Lizzie Muir

Textile Design Grad Goes From Intern to Textile Designer in Under a Year

Textile Designer at Classic Home
Graduate,
Textile Design

Georgia native Lizzie Muir received a Professional Designation AA degree in Textile Design from FIDM in 2017. We recently caught up with the new graduate to learn more about her exciting career as a textile designer at Classic Home.

What did you like most about attending FIDM? I appreciated the hands-on experience in printing, weaving, and designing in CAD softwares. I really enjoyed receiving feedback from the professors and fellow students during class critiques. The intensity of work and project assignments pushed me to stay organized and hone my artistic and professional skills. 

How did you first hear about FIDM? I attended the University of Alabama and received my Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2012. When I moved to California after graduation, I was only vaguely thinking so much about my professional trajectory. I worked at an outdoor camp in Tustin, as a nanny in Irvine, and managed a small boutique in Seal Beach. Finally, I came to terms with the fact that I needed to find some practical applications for my art degree besides painting in my garage. 

I began researching schools in the area, looking for something fast-paced, succinct, and technically driven. I took the Career Quiz on FIDM.edu and weighed my results: Visual Communications or Textile Design. It wasn't an easy choice, but Textile Design called me more because I felt drawn toward the prospect of my art and world perspective being applied to practical everyday objects. 

What are you up to now? As my year at FIDM was coming to a close, I knew I needed to secure a internship before graduation. I headed to the Career Center and used the online portal to look at job opportunities. After doing a substantial amount of research on the various companies seeking interns, I only applied to one place, Classic Home, located in Vernon, a home interiors company specializing in high-end furniture and textiles. 

I heard nothing back for weeks and I almost gave up, but I remembered as I was leaving the Career Center the last piece of advice I was given: "Follow up!" So, I called Classic Home and spoke the art director, another FIDM alum. She never received my application so I resent it and we scheduled with an interview for the next day. It all moved fast after that. I got the internship and moved from intern to junior textile designer to textile designer all in under a year of working--three promotions I can attribute to the skills and knowledge I acquired at FIDM! 

What are your favorite aspects of being a textile designer? I get to work with color, fabric, and a multitude of applications. I love that while I design prints, I also get to choose fabric bases, embroidery, and appliqué techniques, wash and dye treatments and have gained knowledge of Tech Pack creation. My main focus at Classic Home is designing pillows and bedding. Designing pillows seems like such a perfect extension of both of my educational experiences--they are truly works of art on fabric. 

Primarily, my responsibilities are designing pillows and bedding based off a trend/vision boards created by the art director. We choose a Pantone color palette and start with sketches. Those sketches become CADS, which then move to Tech Packs that are sent to our factory in India. My favorite part is receiving a package filled with samples. 

How do you feel FIDM helped prepare you for your career? As I become integrated into the team at Classic Home and was given more projects and responsibilities, I realized just how prepared FIDM made me for the textile industry. I received so much positive feedback about my performance and knowledge and I was promoted quickly because FIDM prepared me for the technical challenges that textile design poses. Every day, I use the skills I acquired through FIDM's Textile Design courses and from the amazing professors of that department. From textile history and science to trend, and CAD design--FIDM taught me all of it and I use this knowledge every day.