Emily Smith Turnell
Interior Designer, Kamtz Custom Cabinetry
Tell us about yourself, your history and how you came to be where you are now.
I am 24 years old. I was born and raised in Colorado. I grew up with my two sisters and our amazing, supportive parents. I have always been a creative individual and someone who loves to learn new things. I went to college for interior design, and I am now continuing my education and getting experience as a cabinet designer.
What are you passionate about professionally and personally, and why?
I believe happiness starts within the home. Interior design and mental health are intertwined. The ways we arrange, decorate, clean and take care of our homes affect our productivity, relationships, healt and well-being. It’s so important to me to help others love their homes, which leads to loving themselves and loving their lives.
What is your superpower?
I feel finding balance is my superpower. I have always wanted to be a working mom. I thrive when I have a full plate. I like to multitask and complete projects. It’s a sense of accomplishment for me. But I also love to slow down and spend time with my family, be a homebody and rest. Finding ways to balance my busy life really helps me have the best of both worlds.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment, either professionally or personally?
Becoming a mom. I was always so afraid I’d lose my sense of identity or not be able to juggle my career while loving my little one. It’s a huge accomplishment to me to prove to myself that I am capable! I can still do the things I love, set goals and be present. I want to teach my daughter that she can do the same.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My parents for being so hardworking and achieving everything they set their minds to. My partner, Brandon, who is never afraid and encourages me to take charge of my life instead of people-pleasing. My sisters’ leadership and strong minds. And my boss Luke, who started his own business from the ground up. He mentors me to be a better designer and makes me love going to work.
Where do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?
I see myself being a successful designer, earning more certificates and building a clientele. I want to continue making a difference in people’s lives and homes. In 10 years, I hope to have more children. I want to be encouraging good design and be a role model for other designers. I want to try to be a better person everyday as well as slow down and enjoy the little things.
What piece(s) of advice would you give to your
To not be impulsive! Good things come with time, and everything always works out. It’s okay to not know exactly what you want to do, and it’s okay to change your mind. You have to make mistakes in order to grow. Learn to say no. It will make such a difference when you learn to put yourself first.
What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
I love to spend time outside and in nature. Even if it’s just sitting on my porch. I try to do little things to take care of myself like journaling, reading and walking. It’s really important to me to find something that grounds me when I live such a busy life. I enjoy redecorating the house, decluttering and cleaning. It really clears my mind, relaxes me and sets me up for success.
What would you like to give back to your community?
I would love to continue spreading the importance of taking care of your environment and how it contributes to mental health. I redesigned my parents’ bedroom, and everyday my mom says how it changes her mood. She’s able to go to sleep and wake up in a better state of mind. I want to do that for everyone.