Ruthi Auda Daugherty
I love working with retail, food & beverage, coffee, and hospitality companies to design an experience that is highly unique and customized to them. This includes everything from space planning, custom designing furniture, finishes selection (paint, tiles, flooring, etc) and art installations to branding/logo design and graphic design. For example, I helped Rose Park Roasters design their branding, packaging, website, and photo content and then expanded their brand to a physical coffee shop space complete with custom designed furniture, hand picked lighting and brand murals.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
It's a long road, but can be summed up in creating a lot of stuff/working my butt off and always exploring new paths. I started as a very creative kid, got a BFA in Design, worked in graphic design agency world, created displays for Anthropologie, oversaw visuals and creative for a Nike retail concept, started my own design company, and now work directly with clients on a range of projects.
If you want the longer version, see below:
Growing up, I was always creative and took a ridiculous amount of art classes through high school when I started taking fashion design classes. My dad was a set designer and very handy and I always loved helping him. When I started college, I quickly discovered I didn't want to do fashion design and I switched to a BFA in Graphic Design. When I graduated, my internship at a boutique design agency turned into a full time job and I dove into a lot of print, web, and graphic design. I got laid off in 2008 and got hired as a Display Coordinator at Anthropologie--the perfect fit for me since I had always admired their amazing displays and I was very crafty and hands on. It was so much fun constantly coming up with ideas and building the elaborate installations. A few years in, I got approached by Nike to help them with a new and highly creative retail concept, Salvation. There I honed my floor plan, merchandising, and display skills to a new level--designing custom displays, highly specialized brand moments, and overseeing all the visuals in the stores. Eventually I got the itch to branch out on my own and I co-founded CAMP Design Group. We worked with big companies like TOMS Shoes, Active Ride Shop, Manduka, and Goodwill to design and build trade show booths, creative office spaces, retail brick & mortars, coffee shops, and more. Last year I left CAMP and have been freelancing with clients directly on projects like hotel wayfinding signage, magazine design, and retail pop-ups.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
I think a lot of people in my field can select pretty furniture & fixtures but I am proud of how my knowledge of construction, hardware and materials informs my design of custom pieces.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I'm consulting for a couple small brands that I really believe in. Helping them with streamlining visuals, fine tuning outward facing brand elements, and making creative decisions.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
My style is pretty simple & minimal but warm and very intentional. I love when projects have a backstory or meaning behind them outside of looking good. I believe that the details are important and really bring a project to life.
I think the RARE x Goodwill project has a really rich back story that informed the materials & design of the space & fixtures.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
Custom designed furniture and photography are some of my favorite parts of what I do.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Trying to figure out how to build and maintain a growing professional network in a sustainable way. I don't love always being out at events but I need to find a way to connect with more brands and creatives.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Schedule all my appointments. I hate scheduling appointments.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I would have told myself to get more organized & official with the "business" side before starting my company 6+ years ago. It eventually snow balled and felt very out of control and impossible to sort out in some ways. Live & learn.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
How companies domestically produce furniture & home good product lines. Its appealing but seems like an expensive and overwhelming process.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I would love to work on designing highly creative & inspired commercial interiors--retail, food & beverage, coffee, hospitality, & more. It's a dream of mine to design a boutique hotel or a cocktail bar.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
I would love to work with brands in the health & wellness market as that is an important part of my personal life. Working with people who's values align with mine in some way is important.
A great example would be to help a new yoga studio or gym to brand and design their space.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
My work is quoted on a project basis and varies greatly since the needs and requirements of every project can be so different.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Shoot me an email with an overview of your project and some information about your brand. Information that is important to me at the start are: project scope, aesthetic, timeline, and budget.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Exploring new places, near or far.
This member profile was originally published in October 2016.