In the era of late night tv binge-watching, I have never experienced a more poignant and empowering moment at 11:16 pm on a Wednesday night… While updating one of my many service-offering-focused spreadsheets (as one does), I heard the voice of Grace Adler (aka THE Debra Messing in Will & Grace) ringing in my ear and echoing through my brain. There has never been a moment in my life when I have felt more connected to a fictional sitcom character than I did in that minute and I am SO taking her impassioned words with me.
If you don’t know, Grace is an interior designer who runs her own business and it hadn’t occurred to me until tonight how much I could resonate with her character. The last time I watched the series was back when it was on primetime television and I was still basically a child. Now that I’m all grown up and running a design-based business of my own I am LOVING Grace. She’s a delightful mess in most of her life, but she is a force to be reckoned with where her business is concerned.
So let’s set the scene: Season 1 Episode 4 (available on Hulu for my fellow binge-watchers) Grace is asked to decorate an apartment for her best friend’s boss (Harlen). Will (the best friend) inadvertently gets Grace fired from the job when he hints to Harlen that he doesn’t like what she created for him. Now, here’s what I love. Will comes home to their shared apartment to give Grace the bad news, finding her consoling herself with an entire cheesecake, and when he confronts her about her design choices she pushes back.
Grace: You just couldn’t help yourself. You did exactly what you said you weren’t going to do. I mean what was that all about?
Will: What was that apartment all about? I mean, could you have been more insulting? It looked like Gene Autrey exploded in there.
Grace: I didn’t design it for you, Will. I did it for a 6 foot 4 man from Texas…
Will: I know Harlen.
Grace: Yeah, and I know design. If you called me at work and I wasn’t there, the answering machine would say Grace Adler Designs. If you opened my purse, my business cards would say Grace Adler Designs. It seems like the only person who doesn’t know Grace Adler Designs is her best friend. Let me introduce myself. I’m Grace Adler, I design!
At which point Will threatens to cut her off from the cheesecake…
It’s so easy, when you’re in business for yourself, to doubt your decisions. I don’t think a day has gone by since I started Inkind Design when I didn’t have at least one moment of doubt. But I keep going, I keep making decisions, and more often than not I make the right ones. Why? Because I know design.
People come to Inkind Design because they need help. Most of the time they don’t even know what they need, they just know that they need help. That’s what powers me through any doubt. I need to keep going because what we do here has a genuine impact on people’s lives. Good design makes for better business and happier business owners. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing that, in sharing our skills and creative passion with the world, we’ve made someone’s day brighter and maybe even lightened their load.
So I leave you, now, with the late-night words of Ms. Adler and I ask: What do you do? What do you know better than any nay-sayers or nagging self-doubt?
My name is Meg Joyce, I design!