May 22, 2010

ODNG – the beginning

Thursday night we held our very first meeting of the Ottawa Design Network Group (ODNG). 

screen%20shot%202010-05-10%20at%2011_14_52%20am_301x101 This has been a pet project of mine for several years since starting my education.  I thought, hey, I’m meeting all these amazing people with a future in this industry and I’m going to loose touch with most of them, how can I change that?   Recently, inspired by Kimberley Seldon and her Business of Design seminars, the project has taken off.

bird-taking-off We, as design professionals, have an abundance of inspiration when it comes to design.  I am ashamed to even admit how many home decorating magazines arrive in my mailbox – in fact I don’t think I even KNOW how many – and lets keep it that way OK – denial isn’t just a river in Egypt you know :)!  And then there’s the internet.  Just have a look at my blog roll, full of amazing inspiration from people all around the world.

kellywearstler1 What we lack is business information.  You know, setting up your business, dealing with accounts receivable, dealing with the government and taxes, marketing yourself, and so on …  These are all areas with many unknowns and frankly they are a little scary.

sr So, back in March, when Kimberley Seldon brought her Business of Design seminars to Ottawa, I signed up (I posted about the experience here) and came away with a renewed energy for my small business and some great business advice.

turvey_001 The piece of advice that I think will have the biggest impact was  get to know your peers, network with them, share with  and support them.  When Kimberley suggested we establish a networking group in Ottawa to do just this, I volunteered to organize one.  Over the last month or so I’ve been working with Custom Home Interiors in Ottawa to get this group growing.


Our first meeting was very well received in the local design community with an overwhelming turnout  of over 25 designers, decorators and home stagers – WOW!   It was personally very validating to know that I wasn’t alone in my search for information and support for my new business – many of us expressed the same concerns and issues.

agreeing So now the first step has been taken – we’ve met, decided on our charter, how often we will meet and our motto, which rocks by the way!

80% Business / 20% Design

I am feeling the change already!  I now have established connections to more people in the local design industry and am anxious to get planning our next meeting. 

So, if you are a design professional (decorator, designer, home stager, organizer, landscaper), design enthusiast or student in the Ottawa area and are interested in joining the Ottawa Design Network Group, sign up here for our next meeting at Custom Home Interiors at 6:30pm on June 24th, 2010.

I look forward to meeting you!


  1. This is such a great idea Donna, I commend you for your efforts!! I wish I lived in Ottawa :( Keep up the great work, I am sure that this group will be very fruitful!

  2. I'd love to be part of this group but it's a heck of a commute :)
    Best of luck.

  3. The first ODNG meeting was a huge success!! Thanks so much for taking the initiative to get this going. It's going to be an awesome resource for Ottawa decorators & designers. Onward and upward!!


  4. Way to go Donna..your upbeat, outgoing personality is shinning through..this will surely open doors for all involved..only wish I was closer!!

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