The Ambassador Series: Sarah Sterns - New York City
Hi Sarah! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a Freelance Interior Designer/Stylist/Art Director living in Brooklyn. I live in a city of big dreams, so I'm constantly chasing after my own. When I'm not working, I'm either in my pjs by 8pm watching The Office re-runs with my boyfriend and rescued Bombay cat or out squeezing in as much social time as possible with friends.
How did your interest in interior design begin?
I actually get asked this question pretty often. I originally started off my career as an agency Art Director working on commercial brands, but prior to this I had a brief stint creating visuals for Anthropologie. I've always loved thrifting and decor, but never imagined I'd be helping my clients create spaces they love to come home to! To be completely candid, I never really put too much thought into doing what I do now for a living. I had a friend I temporarily lived with in college who went away for a weekend after moving into her new apartment. I completely hijacked her space and decided to rearrange and discard a few things (could've been a nightmare had she hated it!). But, she loved it! She encouraged me to pursue what I do now, and even got me my first real client. And now, 6 years later, she's living in a gorgeous West Village apartment and hired me to design her space. It's really important to have people in your life that know and believe in you to the bone.
What does your position at Homepolish entail?
Homepolish, for those not familiar, is an interior design agency. They contract out interior designers from all around the US and connect them with clients. They have such a unique business model for the ID world, and I will praise them continuously for how they've built their company. I'm one of their contracted designers, so I'll meet with clients to assess a scope of work and then oversee the project from start to finish. Essentially, I'm designing, sourcing, buying, installing and styling residential spaces with an internal client services support team. When I'm not busy with Homepolish, I do have my own clientele, as most other HP designers do, that ranges from residential (apartments, homes, development buildings) to commercial. And, when I have open availability, you can find me on set styling.
What creative women do you find inspiring?
A few of the creative women I find inspiring are ones that I've had the pleasure of either working for or have had as a mentor. Any woman who's still empowered to run her business and keep a humble heart is admirable, and I have even more admiration for those who are able to stay positive and afloat through any hardships behind the scenes. Owning your own creative business is incredibly difficult-- to be part entrepreneur and operations while maintaining a creative soul is a huge undertaking. I also really appreciate women like Joy Cho (Oh Joy! Studio) or Jen Gotch (Ban.do), who can broadcast their realities and hiccups and yet celebrate their successes, too.
What makes you passionate about the work you do?
Much of what I'm passionate about and working on now has been an evolution from risk by incorporating random skills I've learned in time from my many jobs or where I'd like to be next. I am a helper by nature, so it makes it very easy for me to keep producing when I see someone smile over work I've done (for them or otherwise). To bring joy or see stress melt away from someone's face knowing I helped create that, fills me with enough energy to keep going. I'm so inspired by artists and designers that try to express an experience in a basic form or study, so I'm always trying to explore how to treat personal work with a similar concept.
Why did you want to become a Glossary ambassador?
Oh, I'm so excited about this! First of all, the way you present content is really wonderful. I love reading about other women finding their voice and explaining what that looks like to them. As someone who works independently, it's difficult feel as if you're a part in a community. Ambassador programs are an awesome introduction to forming communities or collaborations and The Glossary is at the heart of this idea.
What are some of your favorite places in New York?
My go-visit list is 5 miles long, so I'll keep it short: coffee cart donuts will always be my #1, but as for overall experience, some of my best moments/meals have been at Hundred Acres (WV), The Smile (NoHo), Reynard (Williamsburg), and Grand Army (Cobble/Boerum Hill). Also, museums! Our museums here are incredible!
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