Design professional who is transitioning from fashion to a career in Interior Design.

So that's the opening sentence and reality of my world! I have been a Children's Wear Designer, in NYC, for the past 23 years. I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology and received a BFA in Fashion Design. It has been rewarding and considering I have worked 4 days a week much of my career, and make a good living, I shouldn't complain. BUT personally it feels like Groundhog Day! I should warn you now I will proof read this but English/ Spelling (thank goodness for spell check) and grammar have never been one of my strong points. 

Going back to my childhood, my mother for the first 12 years of my life was a stay at home super creative mom. She wallpapered, painted, sewed and could make whatever she wanted. My father had an aluminum siding and roofing business. Both my parents came from large families. My mom was the oldest of six children, while my dad was third youngest out of eight. Most of my uncles were in construction from small jobs, to full house remodels and rental properties. As a child I was up on the roof and always around some sort of remodel/ construction job site. If my families houses were being improved my uncles did the work themselves. I loved seeing the mess turn into beautiful spaces.

In High School, I was in the Fashion Design program and we had an annual fashion show, where I made several garments from scratch. I didn't know that Interior Design existed as a career option back then so my creative outlet was fashion. I took classes at F.I.T. on Saturdays and then during the summer for High School students. When I graduated (a year early), I ONLY applied to F.I.T. so THANK GOODNESS I was accepted!! I was married and had a baby from the age of 16 so I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn't been accepted. Luckily "it all worked out" and I graduated F.I.T. in 1996. I was only 5 years into my career when I realized  I wasn't going to want to do this the rest of my life. I owed a house by then and loved decorating and remodeling. I also pretty much only watched HGTV which is when I realized, I wanted to be an Interior Designer when I grow up!!

I attended night classes in Interior Design and in 2004 I received my degree. Around the same time we took on a huge remodeling project of our home. We added an entire second floor and extended the house out 10 feet. With the help of my step father and brother-in-law, I designed the entire remodel, which was given to the architect to draw up for the permits. My uncle was the contractor that did the remodel so I had hands on experience though out the entire process. Every morning at 7am we went over the plan for the day. The house went from a 1975 sq ft ranch to a 3800 sq ft 2 story home (including the basement). With my degree out of the way and the distractions of the house, I faux finished, applied venetian plaster, painted and designed my house. I LOVED every minute of it. Life happened, my son attended college and a career change was just not an option. So I continued on as the not so glamorous "Fashion Designer".

Fast forward to today.... Finally after dabbling here and there over the years in Interior Design projects, I am in a position to make a career change! I am super excited for what the future will bring. I hope you will follow me in my journey as I transition from Fashion Designer to Interior Designer : ))) I hope to aspire everyone to follow their dreams because I truly believe that if you put your mind to something and work hard ANYTHING is possible!!!


Nicole de la Cruz

(my alter ego since my husband spells it Dela Cruz but I told him de la Cruz is more glamorous lol a la Oscar de la Renta ; ))

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8 Things we LOVE from The Little Market!

Though my many hours of listening to super informative podcasts I learned about a company called The Little Market. The company is a fair trade shop founded by Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla where customers can purchase beautiful products handmade by artisans around the world. Read their mission which is super inspiring. Then scroll through just a few of our favorites and be sure to check out the rest on the site!

The Little Market Mission:

Our mission is to build sustainable partnerships with artisans from around the world, by connecting them with customers through our fair trade shop. We seek to empower female artisans to rise above poverty and support their families. 

Our handmade goods showcase the artisans’ traditional skills and their dedication to preserving their artisanal techniques. We source all of the artisans’ products ethically and practice fair trade principles. We acknowledge the interdependency of people around the world and our responsibility to help others.

The Products:



Transform your nursery with this decorative crib mobile that has been handmade by women in Mexico. Your baby won’t be able to get enough of it!Each purchase empowers female artisans at Macvilho in Mexico.



Little ones can never have enough blankets! This lightweight blanket is great for the baby on the go. Each purchase empowers artisans at Kara Weaves in India.


Relax in style with this handmade hammock. Fun tassels and colors make this the perfect place to take an afternoon nap, to read, or to just kick back. Each purchase empowers artisans at Lula Mena in El Salvador.


Sit pretty on this timeless leather bench. Keep it in the living room or a foyer to add the finishing touches to your space. Each purchase empowers artisans at Chabi Chic in Morocco.



Breathe a yogi sigh of relief. Toting your mat to and from class is easier with this naturally dyed, sheep's wool bag. This dark gray, white, and green pattern is based off of traditional geometric textile designs passed down through generations. Each purchase empowers female artisans at Awamaki in Peru.



Attract good vibes with this reusable tote. Featuring a water-resistant interior lining, this burlap bag is the perfect carryall for beach, skincare, and everyday essentials. Choose from two sizes and black or white ink to find your perfect tote. Each purchase empowers artisans at CORR - The Jute Works in Bangladesh.


Add a pop of color in your home with these beautiful pillows handmade by female artisans in Guatemala.



Brighten up your bed or couch with this vibrant pillow. Design your own look while preserving cultural weaving traditions. Each purchase empowers artisans at Lula Mena in El Salvador.

If you need help adding any of these to your next design project reach out to us HERE .

We’d LOVE to help!

Please comment and share this blog post with anyone you think will enjoy it! #sharingiscaring

As always please continue to follow the journey through our Instagram Stories and Facebook updates where we will continue to share behind the scene videos and findings.

Have an Inspired evening everyone!