Design Campus is a monthly membership site that aims to be a one-stop shop for interior design learning and networking. The site will include a forum where designers can connect and support each other, as well as an "oops" section where they can sell "mistakes"—sofas that didn't fit, color was wrong, etc.—and new content will constantly be added.
The idea for Design Campus evolved from Design Camp, which first originated in Austin in October of 2012. Since then Design Camp has traveled to Atlanta, Seattle and next up is Orange County, California. The camp runs Wednesday night through Friday night, and each day has eight segments covering topics like Business, Getting Published, Kitchens and Baths, Social Media and more. Some past speakers include: Barry Dixon, Kathryn Ireland, Nathan Turner, Susanna Salk, Ronda Carman, Cassandra La Valle and other experts in many areas of design.
Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis co-founders of Design Camp and Design Campus
Editor at Large spoke with Lori Dennis, interior designer and co-founder of Design Campus, about this new venture.
EAL: What are some of the key differences between Design Camp and the new Design Campus?
LD: Since we're only able to have 16 segments at camp, Design Campus allows us to cover hundreds of topics including topics covered in our camps. If people aren't able to travel to the camps, it's a great opportunity to be part of the community and get the career changing information. It's also an opportunity for the campers to continuously connect with each other for support. It's sometimes challenging for sole practitioners who have no one else in the office.
EAL: Why is now the right time to launch the Design Campus?
LD: There's nothing out there like Design Camp or Campus, where hundreds of designers (or thousands with Campus) have the ability to interact and support each other on a continuous basis. The content and group of professionals that gather at Design Camp and those featured at Design Campus are the best in the industry and share the tips, secrets and information that add up to their success. The business of design is ever changing and these two forums keep design professionals up to date on what's happening and how to make changes that will impact their businesses in a positive way. Judging from quality of campers and speakers who are thrilled to attend, we hit the market at exactly the right time.
EAL: Who creates the content and what will it consist of?
LD: Kelli and I are the content creators, and the content stems from feedback from thousands of interior designers. We will focus on topics like trends, branding, blogging, billing, niche design, product design, how to get published, how to get on TV, retailing and much more. If it's about design, we've got cameras on it.
Shot of the Design Campus site
EAL: How much content will be posted per day?
LD: Currently we have 100 videos in the can and will add a few every week. Moving forward, we will be proactive in developing Design Campus to fit the needs of our members. The site will continuously be upgraded in accordance with designer feedback.
EAL: What is the membership fee? Who is the target audience?
LD: The fee is $27 per month. The target audience is design professionals, stagers, architects, contractors, design lovers, vendors, media and bloggers.
EAL: What is your goal with this site?
LD: We are creating a community for design professionals to connect and constantly upgrade their knowledge. In addition to elevating careers and earning power, Design Camp and Design Campus are places to form life long relationships and gratifying experiences. The membership goal to hit is 100,000 members.