Photographed by Suzanna Scott.
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Lauren Nelson
After going to interior design school while working her day job at Williams Sonoma, Lauren branched out on her own. "The first year on my own was constant learning in terms of running a business and figuring out what worked best for me," she says. "I've learned there is no one way to do things in this industry. It's a non-linear, creative process, and you have to harness the confidence to carve your own path and trust that your decisions are good ones."

For those looking for their path in the design world, Nelson recommends seeking the aid of others. "Soak up as much information as possible from peers, industry leaders, teachers, books, etc. and you will be a better designer. Your eye will be educated and your knowledge will expand," she says. "Then pay it forward."