The month of March is a time for celebration, empowerment, and recognition of women around the world. As a Women Owned Business, Waldner’s is thrilled to honor this occasion by shining a spotlight on the remarkable women leaders within our industry.

Throughout March, our ‘Women’s History Month Spotlight Series’ will feature various women making transformative strides in our field. Each spotlight will offer a glimpse into the inspiring journeys of these remarkable individuals.

Our next spotlight is on Annie Lee, NCIDQ, IIDA, WELL AP, LEED AP ID+C, Leadership, Interior Design at ENV.

1. What is the proudest moment in your career journey thus far?

“I am grateful and humbled by our industry that has amazed me with so many incredible moments in my journey; being honored by IIDA NY Leaders Breakfast, my projects winning various awards, and products I designed being launched and gaining recognition, among several which stand out to me. While I will forever cherish these honors, the human aspect of design is what truly drives me and makes me feel most proud.

One such time was early in my career when I was approached by an elderly lady after a space I designed had been built. She appeared disgruntled at first which made me assume that she would complain about the space. Instead, she grasped my hand, looked into my eyes, and thanked me for creating a life-changing environment. Previously, everyone had been arguing and unhappy in the office, she told me. And now, they were all getting along with each other, enthusiastic, and productive. I was touched that my design was able to impact people’s lives in such a meaningful way. The memory of that woman’s smile as she gently held my hand with gratitude will always stay with me.”

2. Share a challenge you have faced in your career and how you overcame it.

Coming to interior design from a fashion background meant that, right away, I was not on a leveled playing field. I didn’t have the industry knowledge nor connections others had, until I went back to school while working and obtaining my license. This was a challenge, however, that turned into an opportunity for me to transfer my former experience to induce a fresh perspective in the field. My experiment of couture colors, details, and materials carried over to my interior design and provided me with a unique point of view that many clients loved to explore together.

3. What advice would you give to the next generation of women in the workplace?

“One does not need to wait for an opportunity to knock but can seek it out and seize it. Being kind and fair to everyone will become one’s biggest assets as people will always remember you for it. Also, it never hurts to work hard. :)”