I am NOT an Architect

Overcoming shame and finding my career identity as a residential designer.

Shame has never been a part of my identity…. Until recently.

Connecting childhood to adulthood

Being a very visual human being, I've been drawn to architecture and beautiful art and designs for as long as I can remember.

When my dad lost his job in the 80's and moved our growing family (5 kids at the time) across the United States in two 26' U-Haul trucks and two family cars (stopping at rest stops along the way to eat meals my mom had pre-made for the journey), it felt like a grand adventure to me.

We lived in my grandparents' attic rooms while my Dad, armed with a Technical Drafting degree and a can-do mindset, designed, drafted, and built our family home from scratch - mostly by himself - all while starting a new career and raising a growing family.

Growing Family

This, I believe, was the pivotal factor for my deep love of and interest in architecture and construction.

From then and through the rest of my childhood, I sketched floor plans and scoured interior design magazines for fun. I designed my own Barbie's Dream House out of yarn on the living room floor.

Dream House

And, naturally, I studied architecture and interior design in college.

But I was never interested in commercial architecture and design. My vision was laser-focused on residential design and construction.

Recognizing the Shame

After meeting my husband on a jobsite, being introduced to my still-current CAD program by my GC father-in-law, and working 10+ yrs for a local custom and production home-builder, starting my own business was a dream come true.

Over time I grew increasingly frustrated with NOT having an easily-recognizable job title.

You see, I technically am NOT an architect. Yet, that is the term that the general population knows and understands for the work I do.

I AM a certified interior designer. But, don't offer full interior design services in my line of work.

Add these together and most conversations end with people still confused about my job. It requires a lot of explaining and gets very old, fast.

Stefani Thatcher

Then came the SHAME.

It's one thing to describe my work to a lay person, but when talking to *real architects* about my work, I feel small. Insignificant. Less-than. Unimportant. Cute - like someone playing "pretend" architecture.

And yet, there are over 1M new homes built in the U.S. each year. So, who designed these homes?

It was likely NOT an architect.

Overcoming the Shame - Getting Loud

It's time to stop the shame.

I am a highly skilled Residential Designer: the front line of defense for clients on their journey to a new, custom home. It is an honor and a privilege I don't take lightly.

Residential Designer

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