Shannon Southwell first discovered her passion for fashion, color theory and retail spaces while earning her Bachelor of Science in Merchandise Management at Oregon State University. She began in-store and discovered a love of creating inviting spaces through visual presentation early in her retail career. After a brief stint in the Hospitality industry, Shannon eventually found her way back to retail. She missed the creative outlet that visual merchandising provided.
Shannon continued to develop her visual presentation skills at Nike and Columbia Sportswear headquarter offices. After 10 years in the corporate world however, she decided it was time to return her focus to what she really loved: the creative process. This exploration led her to interior design, which she had always been drawn to at home and at work in planning retail spaces.
Heritage School of Interior Design was the perfect fit for her to learn the theories and processes of the Interior Design industry. Shannon enrolled in the Master Certification Program at Heritage School for Interior Design and fulfilled her entrepreneurial dreams by launching Instinctive Interiors, LLC in June 2019. Shannon always believed that interior spaces should feel natural and inviting, like you never want to leave.
With this goal in mind, she designs with purpose and intention. The world around her is her inspiration, drawing design ideas from nature, architecture, and art museums.
As Shannon looks back, she says her biggest challenge has been self doubt.
“Believing in myself, my abilities and what I have to offer and surrounding myself with a strong family/friends support system has been important in pushing through challenges.”
Today, Shannon and her husband, Stew, are busy with two active teenagers, Emily and Grayson. She balances her personal life with her growing design business and when she is not taking on client projects, Shannon loves cooking, spending quality time with her family and taking the time to relax and enjoy life.
As she embarks on her new career, we asked Shannon what was the best advice she has ever received, and she said,
“Someone I worked with years ago once told me to not be afraid to advocate for myself, because no one else will. I think about this often, particularly when making business decisions. I took the statement to mean believe in yourself and others will too.”
We agree, this mindset will take you far!