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Hannah’s Kitchen Sales Design Career


"I absolutely love being a designer"

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"I absolutely love being a designer, it has always been a passion of mine to be working in the home design industry and now I get to do that day in and day out. I love being able to meet new people and being part of their journey to design their dream."

We asked Hannah, a Kitchen Sales Designer at Howdens, to share her experiences, inspirations, and insights into the furniture and furnishings industry. Hannah's story showcases how passion, determination, and seizing opportunities led to her dream career in kitchen design.

Hannah's journey into the furniture and furnishings industry began during secondary school as she was introduced to the world of design through a compulsory textiles course, Hannah's interest in home interiors was sparked by a dedicated teacher, "It wasn’t until the third year, before picking my GCSE options that my textiles teacher at the time, opened my eyes to the world of design and I could do home interiors as a career. I never really knew what I wanted to do and although I subconsciously had a passion for home design, I never thought that this would be something I could take further. From the day she mentioned it, that is where the decision came from that I could do this as a career."

Hannah's passion for design continued to grow after GCSEs and A-levels in textiles, eventually leading her to explore avenues beyond a traditional university education. After recognising her preference for practical learning, Hannah sought apprenticeship opportunities to kickstart her career in the industry.

After an initial apprenticeship in social media and content production with an architectural company, Hannah discovered Howdens and its apprenticeship program with Didac. "I widened my search for other opportunities and came across Howdens and the career options that they have to offer.

I have always had a dream to be an interior designer and have a passion for all things home design, although I had never thought about kitchen design specifically and always looked at interior design as a whole, when I found myself with this opportunity presenting itself, I had to take it."

Embracing the opportunity to delve into kitchen design, Hannah embarked on an apprenticeship with Howdens, where she acquired a diverse skill set encompassing design principles, project management, sales techniques, and industry standards.

Upon completing her apprenticeship with distinction, which Hannah credits as her biggest achievement so far, she transitioned into a full-time role as a Kitchen Sales Designer at Howdens, where she continues to refine her design skills and contribute to the company's success.

Hannah's career journey has been shaped by continuous learning and personal growth. "One of the biggest things I have learned is that there is so much material out there to support and develop my knowledge and the way I apply myself in the world of design.

The industry is forever changing and progressing and ensuring that I am consistently developing my skills and product knowledge enables me to ensure that my clients are passed on that same knowledge," she explains.

Through her apprenticeship, Hannah gained valuable insights into kitchen design, including the study of ergonomics and anthropometrics, which transformed her approach to designing spaces tailored to clients' needs. Additionally, Hannah highlights the importance of mentorship in her professional development. Her colleagues at Howdens played a pivotal role in guiding her through the fundamentals of design and provided her with a supportive environment.

A typical day for Hannah could include all aspects of design, from a site measure to meetings with clients to discuss layouts, design, and budget. Hannah will also create quotes for the work and create initial designs which will be finalised with the clients over a series of meetings.

Looking ahead, Hannah remains committed to her design journey, aspiring to further her expertise in interior design, and envisions progressing within Howdens, achieving a lead designer role. Hannah is also researching utilising social media to showcase her portfolio and connect with other designers.

"The only other thing I would mention to younger people who are still deciding what career path to take would be to find something you love doing and you’ll never feel like you are at work. When you find your career path, it’ll feel right, you’ll know. There are plenty of options out there, widen your search and you’ll find something."

Hannah's career journey exemplifies seizing opportunities and is just one of many unique paths you can take into the furniture industry.