The Black Interior Designers Network’s mission is to promote diversity and inclusion within the interior design industry by highlighting designers of color and supporting black designers with business development opportunities.
We are the pioneering nonprofit organization providing resources and business opportunities that allow black designers to flourish.
Our focus is on creating a rich network and resource for members, clients, suppliers, manufacturers, and the industry at large that showcase the breadth of black interior designers’ creativity, influence, and professional contributions.
Professionalism – We uphold the highest standards of excellence in our support of capable African American Interior Designers, executing design projects ranging in size, style, and scope.
Access and Opportunity – We promote the contributions of the extensive mix of designers with diverse experience, education, training, and exposure, as we leverage our relationships with stakeholders throughout the industry to create access and opportunities to showcase great design, contribute new ideas and approaches, and build mutually beneficial relationships.
Presence – We foster increased visibility and interaction of black designers within the industry.
Community – Through e-mail communication, our website, social media & virtual networking opportunities, and our annual meetings, we foster vitality and the ‘joie de vivre’ that inspires each designer and the synergy of interpersonal interaction that advances our purpose.
Professional Development – We provide a forum for rigorous exchange of information, ideas, and robust professional development for the experienced and the novice—offering points of entry and value for the degreed, licensed, and credentialed, as well as the self-taught professional designer.
WHAT WE DO :
- Showcase African American home and lifestyles through partnerships with media outlets, books, magazines, blogs, and network television appearances.
- Partner with brands excited about working with our network of designers to ensure competitive pricing and business expansion opportunities.
- Celebrate the unique contribution designers of color bring to the table of the interior design industry.
- Provide business development training to designers through our national and regional events and virtual platforms.
- Offer the combined wisdom of the designers on the African American Top 20 List to educate and encourage the next generation of interior design professionals.
We leverage our relationships with stakeholders throughout the industry to create access and opportunities to showcase great design.
We are visionaries, marketers, and suppliers, committed to helping aspiring designers develop their business through several channels. We provide access to the resources that enhance the delivery of superior service to clients. Whether designers at the top of their game are seeking an even higher level of excellence, or have just started their business and desire a professional source of information, support, and interaction with others in the field, we can help—we’re here for that purpose! As the pioneering nonprofit organization for black interior designers, we embrace and support designers at every level, understanding that every journey must have a beginning point.
We provide the resources and business opportunities that allow black designers to flourish.
Interior design is a unique, exciting and ever-evolving field populated by creative visionaries with expertise in creating spaces in which we live, work, worship, dine and play. In today’s climate, the professional designer wears many hats and needs a variety of skills and as much professional as can be garnered. Frankly, the business of design is a top priority of anyone who want to be successful in the field.
We are all about great design and the designers who create it!
We recognize the contributions of designers who range in experience and training and value the and the power that results from the diverse richness at every level of professional design. We know that the most successful and experienced designers have specific goals and challenges related to business development, new market exploration, reinvigorating their styles and techniques. Novice designers face unique challenges related to business startup, exposure, and access. Designers of color can benefit from increased visibility and interaction within the interior design industry.
Get ready for the next level: connections, opportunities, and growth!
Kimberly Ward started her design career in 2002 working for members of the newly formed Houston Texan franchise. In 2004, she became the home and lifestyle contributor for Gospel Today magazine. During her four-year tenure, Kimberly wrote monthly interior design columns for the lifestyle publication.
In 2008, Kimberly left Gospel today and became the editor in chief of the interior design blog, “Pink Eggshell”. It was Kimberly’s first attempt at sharing design information in the fast-paced digital space. In 2011, after winning awards for her blog, Kimberly started attending blogging and interior design events. It dawned on her that she was frequently being asked the same question, “Where are all the Black designers?” Kimberly decided to publish a list of the Top 20 African American Interior Designers with the hopes of creating a resource for those seeking to work with or for Black interior designers.
The Black Interior Designers Network stemmed from the need to serve not only the Black interior design community, but the Black community as a whole. Kimberly provided the blueprint that is the cornerstone for Black interior designers worldwide. Her life will always be a luminance in the hearts and memories of all whose paths she crossed.
Kimberly Elaine Ward (1974 – 2017)
A native of Hattiesburg, MS, Nekeia (“Keia”) McSwain is one of Mississippi’s best-kept African American secrets. She is a 2011 graduate of Tougaloo College (Jackson, MS), where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in English, with a minor in Writing. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Keia moved to Atlanta, GA, took on corporate America, then accepted her first challenge in this field that she so deeply loves, in the design arena of kitchen and bath showrooms. She started her professional design career, sometimes referred to by those closest to her as her “no-fear leap of faith”, in 2014, working with the late Kimberly Ward, the founder of The Black Interior Designers’ Network (BIDN), who impacted her professional journey’s beginning in more ways than one. It was the moment of delving deeper into a professional design career alongside Kimberly at the BIDN that is credited with being the awakening of a future “designs diva”. In 2017, Kimberly entrusted Keia with the role of President of the Black Interior Designers Network.
Keia is a self-taught designer and current resident of Denver, CO, with a clientele that spans the nation. She works closely with clients to create innovative, functional, and comfortable spaces. Keia has established strategic partnerships with premier industry leaders. With a blueprint, vision, and heart for service, she has worked tirelessly to simplify the transitional period for new interior designers. One could view her as a new-day trailblazer in design, attributing that opinion to her contagious, intoxicating energy and passion for design.
Keia’s goal is to actualize the elimination of annual budget constraints and eradicate high premiums for high-end merchandise from vendors. To date, her leadership at the Black Interior Designers’ Network has benefited self-taught, vetted, and emerging designers in the realm of creating portfolio management opportunities. Keia has been valuably instrumental in easing designers’ access to information necessary for a culmination of business practices, trade and industry re-education, and contract legalities. In her role as President, Keia has helped to further establish the solidity of the Black Interior Designers’ Network by aiding in its national recognition as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Her passion, persistence, and strong leadership commitment have allowed her personal dream of being the “poster girl” for millennial design evolution to become a creative reality. Hers is a never-ending love for interior design.