We had the good fortune of connecting with Monique Nicole Farley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monique Nicole, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When I think about the word “risk” my mind automatically thinks about the opportunities. For many, the idea of “risk” focuses on the negatives and not the potential for positive opportunities. And looking back on my life, I can see how the older I got the more risk I took. Whether it was making changes within my career or the decision to relocate across country, there are risk involved in everything. The truth is you do not get to achieve your goals without taking some leap of faith risks. These leap of faith risks are where you allow God to do His best work.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Monday – Friday you can find me reviewing hotel construction sets, hotel brand standards, reading product specifications, in meetings, and more. Working in the hotel design industry is so multi-faceted that no day is the same. If you would have told me in 8th grade this is what I would be doing, I probably would have laughed. Not because I did not believe in my ability; but, black females account for less than 5% of the industry. The reality is I do not see myself that often. In most cases I am the only black female in the room.
One thing I tell students when they ask about my journey, I tell them to identify their niche. The architecture & design industry is huge. You can focus on hospitals, commercial spaces, retail, restaurants, amusement parks, etc. Find the sector within the industry that interest you the most. From there you can carve out your next steps. It was after spending 3 years in the hotel design industry that I knew what I wanted my Master’s degree to focus on: business strategy. Having a skillset that combines architectural design, management, and strategy has been my wining combination.
Lastly, I tell everyone to leverage all of your skills. So Saturday-Sunday, you can find me working as a makeup artist and beauty strategist. From being a makeup artist on a wedding or editorial shoot to working with other makeup artist create service offerings/ classes for their target audience. I find joy in being able to utilize all of my skillsets. I love to encourage the women that sit in my chair. I love bringing other professionals visions to life.
At the root of it all, I am a creative! My goal is to always “autography my work!” The journey has not been easy. Having to go the extra mile to prove myself sometimes being the youngest in the room, a female, or even a black female have all played out in my career (both industries). But through all of those experiences, I learned to not doubt myself. Be confident in your skillset and knowledge. Your work will speak for you!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ok that isn’t too hard because I’ve put together a few itineraries.
So on the food list we would have to hit a few favorites:
A few activites:
The beach of course — but I’m thinking a bonfire would be more the vibe
Hiking at Griffith park
Hit a few museums
Grand Central Market
The Grove/ Beverly Hills area
Just to name a few. I always like to cover a range of activities when I make itineraries.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are two shoutouts that I always give, The first being my parents. Both my mom and dad encouraged my interests and career goals. As a kid my mom always encouraged me to do what I love and make it work for you. Whether I was involved in sports, music, or academics, she always pushed me to see how I could turn it into a business or how to maximize within that space. It was my mom that made me even consider turning my passion for makeup into more than just a hobby. The same for my dad! Both of my parents have been involved in my career brainstorming throughout my life.
The second shoutout goes to my 8th grade math teacher, Cassandra Arnold. She is the person that even got me interested in architecture & design. Prior to her, I was an 8th grade student that would draw and design anything. Thanks to my mom, I kept notebooks of all of my drawings. So when my math teacher turned our 2nd semester curriculum into an architecture project I was hooked. Researching floor plans and elevations was so fascinating to me. Fast forward, it was the project that literally shaped my trajectory.
Other: design website: https://www.moniquefarleydesign.com/design instagram: _theinteriorarchitect