March is Women’s History Month, and I want to take the opportunity in the coming weeks to highlight some of the influential women in interior design. Today, you can read about Shirley F. Pritchard, FIIDA. Click here for her full biography. I asked Shirley, what woman has been the most influential in shaping her interior design career? Read her response below!
Shirley F. Pritchard, FIIDA: I have the most amazing mother! She’s almost 94 now, (still drives!) and still amazes me. Growing up in New England the Puritan work ethic was (still is) part of your psyche. By the time I was 8, I was knitting, sewing at 12, traveling with her on her search for primitive New England antiques, re-finishing furniture, painting and decorating our home, and designing my bedroom at the age of 13. It was lovely. My first after school job was with a fabric store in our town, friends of my mothers, and that was another education! She was a hard taskmaster! How many times she would make me rip something out and start over!
So now as a residential designer, I can tell and show a workroom how to construct a window treatment; show my painters how I want the lacquer applied to the walls; instruct the cabinet maker how to finish the piece I’ve designed and specify the materials with a degree of knowledge that is respected by my peers and my trades people. In combination with these tasks was the added lesson that “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” I count myself as very fortunate to have had this early training, which has served me well throughout my career, and a mother who has been such a blessing in my life.