Tart, a St. Louis native and mother of three, will speak about what she has learned from being on HGTV’s #1 show “Property Brothers” and what she took away from that experience. She will also discuss her venture into entrepreneurship by starting her own business and what she wishes she learned before graduating from college. The presentation, hosted by Catapult Creative House and the Interior Design Student Association, will take place in the Catapult classroom, Room 112 and is open to the public.
Tart earned an interior design degree from the Stevens Institute of Business and Arts (SIBA) in St. Louis in 2014 when she graduated as valedictorian. Tart grew up in the Ferguson/Florissant area but currently resides in O’Fallon, Illinois.
“What motivated me to start a career in interior design was probably my mother and grandmother,” Tart said. “My mother would always like to rearrange the furniture in our home and play with different DIY projects to make our house more of a home. My grandmother was a buyer for Maritz for many years and traveled all over the world purchasing cool furniture, sculptures and original artwork. She always had the most amazing stories of how she stumbled upon all of her purchases.”
Tart began her career in college when she was a sales associate at a local furniture store. She was promoted about every year and a half until she became a senior visual designer for the company and after eight years opened up several new locations for the store.
“When I was in college, I remember one of my teachers giving all the students a hand out with a list of jobs that an interior design degree could get you. In high school, I had always been fascinated with theatre. I am the annoying person who comments on the interior while watching the movie like ‘Would you look at that crown molding!’ After reviewing the list, my eyes fell in love with two words — “Set Designer” — and from that point on, that was my design dream job,” said Tart.
Tart gained most of her credit working alongside Jonathan and Drew Scott in the show “Property Brothers.” She has a unique story of how she made the show.
“I was in the middle of finals at school, and saw an online post for an audition in Chicago in the next upcoming days. I told my awesome husband and he drove me there to chase after my dreams of being on HGTV,” said Tart.
“After the first round in Chicago, I was selected after two more interviews in New York City,” she said.
Tart says she left her job of eight years with $20 in her pocket and headed off to Los Angeles to film the show. While filming the show, her favoring experience was learning about flipping homes, she said.
“The construction side of it was so intense,” she said. “One episode, I did not sleep for an entire 24 hours. I loved every minute of it and would do it again in a heartbeat!”
Tart’s presentation at Catapult will focus on preparing design students for future interviews. She will also talk about fears after graduation.
“I want to encourage students that if any job related to design comes along, that they should go for it, even if it is not necessarily their exact dream job,” she said. “This will only help them become a well-rounded designer.”
Tart’s hobbies besides design include reading, visiting dogs at shelters, learning new things, Zumba and spending time with her three children. She attributes much of her success to her husband.
“I have a deep passion to serve Christ, lead others and to inspire, while being inspired through great thought and full design aesthetics. For me, what makes a great designer is knowing your client, having a rapport with them and really taking the time to ask the right questions.”
“I like to think these are some things that make me unique to my clients. I don’t want to be known as a great designer simply because I can make a room look stunning. I want something much more than that,” she said. “I want not only my clients, but also peers as well to remember me as a friend who listened to their heart’s desires and delivered a timeless space that they can relax in and enjoy for the days, months and years ahead!”
For more information, contact Michelle Brune, professor of interior design, at (573) 651-5196 or firstname.lastname@example.org.