digital disruptors | Apr 17, 2018 |
The inner workings of Modsy’s remote designer network

How does a designer work with Modsy, the startup that recently nabbed $23 million in Series B funding? EAL caught up with the 3-D home design site’s founder and CEO, Shanna Tellerman, as well as one of its stylists, for an in-depth look at how the site works with its roster of remote design team members.

Modsy founder Shanna Tellerman; courtesy Modsy
Modsy founder Shanna Tellerman; courtesy Modsy

Modsy’s primary function is to let its visitors visualize new furniture in their very own rooms using its proprietary 3-D imaging. The Modsy Style Network, a contingent of remote stylists—open, by application, to those with relevant degrees in interior design, architecture, art history and even graphic design—deliver clients a 3-D model of their room, complete with two custom designs based on the person’s preferences; unlimited revisions are included, as well as a personal shopping service, for $69. The upgraded package, at $199, lets clients work one-on-one with Modsy designers via phone, chat and video.

The program is a particularly good fit for recent grads, says the startup. Modsy stylists work on an average of 20 to 30 projects per week, using the site’s own 3-D imaging software. Right now, the network numbers almost 100 stylists located in 21 states; most of those designers are committed to working 20 to 40 hours each week.

Is the site aiming to replace traditional interior design? Tellerman’s answer is a firm no. “First off, we believe that there will always be a place in the industry for traditional interior designers, but there is no denying that technology is becoming a vital part of visualizing a home in ways that 2-D moodboards and sketches can’t do on their own,” she tells EAL. She says her site is, instead, developing opportunities for both clients and emerging designers where there weren’t any before.

“New services like Modsy are not only creating an incredibly affordable design option for consumers, but we’re creating an opportunity for designers—new and experienced—to embrace technology to power their creativity and bring advanced visualization to their clients without the traditional time and expense involved,” she continues. “Whether Modsy is a stepping stone or a long-term, flexible career path for a stylist, they’ll be sure to walk away with a wide-ranging portfolio that will ultimately arm them with credibility to become industry powerhouses and tech-savvy experts that will put them ahead in their careers.”

Is there still a need for apprenticing at a big firm, or working one’s way up the ranks, given the digital markeplace of which Modsy is a major player? That depends. Micaela Farley says yes. She’s a stylist in the Modsy Style Network and credits the site with giving her “all the tools I need to create beautiful spaces.” She says, “Though it’s not necessary, I do believe it would be valuable to train with a firm before attempting to make it big on your own. By starting your career in this field with a company, it aides, in terms of word of mouth, the quality of your design abilities and is a great way to begin your professional portfolio. One can promote their business all they want, but if they have no work or background to show their potential clients, unfortunately those clients will most likely end up going a different route.”

The stylist says she has colleagues who “have gone both routes: starting their own firm from the get-go and hoping everything falls into place for them, as well as those who have become part of smaller companies where the load they are carrying is at times overwhelming. These paths are different from mine because I chose a path where I could learn from the perspectives of designers all across the country, put a creative spin on them, and utilize them in my own artistic and unique way. I started in this field knowing I had much, much more to learn to get where I want to be in the design world one day, and Modsy is an amazing company to do just that: learn.”

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