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Designing Women: Curating an Online Design Publication with Ashley Nelson

September 19, 2012

Ashley Nelson, Founder of KNSTRCT

Interview by Jennifer Markas

Ashley Nelson sees beauty all around her. She is inspired by innovative products, exotic destinations and quirky designers across the globe. It’s no surprise that she is also the Founder of KNSTRCT, an online museum-like publication where her passion for design and her refined research skills intersect. Ashley delivers up-t0-the minute, multi-disciplinary design news to your inbox and Damsels in Design had the opportunity to catch her in between product reviews. Here, she sheds light on what it took to create her own design destination.

DID: Can you tell us what were you doing before launching KNSTRCT? Why did you start KNSTRCT? What was your “aha!” moment?
AN: I was working as an interior designer in New York City before I started KNSTRCT. It was part of my job to understand shifts and movements within the creative industry. As I would gather my research, I found myself sifting through large amounts of content to find one or two really fantastic projects. I came up with the idea to create a sort of online museum for the design industry, a place to go to find relevant, high quality design news – I knew I needed to do it. That was one of my “aha” moments!

DID: How do you manage all of your daily to-do’s? Have you adopted morning/evening rituals to help you get through the day? If so, which ones have had the greatest impact on your career?
AN: At the moment, I’m still figuring out how to manage my time. I don’t ever expect I will perfect time management. Most days, I work from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep (kids, don’t try this at home!). I try to take about one day off a week, and I take time to run about 4 miles a day which is instrumental to maintaining my sanity.

DID: From whom, what or where do you get your motivation from? What drives your passion? How do you measure success?
AN: I’ve always been very active. I got my first job when I was nine years old selling flowers on the corner. I’m pretty sure I hit the peak of my success around that age – profit margin high, overhead low. It’s fairly easy to be motivated about something that brings happiness and new opportunities into your life. A large portion of my motivation comes from my passion for design.

DID: What do you look for when scouting for new design and architecture to feature? What is trending now? What can we expect in the future?
AN: Everyday I go through a lot of press releases, new projects, and imagery – it’s simple for me – I’m just looking to be ‘wowed’. I try to avoid what is “trending”, and go after what moves me. I’m not publishing everything in design news on KNSTRCT, I’m trying to publish the best of the best. I want our readers to expect that each time they come to KNSTRCT they will see high quality content.

DID: If you could travel back in time and offer yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
AN: I would have done better math on what the monthly payments are to pay back $120,000 in student loans.
DID: You’re not alone, Ashley. I think that’s something many of us wish we would have better understood in the beginning, pre-college or graduate school. Wouldn’t it be great to get a loan for $120K to start ones own business?!

DID: How do you boost your confidence at/for work?
AN: I’m not really sure that I consciously think about my confidence on a daily basis. I try not to be too emotionally effected while I’m working. Sometimes, when great things are happening – it’s great! Other times, things completely fall apart. I choose not to take it personally, and don’t to let it discourage me.

DID: How important is networking in your line of work? How has it helped you build your site?
AN: I like to make new friends, learn from people, and get to know interesting folks. For me, it’s not about how big my circle is, but it’s the quality of the people in my circle. I can proudly say that much of KNSTRCT’s growth can be credited to my close friends and family who support KNSTRCT in extraordinary ways.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Cals permalink
    September 20, 2012 4:55 am

    This woman is a rock star.

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