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The Alumna with the Hat: Brittany Watson Jepsen

The House That Lars Built

The Corcoran’s very own Rachel Cothran (also DC style and fashion guru who heads up Project Beltway), sits down with Brittany Watson Jepsen (MA Interior Design, class of 2010). On May 6, Brittany—who blogs at The House That Lars Built and just moved to Provo, Utah, from Copenhagen, Denmarkappeared on “The Today Show” with her entry for their Kentucky Derby Hat Contest. Her huge paper flower rose hat was selected as the winner.

Brittany Watson paper FLower Workshop

Rachel Cothran, Caryn Cramer (MA ID ’10) and Brittany Watson at Brittany’s Paper Flower Workshop

Check out Rachel’s Derby Day style guide on BYT, featuring one of her “biggest girlcrushes”… Brittany Watson.

 Let’s talk…

First of all, how many hours did it take to make your hat? And please tell us about the experience!
It took about an hour start to finish to make the hat. First, I cut out the petals out of paper. Then I used a high gloss spray on the tips to give it a natural ombré effect. The spray took a bit of time to dry. Then I glued it altogether and voila!

Brittany Watson paper flower hat

You’ve had a lot of incredible work experiences, with stints working for Jonathan Adler and Celerie Kemble, and now you work for yourself. What advice do you have for an aspiring interior designer/all-around creative?
My advice is to get to know who you are and the type of designer you want to be if you don’t already. It’s hard to know what you want to do if you don’t know who you are or want to be. I think I found that out by collecting visual images of things that I was attracted and consciously describing to myself why I like certain things. It’s also important to know what your end goal is. Sometimes you don’t know that until you know what you don’t want to do, which is the case of some jobs I’ve had in the past. I believe that each step has helped me to discover what type of designer I want to be. Through each experience I have, I learn more about my strengths and weaknesses, and, ultimately, it helps me to create a better product.

What’s a typical day like for you?
Because I blog about craft and design projects, I spend a good portion of my time answering emails and doing social media and a good portion experimenting with projects, setting up photo shoots, working with photographers, styling, getting materials, putting a blog post together (which takes more time than you think). I LOVE what I do!

What were three of the most valuable things you learned at the Corcoran?
I think you get out what you put into it. I suppose that’s like life in general, but it’s particularly true in this instance. I wanted a great experience so I worked to have one. Also, the relationships I developed with other students and teachers and staff have been highly influential in creating successive experiences.

What do you hope to achieve next in your career?
My hope is to constantly improve the last project I’ve done. In my blogging and craft/design projects, I’ve gained a lot of experience in creating a cohesive project from the concept to the execution to the styling to the photo shoot and, finally, the graphics and presentation on my blog. I hope that each one creates a story for someone to read. I would love to continue doing what I’m doing and collaborating with stellar people and companies.

Congrats to Brittany and her amazing work! Check our her behind the scenes coverage from her day on The Today Show.


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