Interior Design Grad Jess Gutzman Joins Design Team at Nashville-Based Firm

Interior Design Grad Jess Gutzman Joins Design Team at Nashville-Based Firm

Interior Design graduate Jess Gutzman was recently featured in the Nashville Post for joining the design team at Southeast Venture, a Nashville-based commercial real estate brokerage, development, and design firm. Jess started her career in San Diego with design positions at L7 Studio Architects and at Studio H Design Group, before she decided to make the move to Tennessee. We caught up with her to see how she’s staying inspired during these challenging times. She says FIDM Alumni have always served as a source of inspiration for her career goals, and she loves the FIDM community.

When did you move to Nashville, and what prompted that move? I had been wanting to move from Southern California for quite awhile. I was afraid to make the commitment so I booked a one way ticket to Nashville to "visit" my parents; I cold emailed a few companies that I found cool published work on. I interviewed with Southeast Venture, loved the company, and started working shortly after!

What are you doing to stay inspired during these challenging times? I've been video chatting with a lot of friends back in California. We do workout videos together, happy hour, etc. Touching base with them has been really great for staying inspired and discussing ideas. Also, XO, MaCenna (FIDM Grad) on YouTube is a great source for inspiration.

How are you showing up for your community, your career, and yourself right now? I'm showing up for my community by donating blood and STAYING HOME. I'm showing up for my career by staying as focused as possible during work hours and by maintaining the same quality of work as I would have if I were in the office. I'm showing up for myself by working out, eating well, and getting lots of sleep (like you've never heard that before). I'm a very social person so this is a great time for me to focus on myself.

What brands are inspiring you right now, in terms of their response to the needs of the world during this pandemic? Red Land Cotton, a small linen company that sources all product in the Southern USA is donating their fabric and seamstresses to make face masks. Likewise, independent entrepreneur and active duty Coast Guardsman Maddie ( is switching from her handmade shopping totes to face masks for healthcare providers. These smaller endeavors have my heart because they don't have large resources to back them. They are truly giving of their resources to help others without benefit to themselves.

What are your career goals and how has FIDM been there for you along the way? My career goals are always evolving but I'm currently enjoying corporate and healthcare design. I've always utilized FIDM career portal during job hunts and FIDM Alumni have always served as a source of inspiration for my career goals.

What do you love about your alma mater and the FIDM community? I love the FIDM community, it was an amazing time in my life that I'll never forget. The real world of interior design is what FIDM prepared me for. The methods of instruction and project approach are what I'm still using now. 

Categories:  Interior Design Alumni