The Stand Outs: ASD Interios
Name: Shirry Dolgin
Company Name: ASD Interiors, INC
How do you describe the work you do?
On the surface the work I do with my company is Interior Design. We design contemporary custom interiors for a variety of clientele such as homeowners, businesses, stores, offices, and multi-family buildings. But if you ask me what I really do all day it is managing people’s expectations, communicate to people and clarify complicated situations, and deliver design ideas by overseeing details about project. I know that doesn’t sound as glamorous as shopping for pretty objects all day, but that really is the nuts and bolts of what I do as the owner of a design company. I am a problem solver, educator, logistics manager, and matchmaker. That’s really what I do!
What do you think makes you stand out?
There are three main things that come to mind. I think the first is my balance of professionalism and practicality in how I handle projects. I take a very practical approach to design that simplifies the very detailed process of designing interiors and I bring clarity to the projects and always stay professional in my communication. What I mean by that is I don’t over complicate decisions and with my experience comes confidence and I can make decisions confidently and quickly. The second part that makes me stand out is my attitude and approachability. Clients who know me know that I always keep a positive attitude. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned, but when that happens I find a solution and I believe there always is one. Often the solution works out even better than the first idea. It’s actually a running theme in our office because things always change and every project usually has one profound change which always ends up better than the originally intended design. The third is my ability to be flexible and nimble because I embrace the fact that every project is unique and has its own context. What I mean is that I don’t assume anything! I ask lots of questions, and I set up clear standards of how the projects are going to be handled along with customizing what works for them. I have a very strong understanding of where boundaries are and what is important to my clients and how to serve them based on their need.
Who are your heroes?
My heroes are the creative people who don’t listen to the noise and stay true to what they really feel is authentic to them. It doesn’t mean they are well known artists or world famous, but they have a strong and firm stance on who they are. I often meet people in my life who just simply are an inspiration because they do things differently and open my eyes to grow and expand. In the past six months, who or what has stood out and inspired you? Honestly I am constantly inspired by the design community at large and all the hard work and wonderful projects I see around the world. I know how difficult our work can be and when I see innovative spaces, it sparks inspiration and makes me want to push myself in my work and it raises the bar for me.
What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?
One of the absolute best pieces of advice I ever got was that it’s OK for other people to feel disappointed. I used to run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to solve every problem even at my own expense because I was so worried that a client would be upset if something went wrong even if it was out of my control. However, once I embraced this idea that people are allowed to have their emotions and it has nothing to do with me, it’s like a chain broke off my arms and I was free to allow people to have their own disappointments. I don’t need to run around protecting everyone from their feelings anymore.
What change do you want to see in the world?
I would really love to see people less entitled and spread kindness. Not in a fake way, but more in a way to be grateful and understanding that in general most people in the world are serving up good and honest hard work and it would be healthy to spread gratitude as opposed to entitlement.
How are you integrating that wish for change into the work that you do?
I’m working hard to change the old stereotype that interior designers are difficult to work with and always demanding. I simply don’t function that way. It may be part of my natural temperament, but I notice that so much more gets accomplished when the I interact with clients and vendors in an approachable and grateful manor. There is no room for entitlement in this world that is so highly saturated with creative people. I can’t even count the amount of times I have learned something from a vendor who couldn’t speak English which was invaluable knowledge to me or got an amazing lead to a new project because I treated the receptionist at my clients office with kindness. Every human deserves kindness in order for all of us to be heard.