To Top

Life & Work with Joleene Sarah Ross

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joleene Sarah Ross.

Hi Joleene Sarah, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Born and raised in Akron, Ohio. I grew up studying dance and attended private school. I always knew at a young age I wanted to study the arts. In high school, I found myself gravitating towards art classes and my 11th-grade art teacher inspired me to continue the study. So, I pursued a design degree and graduated college from The University of Akron. Yep! I am a zip! 🦘

As my obsession for the arts continued, I traveled and studied. I went to Paris, London, Ireland and Scotland. New York, Chicago, Miami and DC for as much cultural experience as I could absorb then finally decided it was time to take this show on the road and moved out west!

I have been a California resident for almost two years and haven’t had one bad thing to say about it. I mostly did business travel for work on the east coast. But, traveling out west is MUCH different and has been a great experience!

I have been blessed to be a part of an architecture and design community that has taught me so much. I have attended conferences, learned from clients, listened to leaders, even the chance to listen to speakers such as Maya Angelou, taking in her famous quote with me in my travels…. “if you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be”.

As an older professional, I decided to attend grad school. I am pursuing my master’s in architecture and have found I also enjoy teaching and encourage designers and/or architects to advance their degrees. Our profession has organizations like IIDA and AIA along with licensures, building and accessibility codes, and extensive case studies that address many sustainability + environment methodologies to help keep our interior and exterior environments safe and comfortable for the public.

In my downtime, I spend time making jewelry and hobby lapidary. I still love to dance and my fine art practice has become more of a pass time, painting and making art when I have time. I read daily and I have enjoyed the time I spend with book clubs for stay in place reading sessions. I visit as many libraries as I can when I travel. I never miss the opportunity to absorb thoughtful architecture, museums, theaters, nature and the occasional hidden book store everywhere I go. Even casual walks around the city to admire historic hinges on a door in a 1883 circa building!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Lol! NO. !!!!!!! The building industry is very difficult to work in. Firms are constantly changing, merging and even going out of business. Codes and more regulations are forever evolving. New tests and more certifications which all take time and money to keep. Traveling all the time to where there is work and then waiting for work to be approved, deadlines, revisions, budgets, challenges, city approvals, competition….the list goes on and on. As we all know the saying, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it! It’s tough and not many can stay or will invest in the industry for a long period of time.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a commercial and residential interior designer. I have worked on educational, residential, retail, corporate, hospitality, senior living, civic and industrial projects for over twenty years. I am most proud of my historical projects, listed into the National Historical Landmark. 

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
Yes, I have taken major risks. Everything in a creative field is a risk. Your constantly analyzing is it the right project? Asking questions to create the best project for the client. Working with the best team. Moving and traveling out of state. Risks have also been financial and taking care of our own well-being. Making sure programs and management software is up to date. There are a lot of late nights and deadlines.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: joleene_sarah
  • Facebook: Joleene Sarah Ross

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in local stories