I recently met an MSU graduate who stood out from the crop. I am getting used to everyone throwing me a line about what they are going to do someday, so when I met someone who was inspiring and ready to do something today, I tuned in and listened to what she had to say. I’m not sure if it was the hope in her eyes, the words that she spoke or the intelligence past her years that first tuned me onto Amanda, but when I actually saw some of the work that she had done, I knew that she was no bullshit artist.
Amanda is a 22 year old Michigan resident who graduated from MSU just a few weeks ago. She spent the last few years going from class to class and earning that piece of paper that so many young students think is way more important than it turns out to be. The difference between most students and Amanda is that she doesn’t see this as the end, but instead the beginning. In the words of Gwen Stefani, “Now that you got it, what are you going to do about it?”
Amanda is the kind of girl who grew up in the country and rides a Harley. She is a beautiful contradiction who is not afraid to take life by the balls. When I saw her musical-themed Harmony collection, I was speechless. I would own every one of those pieces in a dream world! I was able to check out her work on her website and then sit down to ask her some questions. I hope you will be as inspired by this young beautiful woman as I was! Read on for our interview.
HipInDetroit- Why did you choose to major in Interior Design? Why furniture? What attracted you to this type of design work?
Amanda- My Mom and Dad own their own custom metal fabrication business, which for a long time was run out of pull barns at our home. We live in the country, by the way. That man [her father] can make absolutely anything out of metal, but he mostly specializes in kitchens, stainless features, high-end custom furniture, and handrails. I grew up working in the shop cutting, welding and going to installations and absolutely loved it. That's how I got into furniture and interiors and I’ve been passionate about them ever since.
HipInDetroit- What is your favorite project that you have completed so far?
Amanda- My favorite project I've completed so far was The Harmony Collection, which I worked on for Independent Study. I chose to create my own course due to MSU's lack of furniture design courses. I created my own furniture pieces and featured them in a creative brochure. I love the pieces and my goal is to make them a real collection someday.
HipInDetroit- I was looking through the designs featured on your website. Can you tell me about the Manta Pendant? It’s a neat design, how would you use a piece like that?
Amanda- The Manta Pendant was a lighting design project we had to do for a nationwide design competition. Not many people seemed to enjoy this project due to a lack of electrical knowledge that would go into making a light fixture, but I LOVED it. The pendant is made for an office conference room and features interchangeable up and down lighting. It's also made from eco-friendly materials. This light could totally be put in production, right?
HipInDetroit- I was also blown away by your Harmony Collection line of furniture! Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Amanda- All of the pieces were created using Google SketchUp and rendered with one of their awesome plug-ins. The brochures were done in Photoshop. If you can't tell already I'm OBSESSED with fonts, just an FYI. If you read all of the introductions to the pieces they are meant to be witty and feature real life scenarios. I had a lot of fun writing those! I can really see these pieces actually going to market; they're functional, stylish, and eco-friendly, too! My older projects were all done by hand (you can see some on my website) and are mostly rendered with watercolor. Watercolor is my favorite medium to work with, it's so fun!
HipInDetroit- We noticed that you ride a motorcycle, not too many well rounded hot young ladies I know are into that. Can you tell me how you got into bikes?
Amanda- Ah, the motorcycle! You know I never thought about riding a motorcycle until my Mom, yes my Mom, asked me if I'd want to get my license with her. She's always sat on the back of my dad's and one day she said, “screw it I want my own!” I'm quite the risk taker so I said why not. My mother, my best friend Melanie and myself all got our license last summer! I immediately fell in love with riding and got a bike a month later, my Mom also purchased one. My ride is a Harley Nightster 1200, sounds like a big bike but it's really the perfect size. I'm trying to inspire more girls to get out there and ride! You can find a picture of me riding in the Harley Commercials!
HipInDetroit- Where do you see or want to see yourself and your business in 5 years?
Amanda- I've been getting into television/movie set design for the past year and in the next 5 years I'd like to have a job in a production studio's art department. I would also like to have my own line of furniture, as well as doing interior design jobs on the side in my spare time. Did I mention I need to be busy all the time? I do, all the time, so bring on the projects people!
HipInDetroit- How would someone get into contact with you if they had a project that they wanted to work on with you?
Amanda- If you'd like to contact me, visit my website afdesignworks.com, where you can send a message right off the site or there's my email on there, as well.
Hip in Detroit- We always like to ask, what are some of your favorite local bands/venues/restaurants/ bars?
Amanda- First and foremost, Detroit is awesome! For bars, I really enjoy getting a drink at The Sugar House their cocktails are amazing. Food wise I'm really into Greek food so I love hitting up Greek Town. Astoria Pastry Shop (in Royal Oak) is really good if you feel like being bad! Besides those places you can usually find me at St. Andrews watching my friend's bands or at weird events at The Fillmore. Ha! (This is a reference to where Amanda first met Hip in Detroit, the fated Detroit Music Awards!)
Congrats on being a beautiful charming creative and inspiring woman, you have a huge future ahead of you!