2016 CONFERENCE SPEAKERS
The opening keynote for the 2016 Black Interior Designers Conference is Georgia’s own Elaine Griffin. Elaine is a nationally recognized taste-maker. She frequently appears in print, is the contributing editor (design), for Better Homes & Gardens; designed the Good Works Makeovers for Oprah’s O at Home; was a contributing/special projects editor at Elle Decor, and is ranked as one of House Beautiful’s Top 100 American Designers.
Elaine was a cast member of NBC’s primetime design reality show, 'American Dream Builders' hosted by Nate Berkus. And also is the author of the bestselling book "Design Rules: The Insider’s Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator" (Gotham Books, 2009).
Elaine is a participant in the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse and her private client work has been featured in publications including Elle Decor, House Beautiful, the New York Times, Daily News and New York Post, Southern Accents, and New York magazine. She also appears regularly on the Today show.
Elaine is a graduate of Yale University and studied at the New York School of Interior Design. She began her design career in the office of architectural behemoth Peter Marino, following a nine-year career as a publicist in New York and Paris, and officially opened her own firm in 1999.
Celebrity interior designer Nikki Chu knows a thing or two about building a brand. For the past few years, she has been hard at work designing the many items in her new Nikki Chu Home Collection. Chu is excited to share how she has managed to build a complete product line while still servicing her demanding clientele. She believes in hard work and having a multitude of talents in your arsenal. Her tips and advice about being creative and flexible will get your creative juices flowing and will help you to understand just how much passion goes into developing products and a design career that lasts.
Nikki Chu’s philosophy is to create spaces that are personalized, comfortable, yet stylish, with touches of touches of glamour. Her fashion-fused style offers sophisticated designs that represent the best of today’s trends in easy, livable, 'go-to' items that effortlessly layer into anyone's home.
Robin Wilson Home, her eponymous design firm was founded in 2000 and works on select projects throughout the United States. Clients have included high-profile clients, residential, commercial and developers including the design of the exterior color palette for the 1,200 home Lake Nona/Laureate Park project in Florida. Her brand has also had consultant projects with leading consumer brands on healthy products for consumers.
The Robin Wilson Home brand has created business and licensing relationships that are mutually beneficial to her brand and partnerships. Retailers carry the Robin Wilson Home product line of licensed bedding, hypoallergenic pillows, towels and custom cabinetry. In 2014, she partnered with Panasonic USA to promote their latest line of cutting edge products for the home. She is an ambassador for the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, on the board of the Sustainable Furnishings Council and in May 2013, she launched a furniture line, Nest Home by Robin Wilson, at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York.
Sharon Beason began her extensive career in the corporate world as an accounting professional and designated Certified Public Account (CPA).
In 2010, Sharon founded Brooklyn Exposed and in 2014 she re-branded the company into the Social Fix – a comprehensive events listing website.
Then in 2015, Sharon founded Womeneur™ in an effort to provide tools, resources, advice, events, motivation and community to help propel the growth of female entrepreneurs. She Leads Africa — an online community that helps young African women achieve their professional dreams — selected WOMENEUR™ as one of ten Instagram accounts that “breathes life into your career.”
Sharon has been featured in major publications including The Daily News, The New York Times and Black Enterprise and continues to oversee operations at her concierge company — All About Brooklyn Concierge — in addition to managing all things Womeneur™. Sharon spends her days facilitating business strategy sessions, growing Womeneur™ and guest speaking about entrepreneurship, building solid networks and empowerment.
BREAK OUT SESSION LEADERS
Fresh off the success debut of the 2016 HGTV Smart Home is Tiffany Brooks. She’s sharing the strategy she uses to create client presentations that sell. Tiffany believes in a mix of old school technique and new age ease.
Tiffany is the owner of Tiffany Brooks Interiors, a full-service design firm and retail shop in Chicago. She categorizes her approach to interior decorating as down to earth. She designs single family homes, kitchens, baths, boutiques, condos, lofts, and apartments.
Interior designer and award-winning graphic designer Dionne Gadsden, Allied ASID is known for her energetic engagement in design education and advocacy. Dionne is passionate about all things design, color and the utilization of color in design. She lectures in Color Theory and the Application of Color in the built environment and is a sought out mentor, motivator and speaker. Dionne is a natural networker. She prides herself on connecting the dots and making deals happen. An expert in the field of personal relationships, Dionne will share her 10 Dos and Don’t of making lasting relationships in this industry.
Most people don’t understand the art and science of marketing and Public Relations. Antoinette has a masters degree in PR and is joining the Black Interior Designers Conference to set the record straight and to get you started on the right path to dealing with editors and other members of the press in a meaningful way.
Authentic Noise is a Chicago, IL based full-service boutique public relations firm specializing in fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. Authentic Noise creates powerful buzz by taking strategic risks that produce the results our clients crave.
Kimberly Ward is the owner and interior designer of Kimberly and Cameron Interiors. KCI is a boutique design firm serving clients in Nashville, Houston, New Orleans and various cities in throughout the Southeast. For seven years Kimberly wrote and curated the award-winning design blog Pink Eggshell, which she later closed to publish Iconic Home Magazine. Iconic Home is an indie publication that focuses on the African American Home and Lifestyle experience.
Kimberly believes that our homes are the psychological center of our lives.