Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Beuscher.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve always known that I wanted to create spaces that make people happy. In high school, that was theatre, in college that became interior design and themed entertainment design. Homes, theme parks, museums – they’re much more connected from a design standpoint than people might realize.
After college I worked for a major lighting and home décor retailer as a production coordinator; creating themed sale events and playing a key role in both look and style of the photography for their website. My bachelor’s degree is actually in Set & Exhibition design so it was a great fit in many ways. However, in 2014 when I was looking for a more hands on creative outlet I transitioned back into Themed Entertainment.
Working within Themed Entertainment, I’ve had the opportunity to help design multiple major theme parks, dark rides, hotels, and museums around the world. It’s a fantastic creative outlet to have serious conversations about everyone’s favorite cartoon character or the latest movie, and how to bring that into the physical world.
In 2015 I saw that E-Design was really taking off, making it a much more affordable alternative to traditional interior design, as well as helping pair designers with clients from all over the world. It was then that I decided to start working as an E-Designer (a web based Interior Designer) and have continued to work in both realms of design ever since.
I believe that a strong design will key into a client’s needs, along with their wants, working together to create a space that is both beautiful and smile inducing upon entering. This is something that I think is true no matter if it’s the latest and greatest dark ride at your local theme park, or your living room in a home that been in your family for decades.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have been plenty of obstacles along the way to where I am.
I put myself through college, so just having enough money to buy art supplies, food, etc. was a pretty hard time. I actually worked around 40 hours a week at a movie theater in college, on top of being a full-time student. It wasn’t glamour’s – but the people I worked with were wonderful and I gained a lot of experience in working with people from all walks of life.
After college I was lucky enough to be living with my aunt and uncle rent free, whom I owe a great deal to for the help they’ve given me over the years. Among other things, it enabled me to move into a tiny apartment on my own. It was, of course, in the not-so-great part of the valley. Most of its issues revolved around all of the noise but when I transitioned back into Themed Entertainment it also meant an often 1.5-hour drive to and again from work every day. As everyone in LA knows – traffic was horrible – and over the 3ish years that I did that drive it really wore me (and my social life) down.
I’ve since moved to Silverlake and though I’m thankfully no longer commuting nearly as much every day, as a freelance designer (both for Themed Entertainment and Interior Design) it does mean that I have a rather erratic schedule most of the time. Along with this erratic schedule I never have the guarantee of work – which is an obstacle every freelancer can attest to. I have a few people that I work with regularly, but the you-never-know always looms in the back of my mind, and there have definitely been times where I’ve run though my savings or lived off my credit cards for a bit.
I’ve been lucky in that I’ve always been able to keep up with my bills and get them paid on time. Since I put myself through school though, I do have an outrageous amount in student loan debt. I actually pay more to my loans every month than I do in rent – so I’m sure anyone reading this can understand how much of a burden that has been. I do my best to stay positive when new hurdles come up though, such as how I’m currently looking for a new car. I like to tell myself that I can either live my dreams, or I can work to have them. I’d rather work to have them.
So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Samantha Beuscher Design story. Tell us more about the business.
I started Samantha Beuscher Design in late 2016. I kept the name pretty general, since I work in multiple aspects of design. There are two main aspects to my business, theme parks, and interior design.
With theme parks (and all of its related areas of design) I’m prominently a Set Designer working with creative teams to bring concept art to life. I work a lot in AutoCAD, Vector works, Photoshop, and Indesign within that realm, doing everything from drafting sets, coloring elevations, and putting together color and materials packages.
In interior design, I work mainly as an edesigner, working on a larger platform that helps pair clients and I based on our design aesthetic and availability. With this type of design, I work predominately in Photoshop and AutoCAD, giving clients a flat rendering of their space, with a floor plan that is to scale and accurately represents the pieces I’m suggesting for them.
I think the biggest thing that sets me apart from others is simply that I work so closely with two such different industries. I’ll be the first to say there are so many crossover opportunities between the two. However, as a Set Designer, I’m able to look at a client’s space from a unique perspective, factoring in everything from how different light filtration will be with a colored or patterned curtain, to how best to hide the cords no one ever wants to see (and that you never see in commercials or retail catalogs). Similarly, as an Interior Designer I really key in to how people move and interact with a space, designing in the little things that make a space feel more lived in, more real, and less like a simple theater set that a guest is walking though.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
When my last full-time job wasn’t able to bring in the contract they’d hoped for they had to let a lot of people from the company go, and I was one of them. During my time there I was lucky enough to have made so many connections, both business connections and lifelong friendships, that have continued to enable me to find work. I was lucky enough that not a week later a friend of a friend needed some help on a new nighttime parade for a major overseas theme park – and I started working as a freelance designer.
Since then a lot of my work has come from friends asking others if they know of anyone, and my name comes up – something that I find myself to be both very lucky for, and very great full of.
With my Interior Design, I rely mainly on Instagram to get my name out there, and so far, I’ve been lucky enough to have had some fantastic clients choose to work with me because of it. While working on the Deforest platform, I’ve similarly been lucky to have had clients who’ve been a joy to work with and who’ve loved their designs – which really comes back to my main goal for getting into design in the first place – making spaces that make people happy.
- For Interior Design services (via Decorist) $299 / room
- For Themed Entertainment opportunities, please email me at email@example.com
- Website: sambeuscher.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: sammbeuscher
All images are my own