Get to Know Megan Tollefson

September 28

Introducing Megan, Associate Designer at Ellie Ann's Interior Design

Meet Megan, one of the creative forces behind Ellie Ann's Interior Design. Her journey into the world of interior design is as unique as the spaces she helps to transform. In this post, we'll dive into Megan's inspiring story, sprinkled with her own words that reflect her passion for design and the path that led her to where she is today.

What initially sparked your interest in interior design?

I started my college career in accounting, with a clear plan to become a CPA. I thought that was my path, but after a year in accounting college, something didn't feel right. So, I went back to the drawing board.

I didn't know much about Interior Design back then, but I decided to give it a try. I told myself, "One semester, Megan. If you don't like it, you can explore something else." That one semester turned out to be a turning point in my life.

My first year of Interior Design classes went surprisingly well, and I realized there was so much more to it than just making things "look good." Looking back, I've always been rearranging things, organizing spaces, picking out colors, or just sketching ideas. Interior Design felt like a natural fit.

The journey was far from easy, though. Interior Design was a demanding field of study. I had to hold B's or better in all my classes, and they required a lot of attention and time. But despite the challenges, I found immense satisfaction in what I was learning. To put it into perspective, out of the 30+ students who started, only 15 of us graduated. That's how intense it was.

The Turning Point

Going through that first year, I realized I had to buckle up and fully commit to this career. I was genuinely enjoying everything I was doing. Even though the classes were long and time-consuming, I didn't mind any of it. That's when I knew I was on the right path.

During my junior year, I had the opportunity to do an internship in Minneapolis, MN, with Niosi Design. That experience was a game-changer for me. It solidified my decision to pursue residential interior design once I graduated from college.

Tell us about the journey that led you to join Ellie Ann's Interior Design.

What led me to Ellie Ann's Interior Design was a period of self-reflection. I found myself in a rut, battling internal conflicts for about six months. I had a job, a fiancé, and what I thought I needed, but I wasn't truly happy with my situation.

Throughout my time at NDSU's interior design program, I had this dream of becoming a certified interior designer. However, I had put that dream on hold for a while. Then, one night, I couldn't ignore that dream anymore.

I had told my husband about Ellie Ann's, a company about an hour and a half away from where we lived. I thought it was too far and not worth pursuing, but he encouraged me to reach out. He saw my passion and wanted me to chase my dreams.

So, I sent that email, and it led to an interview with Susan, the owner of Ellie Ann's. After our second interview, I felt so comfortable with Susan, and I knew that she would help me grow as a designer. I was willing to grow with her and learn from her.

Susan has not only taught me about interior design but also about life and what it means to enjoy what you do and cherish the people in your life.

What aspects of interior design do you find most fulfilling and inspiring?

For me, the most creatively satisfying aspect of interior design is the collaborative process. Susan and I select design elements for a project and present them to the client. There's something incredibly rewarding when a client gives us positive feedback.

But it doesn't stop there. We often have to make adjustments or tweaks to our selections based on the client's input. It's all part of the process. The real satisfaction comes when we see the project come to life during installation. When everything falls into place, and the project is finished, it's incredibly fulfilling. And, of course, a happy client at the end of it all makes the job even more rewarding.

Could you share a project that holds special significance to you?

One project that holds a special place in my heart is my very first master bathroom remodel. It was the first project I had taken from beginning to finish. Susan gave me the chance to quote the project, and while it wasn't 100% perfect, she turned it into a teaching moment. She provided guidance and pointers, which I still carry with me.

Reflecting on your journey, what advice would you give to aspiring interior designers?

If I could give advice to aspiring interior designers, I would say: learn to pivot on the fly. Life isn't perfect, and neither are we. Challenges will come your way, but there's always a way to find a solution. Don't give up on your dreams. Life might not always deal you the cards you want, but as long as you keep pushing forward, advocating for yourself, and embracing the journey, things will work out.

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  1. It was nice to meet you and get to know you a bit, Megan. You are learning from the best when you are working with Susan, and I’m sure your design work is outstanding too. Good Luck as you continue to expand and share your knowledge and design ideas!

    1. Nancy, thank you for the kind words! I am truly learning from one of the best, Susan has expanded my knowledge by miles and I'm excited to see what else she can help me with in the time moving forward.

    2. Thank you, Nancy for the wonderful reply. It means a lot to myself and Megan as you are someone I have always looked up to! Susan

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