Adair Curtis, Nikki Chu, Justina Blakeney, Brigette Romanek, and Carmeon Hamilton are probably some of the names that come to mind when you think of successful Black interior designers. Those professionals graced the stage and sat in the audience during the Black Interior Designer’s design conference from September 20th until Saturday, September 23rd, at the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood.
After a three-year hiatus, the BID Conference brought together the best Black interior design talent through an invaluable in-person experience where members learn from mentors and industry leaders. Created by the founder of Black Interior Designers, Inc. and award-winning interior designer Keia McSwain, the conference was formed to share knowledge and inspire novice, experienced, and professional Black interior designers. McSwain and her team have worked tirelessly on curating the strongest lineup of interior design talent across the United States to impart knowledge and inspire attendees to persist and confidently grow their design businesses fearlessly.
“The mission of the Black Interior Designers conference this year is to inspire, uplift, and create resources and networking. So that designers, both novice, working, and vetted, can all be inspired by the experiences of others. So we’re here to produce for these designers, partners, and sponsors the reality of what interior design is, what it means for Black interior designers, and how we bring life to the interior design community,” McSwain says to ESSENCE.
McSwain hopes the conference serves underserved communities interested in breaking through a soiled industry like interior design. “It’s no secret at all that minorities have been put at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to their talent and culture. We want to catapult these resources for these designers and put them right before everyone. We want to let consumers and homeowners know that we are truly talented, gifted, and ready to make some homes their total sanctuary,” she continues.
The Black Interior Designers Inc., established in 2010, is an international membership organization for the professional Black interior designer community. It values a safe space for its members to feel encouraged, exposed, and empowered as they learn, connect, and thrive as interior design professionals. Its mission is to provide a supportive community that exposes, encourages, and empowers Black interior designers with personal and professional growth opportunities rooted in community access, resources, and education.
The three-day conference offers a lively in-person experience that marries networking, business learnings, and inspiring interviews to foster growth and fellowship that changes the trajectory of design businesses. With over 20 speakers, the conference includes a welcoming meet and greet and three days of programming. A sampling of program topics includes brand building, capturing editorial photography, virtual design, and digital experiences in partnership with Genesis Motor America, utilizing the industry’s cutting-edge design technology, unlocking social media opportunities, optimizing kitchen and bath design, and prioritizing profits.
The 2023 Black Interior Designers Inc. Conference marks the organization’s first cornerstone event on the West Coast.