From World Traveler to Designer

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From World Traveler to Designer

February 15, 2018

Joy Faust joined the interior design team in 2018. A graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and a member of both the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Joy brings over a decade’s worth of experience in design, finance, and business administration to the customers of McWaters.

Tell us a little bit about your educational background.

My background is business and finance administration, but I’ve always been a creative person. I freelanced in residential design for over ten years as an independent contractor. My interests shifted to commercial design, so I returned to college to earn my formal education in commercial interior design. I recently graduated with honors from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design.

What drew you to working at McWaters?

McWaters is a Steelcase dealership and I love that product line. I used Steelcase products for my design work when I was in school. There are a few reputable commercial furniture designers and manufacturers in the commercial design industry, however, Steelcase’s research and evidence-based product development has redefined the workplace and positions them as an alpha leader.  So, naturally, being able to come here and provide this phenomenal product line for customers was a major incentive.

I also love the diversity of what McWaters offers. Our ability to provide a comprehensive solution through a variety of product lines and services was another major draw for me. Great design entails multi-disciplinary collaboration. Having access to furniture, audio-visual, flooring, and relocation design professionals under one roof is spectacular and enhances customer goals being met. The company culture is great, too—the people are pretty awesome. I interacted with several of the employees professionally before I graduated, and they seemed like such a fun, close-knit bunch.

What are you most looking forward to during your tenure with McWaters?

Having worked in the education, government, medical, retail, and hospitality sectors as an employee, I’m excited about providing design solutions that will optimize the experience for others working in and utilizing those spaces as well. Working with my team and returning to these various environments, but from the perspective of designing them, is going to be a great experience.

Tell us a little bit about your background. What unique qualities do you bring to the table as a McWaters employee?

I’m a South Carolinian transplant by way of California and a “retired” military spouse, so I’ve done a lot of globetrotting, and I’ve been exposed to and embraced many different cultures. What I bring is the totality of those experiences. As a result, my ability to assess, adapt, integrate, and understand a variety of different environments is inherent.

I hope to bring my ability to “think and see beyond” to every design project, with the intent of exceeding our customers’ expectations. I want to interact and connect with customers, not just on a surface level, but to really comprehend what unique needs they have. It is something that can get lost in the process.

One of my passions is my work as a sign language interpreter. I’ve volunteered as the ASL interpreter at my church for almost fifteen years now and had the opportunity to interact with a variety of differently-abled people. That experience has made me attentive and mindful to things that other people may overlook. I think this kind of acute awareness is going to be beneficial to the team.

"I hope to bring my ability to 'think and see beyond' to every design project, with the intent of exceeding our customers' expectations."

What products are your favorite?

I love the Bivi office system by Turnstone, which is a Steelcase brand. It has a sleek, modern look that is uber flexible and customizable with bright colors, but it’s still functional and comfortable. It’s aesthetically appealing and I love that.

Is there a particular market that you’re going to be focusing on?

Wherever there are spaces where people need to work! I’m up for many challenges and I don’t have one particular market that I prefer. During my extended internship with the firm Studio2LR Architecture + Interiors, I was exposed to and participated in a variety of different projects, from libraries to animal shelters to government offices. I wanted to be involved with all of that, because each area brings its own challenges and I think all of those challenges allow me to utilize the different skills I’ve acquired in school and in the professional world.

Are there any projects you’re especially excited to work on?

I am really excited to work on the Richland County Public Library Edgewood branch design. Libraries are another passion of mine—since childhood, they’ve been one of my favorite places to hang out. To be able to actually work on a library project design is pretty special. There are a lot of areas within the library where our products are providing the solutions for people occupying that particular space, and I love that.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found about working at McWaters?

It’s really cool when you see a company from the outside, and it looks great, and then when you get on the inside, you find out it’s even better than you imagined. That’s something that’s really exciting. It’s easy to come to the office when you’re working with a great group of people who are highly skilled, very knowledgeable, and not afraid to share that knowledge for the purpose of making the work we do for our customers that much better.

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