Sarah says, “At 17 years old I didn’t have a clue what career I was aiming for – what teenager does? All I could do was make a decision based on things that were fun to me, made me suck in air and hold my breath. I spent most of my time in the art room - painting with bright colours, creating wild textures, first-time blends, fun shapes, soft light, graphics and technical drawings. And if I wasn’t there, I was in nature feeling alive! Breathing fresh air, building tents, being still … but aware …
"My grandma was my influencer - she loved design and in the 1950’s became a female drafter in what was a male-dominated industry - she showed me courage and her choices helped inspire trust in mine.
"I loved school, loved to learn. When the chance to study and work with others that had the same passion and ideals as mine popped up it was like a dream! I choose Spatial Design, which is the design of human environments, including aspects of interior design, architecture, urban design, performance, events, art and visual technologies. The course involved studying and responding to the relationships between people and their environments – ultimately coming up with enhanced ways for people to live within a space.
"One of my favourite event projects was HALO - bringing hundreds of architecture students from around the country to create 'light' structures using laser beams, projectors, balloons and fabric suspended from demolition cranes to create the illusion of an urban city centre around the red zone in Christchurch.
"Thousands of Cantabrians returned - some for the first time and lost themselves in HALO - this was one of the world's first festivals of Transitional Architecture and, for me the bringing together of colour, texture, light, fresh air … Spatial design enabled me to develop fundamental industry skills, as well as build and develop the creative capability to succeed in changing the world of design. I studied and immersed myself in an environment that encouraged active engagement with other students, practitioners, groups and communities. Spatial design bypasses the norm and is continually questioning conventions not only about design but also about all aspects of life … building tents, being still … being aware.
"All of which brought me to Kitchen Design - how did that happen? By taking every opportunity that makes itself known. Carlielle Kitchens were a bit of a lucky strike. One night at 11 pm I was skimming the job section at Trademe and found the posted vacancy. Carlielle Kitchens were local and I had heard of them, so I had no hesitations in applying and here I am!”
When chatting with Sarah’s boss, Doug, we asked him what inspired him about what Sarah does – he responded, "her open mind to new ways of doing things. We also asked what he’d like to see Sarah achieve over the next two years. “completing her BCITO Kitchen Qualification and continuing to develop her design abilities. She is already working on some very cool projects, which is a big part of why we love this industry.”
In Sarah’s short time with Carlielle Kitchens, she has won the BCITO NKBA Most Promising Student of the Year Award. Doug said, “Sarah should be very proud of this achievement, and I am also very proud of our team that have supported her development.”
The unrealised potential of tapping into your childhood dreams is devastatingly undervalued!
Go realise yours … Mr Zoo Keeper, Ms Event Master, Ms Civil Engineer - Planet Red.
Anne-Marie Mains, President NKBA, Sarah Jennings, Greg Durkin, BCITO.