Sydney McManness has always had a love and passion for design. She considered being an Interior Designer a dream job since she was a little girl, yet it was not a path she felt she could pursue. Instead she landed in client relations, where she worked in a startup tech company for eight years. It was not until the birth of her daughter that she learned to let go of fear and pursue the career of her dreams. Her desire to teach her daughter that anything can be accomplished if you put your mind to it was a driving force for Sydney as she completed the Master Certification program at Heritage Denver.
While attending Heritage, it was clear to the entire Heritage community that Sydney was going to achieve great things in the design world. Her undeniable drive to succeed and to overcome any challenge presented to her made Sydney a standout student. It was not only the completion of the program assignments and projects that she was tackling during this time. She managed to excel at school while simultaneously being a new mom to her six-month-old daughter. Attending Heritage marked the beginning of relearning who she was. Not only had she just left a career industry in which she had been successful for ten years, she was also getting to know her baby girl, learning how to be a mother, and how to be a true designer all at the same time. Sydney has allowed the quote
“Be the girl who decided to go for it!”
to help motivate her while she navigated this brand-new chapter in her life. She admits that she was scared to start so much “new” all at once. But, by letting go of her fear and “going for it” Sydney was allowed to become a whole new woman. She finds that her growth as a designer and a new mom influences other personal choices in ways she could have never predicted.
While completing the Master Certification program, Sydney accepted an intern position at Spire Design Studio. Upon starting her internship, her coworkers quickly recognized her impressive presentation skills, her ability to understand and interpret the needs of the clients, her attention to detail, and of course, her incredible design eye. Sydney’s work ethic and design skills led her from an internship to a full-time Interior Design position. As part of the full-time design team at Spire Design Studio, Sydney works on all phases of the design process in a collaborative setting, including field verifications, CAD drafting, and creating proposed plans and layouts. She also works on design concepts for bids which are created through design boards and digital packages prepared for bid presentations. One of the things that Sydney truly appreciates about her new position is that no single day is the same. One day she will be measuring a client’s space and drafting, the next day she will be pulling concepts and specs or doing digital boards. Some days even include going shopping, which she always enjoys!
As a new designer, Sydney has been busy defining herself in the design world. She continues to find herself inspired by local Denver designers and vendors. The impressive cutting-edge design available throughout the Denver area helps to fuel her new ideas. Besides being inspired by local designers, her passion for sustainable design also helps to guide her through design decisions. She recognizes that the Interior Design industry can be harsh on the environment, which motivates Sydney to strive to use locally sourced, recycled, and sustainable design as much as possible. Because of her passion for sustainable design, Sydney aspires to one day become a LEED certified designer.
As a graduate, she is thankful to have found a program such as Heritage. Heritage provided her with a path that was flexible as a new mother. She recognizes that the accelerated nature of Heritage allowed her to make a career change in her mid-thirties, which would have been much more difficult in a 2 or 4 year program. She is also thankful for the relationships she created while attending Heritage. She cherishes the friendships she made with her classmates and the mentorship relationships with her instructors that she will carry with her throughout her career.