We had the good fortune of connecting with April Mondelli, NCIDQ and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi April, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I really believe that the most important factor behind the success of my business is my ability to work well with so many different people in a mutually respectful way. I respect my clients’ ideas and opinions, realizing that my job is to create the best version of their space, even though they might not necessarily know how to express what that is. Developing relationships is so important, not only with my clients, but also with the tradesmen, subcontractors, and vendors who all contribute to the success of my designs. To be able to bring a design vision successfully to life, it takes a whole team of people to contribute to that process. I have much respect for the hard work that goes into that process.
What should our readers know about your business?
Currently, I run my business April Elizabeth Designs full time designing both commercial and residential spaces as well as renovating investment properties for a wide array of clients. It has taken many years of building my knowledge and my personal brand to have the ability to work on so many different types of projects. All of my work comes from referrals and word of mouth. I also have clients who find me through social media, I spend no money on advertising. When I first started trying to grow my own business, I did some work for free to be able to start my portfolio. People need to see what you can do, they won’t just believe that you’re capable. I was also willing to take on lesser paying jobs to gain experience. I think many times in today’s society, people don’t understand the concept of working your way to the top or putting in the time to build a reputation. I was always someone who believed that if you put in the hard work, the effort, and go the extra mile to develop yourself and your career that it will pay off. I never expected to start my career at the top, because I didn’t deserve to be there, I needed to earn it and I still am.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Being an interior designer, one of my absolute favorite things to do on vacation is to visit historic homes. I’m a little obsessed with imagining the lives of the occupants who once lived there. If you want to see the way the truly wealthy once lived, some of my favorite historic homes in South Florida are the Henry Flager museum in Palm Beach and Vizcaya in Miami. In Fort Lauderdale, you can find the Bonnet House and the Stranahan House, which are both a great way to spend an afternoon learning a little history of how the city has evolved through the last century.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have learned so much from so many different people through the years. My career has evolved in many different directions and I have had such a wide variety of experience because of these people. My husband Joe had been renovating investment properties since before we even met, and was really the first person who got me interested in the process of renovations. My husband supported me in my decision to go back to school to earn my bachelor’s degree in interior design while we had 2 young children, even when others told me that there would be no way to earn a living working in the field of interior design. I had several really great teachers at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, who went above and beyond encouraging me and helping me to hone my drawing and technical skills in commercial planning, which got me working very quickly in commercial design after earning my degree. I had the opportunity to work for a prominent commercial design firm for several years designing commercial spaces. The fast pace at which we worked on multiple projects brought my design game to the next level. I was able to pass the NCIDQ exam and earn my Florida State Design License because of these experiences. am grateful for all of the individuals in the field who have crossed my path whom I have learned so much from.
All photos by April Mondelli