Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gals We Admire: Karen Sealy

Karen Sealy believes that to be a "successful business woman and inspiring member of society, all we have to do is trust our instincts and live with integrity." Find out how Sealy went from working as a behavioural therapist to a director of marketing to fulfilling her destiny of being an interior designer.

Name: Karen Sealy
Profession: Interior Designer
Twitter handle: @sealydzine

Describe your typical work day, from start to finish
Hahaha! Every day is so different, which I enjoy. It could be anything from on-camera work, to job site visit, to client meeting, to drafting the latest home addition to planning an event space for TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). All the while surround by the fabulous gals at Sealy. We often refer to ourselves as Sealy Sisters.

When you were a kid, what did you want to grow up to be?
When I told my parents at a very young age that I wanted to be a decorator, they encouraged me to abandon this thought and instead attend to university to get a more "practical" degree… which I did. I didn’t feel this was a hardship or a mistake. I made some of my closest friends at university. I enjoyed my psychology and business studies. My psychology degree and my work as a behavioural therapist taught me how to listen and respond to people with empathy. While my commerce education and work experience as a director of marketing, showed me how to work in a team environment while creating and overseeing organized project plans, schedules and budgets... all skills necessary to be an effective interior designer.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love making a difference in people’s lives. Design is about function and beauty and when you hit the nail on the head everyone knows it!

What do you find to be the biggest challenge in your profession?
Managing or predicting the unknown. Sometimes there are unforeseen things hiding behind old walls, cracked basement floors or in attic and until we start the renovation we don’t know the extent of these. We suggest the clients have a contingency fund to deal with these things, just in case. Most times we can find clever workarounds.

Do you believe you had a "calling" for your profession?
Without a doubt! I am absolutely meant to be a designer and I love it!

What are the three most important pieces of career advice you would give to other Canadian Career Gals?
Follow your passion.

Act with integrity.

Embrace your feminine qualities and let them shine.

A final word from Karen:
"As women we have unique characteristics that are so remarkable and distinct from men. We are nurturers and we can be successful and so much happier if we embrace this, instead of fighting it. We are sisters and in order to be a 'successful' business woman and inspiring members of society, all we have to do is trust our instincts and live with integrity."


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