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Owner, Clarissa Young Interior Design
Project Manager, Date Lady Inc.
Clarissa Young comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, and that capitalist spirit made no mistake when imprinting on this 25-year-old interior designer. As the owner of Clarissa Young Interior Design and the project manager for her aunt’s company, the Date Lady, Young thrives on a constant sundry of projects. “When you love what you’re doing it shows,” she says. “I would enjoy working on my day off—there’s really not a big separation between my personal and work life.”
And the Harding University graduate’s love for her work most certainly shows. As the recipient of two 417 Home Design Awards for the major renovation of her and her husband, Jeremy’s, 1930s home, and a major force in helping propel the Date Lady’s products to a national level, Young’s relentless work ethic is apparent in all that she does.
Much of Young’s design inspiration and love for the industry comes from working with design firms in Little Rock, Arkansas, and most recently, James Décor. A Spring Creek Tea Room regular, Young can often be found antiquing and traveling. As a member of The American Society of Interior Designers with LEED accreditation, the outgoing Young hopes to gradually work more sustainable commercial projects into her busy schedule. –D.D.
417 Magazine: How would you define the secret to success?
Clarissa Young: Having dreams and then setting goals to reach those dreams. Perseverance is also important as is a good attitude. I’ve learned in the design industry that things don’t always go as planned, and you learn to troubleshoot effectively, which is also beneficial in all of life’s scenarios.
417: How did you end up at your current job/profession?
C.Y.: Almost everyone in my family owns their own business. I think I learned to be an entrepreneur at a young age by watching the examples around me. Opening my own business just seemed like a natural progression in my career. I always wanted to do something creative and interior design was the perfect fit. I was fortunate enough to work with some great design firms in Little Rock, Arkansas and Springfield, which really helped me understand the industry and foster my love for design. I joined Date Lady in 2012 because it is my aunt’s company. She made me an offer I couldn’t resist and I’ve been crazy about date syrup ever since! I’m still learning a lot about the food industry, but it’s a fun job!
417: Where do you find passion to do what you do?
C.Y.: I love the people I work with and the diversity of my projects. I am always trying to keep up with trends as well as educate myself in both industries. When you love what you’re doing, it shows.
417: Are you single/married, and do you have any kids?
C.Y.: I am married to my high school sweetheart Jeremy and we do not have any kids.
417: What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
C.Y.: I love to travel, volunteer with my church and in the Springfield community, try new recipes in the kitchen, read and renovate our 1930’s home.
417: Are you involved in any charitable organizations?
C.Y.: I am a member of the Junior League of Springfield and I serve on its Charity Ball committee. I am involved with and volunteer at our church.
417: Are you a member of any professional organizations?
C.Y.: I am an allied member of The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) as well as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional.
417: How would you define the secret to success?
C.Y.: Having dreams and then setting goals to reach those dreams. Perseverance is also important and a good attitude. I’ve learned in the design industry that things don’t always go as planned and you learn to troubleshoot effectively, which is also beneficial in all of life’s scenarios.
417: What’s your favorite thing about your career?
C.Y.: I love the diversity of every day. One day I may be drawing up kitchen plans or selecting finishes and the next I will be assisting Date Lady with a trade show on the West Coast!
417: What’s your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
C.Y.: The people are down to earth and kind. Working with Junior League has really shown me how tight knit this community is and how many organizations and individuals volunteer their time to make 417-land a better place.
417: If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
C.Y.: The decisions you make today really will affect your future! Dream big!
417: What was your “dream job” at age 5?
C.Y.: I wanted to be ballerina.
417: List three traits that define a successful career:
C.Y.: Honesty, professionalism and a good work ethic.
417: Why are you a 20 Under 30?
C.Y.: Because I have been blessed with wonderful opportunities, friends and family that have helped me get to this point in my life.
417: What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
C.Y.: With my design business I have some commercial job opportunities as well as some current residential clients that really bring new and exciting design ideas to the table. I also hope to have my design website up and running and to finally start a blog. I hope this is the year Date Lady products are sold in retail stores nationwide and I can have a hand in helping with the process!
417: What completed project are you most proud of?
C.Y.: I am probably most proud of my own house’s first floor. We bought a fixer-upper and it has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears for it to finally become a home. I was pretty proud to take on that large of a project and see it completed and then to win two 417 Design Awards for my efforts! Now for the second floor! With Date Lady, I am really proud of how successfully the product has been received, even with it being such a young company. We have gotten great feedback from the community and it’s nice to know I’ve been able to assist with that success.
417: _____ makes life worth living.
C.Y.: Faith, family and a good book.
417: A day at work wouldn’t be complete without _____.
C.Y.: 3 p.m. espresso and dark chocolate.
417: Ten years from now, I hope I’m _____.
C.Y.: Traveling and practicing interior design.
417: If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would _____.
C.Y.: Share the love.
417: The best part about being a 20 Under 30 is _____.
C.Y.: My career is just beginning!