November 02, 2023

“With the goal of starting my own interior design firm, I knew attending a quality program was critical. Century’s Interior Design Degree was the obvious choice to prepare me for a competitive market.

The skills I gained from a wide range of quality courses have allowed me the opportunity to develop insight of current industry practice. Not only have I been consistently impressed with the breadth of knowledge held by Century College instructors, but I also appreciate how students and instructors support one another in collectively striving to succeed.”

Century College Interior Design student Sara Thorne is excited about transitioning to a new career and owning her own business. Highly creative, she’s been working as a second grade teacher at Breck School for the last 33 years, and is used to changing things up in her classroom and keeping lessons fresh for her students.

Sara is also extremely high energy. In the past year, she’s taken a full course load while working full time.

Transitioning to an Interior Design Career

Over the years, Sara and her husband have purchased, remodeled, and sold homes. They are both hands-on, and Sara also helped their friends with design projects. In 2020, with both adult daughters “launched”, Sara was ready for a new challenge. She contacted teachers she knew who had gone on to second careers in the home styling industry, and did her research.

Sara has both her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Education (with an emphasis on psychology). “I’ve always valued education, but didn’t want to go back to a 4-year college–-I wanted something to hop into, and Century College had a good reputation,” Sara remembers. “I talked to Interior Design Program Director Sarah Rodriguez, and then enrolled in one in-person class before taking online classes.”

She also worked as in intern with Lilu Interiors at International Market Square in downtown Minneapolis. Sara knew that she wanted something more as an intern—she really wanted to learn the business. “Everything I learned from my classes, from sourcing businesses, to field trips was helpful. With an internship you have more contact with how business operates,” Sara notes.

Hygge Home Interiors LLC

Sara has incorporated her philosophy of life into her new business, Hygge Home Interiors LLC, and she finds that her psychology background is particularly helpful for understanding clients’ needs—and, Sara knows that listening is a critical skill.

“I strongly believe there’s a place for everyone to have a home that’s beautiful for them—They can keep the things they love or incorporate them,” Sara says. “I see that younger generations are not as focused on accumulating possessions. They would rather have life experiences, so focusing on affordable home styling is important. Small can be beautiful. My esthetic is subtle and organic.”

A Role Model for Lifelong Learning

Sara’s plan is to teach for another year, work on her business, and then transition full-time, after she graduates from Century. Her students like to see what projects she’s working on, and she enjoys knowing that she’s a role model for lifelong learning.

“There’s a wide range of people in Century College’s Interior Design program, from those who are just starting in their careers to those transitioning to their second or third careers,” Sara observes. “Everyone in the program is supportive—it’s the part that is most meaningful–the comradery and the students working together.

Business owners know that they’re getting good people from Century College. Right here, we have a program that’s as good and as competitive as any other. I can’t say enough good things about it.”

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