As a designer supporting our online marketing team, Madison develops visual content for Houzz.com and creative ads for social media and TV. When she’s not at work, you might find her running, hiking, camping with friends, or exploring new restaurants in San Francisco.
Why did you become a designer? In college, I actually started out studying marketing. My whole family was in the business, so it seemed like the thing to do. On a whim, I took a dark room photography class to fulfill a general education requirement and was immediately hooked. I fell in love with the whole process behind film photography—from thinking about a conceptual idea, to shooting and then developing the film by hand. I loved the hands-on nature of it.
I decided to switch majors to study fine arts with an emphasis in design, but that early marketing experience allows me to take a left and right brain approach to my work. I have a good perspective of both the business and creative needs of a project.
What brought you to Houzz? I was originally interested in Houzz because I love the process of making a house feel like a home. Interior design is close to my heart, so the platform itself was a huge draw. It’s cool to work for a company that I’m genuinely passionate about.
What do you like most about working here? Seeing how the product has grown and developed has been awesome because there truly is something for everyone. As a renter, I use Houzz for inspiration and shopping.
I also love the collaborative environment on the design team. The people I work with most closely on a day-to-day basis make coming to work something to look forward to.
What is a day in the life like for you? My days vary depending on our photo and video shoot schedules, but they are generally filled with design, photography, art direction and video production. I work with the marketplace team to curate the right products for our online and tv ads, set up locations for photo shoots and create content for online marketing campaigns.
What project are you most proud of? I’m most proud of our latest TV ad. It was completely new territory for me and a total team effort. We learned so much along the way about how important flexibility is in a project like this. Learning how to adapt and find creative solutions to challenges (like how to show the progress of a renovation on-set), were two major takeaways. I love the final result!
Where do you get inspiration? Inspiration can come from anywhere for me, whether I’m visiting a museum, listening to a podcast, reading a book or walking around a park. When I first got into design, the blank paper syndrome was scary, but I’ve learned to try things out and see if they work. That approach has been influenced by how we test things at Houzz. If something doesn’t perform well, we try something else. It helps me to iterate more quickly instead of getting too bogged down in the details.
Do you have any advice for someone getting started in design? Find a balance between asking questions and learning, and speaking up to assert your opinion. There is a time and place for both, even as a junior designer just starting out. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.