With a Master of Science degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, Dani Arps is the founder of Dani Arps LLC. Known as the interior designer of choice for many tech companies based in NYC, Dani has designed spaces for high-profile startups such as Codecademy, SeatGeek, and Venmo.
Acknowledged as a “Star on the Rise” by DDB in 2017, Dani was recognized as being a new face on the design horizon who is breaking boundaries and making waves for the next generation of interior designers.
In this episode of our Take Ownership Podcast, Dani sits down to chat with us about landing her first client, working with Rita Konig, and being inspired by design.
Landing Her First Client…
Dani always knew that she did not want to work for anyone else. Due to this, when Dani graduated from Pratt Institute in 2009, she not only decided to search for jobs, she also decided to search for potential clients. Through Craigslist, Dani landed one of her first freelance clients, Codecademy. As a result, this opportunity would eventually serve as Dani’s introduction into the world of designing spaces for startups.
In Dani’s experience working with Codecademy, she mentions that it was both fun and challenging. “Working with a startup, we grew together,” says Dani. “I was still learning how to be a designer. It was difficult, but it also forced me to be more creative. Overall, I think it was beneficial in the long run.”
Working with Rita Konig…
“I was really fortunate to work with Rita Konig” says Dani. “I learned so much from her. I learned how to correspond with clients, find vendors, and understand more about the design process. A lot of young designers don’t necessarily work with someone they look up to when they start out. I was lucky because I worked directly alongside of Rita. When she would leave the country, I would run the studio. As a result, I had my hand in every part of running a business.”
Inspired by Design…
“Due to the fact that I live in New York City, everything is inspirational!” says Dani. “I go into Soho to see how the stores are designed. I’m going to be designing my first furniture showroom and part of my research is going to other stores to see what grabs my attention. I’m very fortunate to live in New York City. It’s an inspirational city!”
In addition, Dani shares how she enjoys seeing how things work. She mentions, “If we take any space, people need chairs, desks, and conference rooms. There are certain elements that make a space. I pull the actual functionality from my inspiration without letting it change what my design is.”
(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking brand strategist, curator, and educator. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he is extremely passionate about bridging the gap and building value between brands, communities, and culture. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.