When Sara Brudner gave birth to her son Jackson four years ago, all her priorities – including her life’s passion for singing and songwriting – shifted course.
“When I had my son, everything slowed down for me. It sort of put life in a different perspective, and although I love music and love performing – it’s a part of me and always will be – it’s a rough life as a struggling artist,” she explained.
“I’ve been singing since I was nine years old. I did a lot of stuff with music – and, to be honest, I never gave myself any time to reflect on any of my other artistic interests. And I kind of wish I did.”
As late nights gigging were replaced by late-night lullabies, Brudner began to ponder some of her other long-held interests and hobbies – interior decorating chief among them – and started to explore how she might transform that passion into a viable professional path moving forward.
“I’ve definitely always been interested in interior decorating. My mom could tell you, I probably moved my room around a million times as a kid, and found easy little ways to change things that didn’t cost any money, like using leftover paint to change my walls,” she laughed.
“It’s always been a part of me, I just never considered it as a career before.”
That is, until she discovered Yorkville University’s Interior Decorating Associate Diploma – a 24-month, fully online program that allows students to launch their careers in residential design while studying from home.
The program, many of whose graduates have gone on to launch successful careers in homes staging and home décor, teaches the theory and practice of interior decorating principles, including visual communications, materials, textiles and finishes, and architectural design.
“I knew I didn’t want to go and get an education in some sort of position I knew I wasn’t going to love, because if I wasn’t going to be singing, it had to be something equally creative. My creativity is a big part of me.”
Now a full year into Yorkville’s Interior Decorating Associate Diploma program, Brudner said she has no regrets – despite being initially intimidated at the prospect of returning to her studies for the first time since high school.
“I still feel overwhelmed at times, because I have a four-year-old son, as well as school and work, but I’m really glad I did it and I’m enjoying it,” she said, noting that she’s thankful to have successfully completed her Drafting 1 and 2 courses.
“Numbers are not my friend. Fractions and things like that are really scary to me, but I learned a lot from those courses…and I’m looking forward to the courses that are coming up. I’m doing Staging right now, which is really exciting to me, because that’s something I hope to incorporate in a business in the future.”
As for her long-term career goals, Brudner said she’d love to land a job at a established interior decorating company or design firm where she can learn the ropes, before launching out on her own.
“I would definitely like to start a business of my own where I’d maybe offer a couple of services like interior decorating and staging,” she said, noting that she’d also like to incorporate her interest in reburbishing sustainable items into her business model.
“Mostly, I just want to get out there, be respected, make a living, and be successful in that business. I want something for myself that’s going to be valued.”
To all those aspiring interior decorators out there who, like her, may be a bit hesitant at first to pursue their passion, Brudner offered the following advice:
“If you’re considering it, your gut is telling you something. And if your gut is telling you something, you might as well just seize that moment with everything you have,” she said.
“Because, if it’s not now, when will it be?”