkie could get creative by magazine covers as wall art or dresser drawer liners.
WALK: What’s the one piece of furniture you love most in your room and why?
AZ: My favorite piece in my room is the Dormify Chandelier Decal on the wall behind my bed. I’ve had a chandelier on the wall of each one of my past 3 dorm rooms—at this point, it is my signature décor piece and I don’t feel like my room is complete with out it. The Chandelier Decal instantly makes my room chic and sophisticated. It looks like a real light fixture, except mine does not come with a hefty price tag! Decals are really fun, unique, and incredibly easy to apply and remove.
WALK: Can you tell us a little bit about your Brand Ambassador Program? What are the qualities you look for in potential candidates, and how exactly do these Ambassadors help those who are seeking a professional design eye?
AZ: Our Style Advisor program is an extracurricular opportunity for students who are looking for a real world application of skills in the areas of marketing, social media, writing, event planning, public relations, and design. We look for students who are confident, outgoing, self-motivated, who have style, and who like our brand. The Style Advisors offer advice for other students largely through the blog, which features content that comes directly from them, with a focus on interior design for small spaces, dorm tips and tricks, and DIY projects. They also offer advice on social media channels, especially at events, on internal Facebook groups, and Twitter chats.
It is super easy and actually fun to apply!
WALK: What are your favorite product picks for the holidays?
For The Shopholic – Baroque & Fabulous Pillow Case set, $28
For Your Bestie – Pop Phone $29.99
For Her – Chandelier Decal $40
For the Jet-Setter – Fisheye One Camera $55
For the Homebody – Peace Love World Large Floor Pillow $59
For the Resolution Maker – Clocky: Alarm Clock on wheels $39
For Him – Deer Head Decal $50
Stocking Stuffer – The Freaker $8
For Mom – Wisdom Pillow $75
For Dad – Personal Speakers $14.99
It’s hard to resist redecorating your dorm room when all of these products are so cute. Try their design tips to make the most of your room.
– Jane Bender
Images courtesy of Dormify.com