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Welcome to IIDA Northlands second Podcast episode of Community Pop! We are thrilled to introduce you to a new concept developed by our incredible team of volunteers with IIDA Northland.


We invite you to come back next month for our upcoming Community Pop Podcast with another exciting interviewee, nominated by this month’s Claire Meints.      



Podcast Transcript:


Welcome to Community Pop, an IIDA northland podcast where we get to know members of our community. Where each Interviewee gets to nominate the next person for me to pop over and ask a question to. I’m your host Caitlin Wolff, and today we’re talking to Claire Meints, Interior Designer at IA’s Minneapolis’ Studio.



Hi Claire, welcome to the podcast!


Claire Meints: Hi, good morning Caitlin, thanks for having me!  


CW: As you know, you were nominated by Korrin Howard with Dunwoody College of Technology – and she has a question she wanted me to ask you. But first, can you tell us a little bit about your background, and what sparked your interest in Interior Design?


CM: I’ve been a right-brained thinker my entire life, and I knew from a very early age  that a career where I could express myself creatively and do something in the design field was definitely a direction I could see myself moving in. I’ve always had a wild imagination, and I’ve found that being able to express myself through creative outlets, whether obsessing over art projects growing up or being active as a dancer like I was for the majority of my younger years of life, that’s when I’ve truly feel at home with myself and the most happy.


CW: What brought you to design school?


CM: I can still vividly remember where I was sitting in 5th grade, after having a career conversation with my homeroom teacher, we had our entire class together and I had this thought in my mind that interior design could really be something I would thrive in as an adult. I know it’s not common for people to pinpoint exactly what they want to do in life at such a young age especially, but that was something that was very clear for me from the beginning. Looking back on it now, having been in the industry for a number of years, it’s been great to reflect on all of the steps that I took to get to this point, and thinking of a little 10-year old me, and now really seeing this passion of mine come to fruition as an adult has been amazing. For school, I went to the University of Minnesota here in the Twin Cities, I am originally from Saint Paul – local hometown girl – and I went through the 4-year design program at the U, and I absolutely loved it, I got a great education there.


CW: You have a new role as of recently, can you tell us about that and what your career journey has been?


CM: I started my career I was an intern,  while I was still in school, at BDH. I worked there for a few months while I finished my education. Post-graduation I was hired on as an interior designer, worked at BDH for the last 7 years, specifically in the Multi-Housing sector and have a great knowledge base from all of the designers over there. Now looking ahead, I’ve very excited for my next steps as a designer, working for the IA Minneapolis’ Studio, where my new focus will be on corporate design.


CW: And Claire, you’re also involved in IIDA Northland Board, can you tell us about your position?


CM: I am currently the Vice President of Membership, and what our role is on the IIDA Northland Board is to look over member engagement efforts and ensuring that all of our members are getting the most out of their membership, and truly feel like an integral part of our local design community, which is very important to me and our chapter as a whole. And we are also in charge of coordinating volunteers for committees and event committees. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer or a member, feel free to reach out to me directly through our Membership email, that’s and we would love to have you join us!


CW: Korrin Howard at Dunwoody nominated you for this episode, Claire, and she has a question for you….

Korrin Howard: Hi Claire, what life lesson did you learned at school that has stuck with you today and has helped you professionally? 


CM: I learned very early on in my schooling that design is 100% about trial and error. You’re never going to know if something is going to be successful until you at least try it. So I always push myself to make sure I’m at least going for something in a design sense that I want to at least try and if it fails, it fails. But in the process I know I’ve learned something and I can hopefully re-route my thought process behind the design and do whatever I need to do the next time to make it more successful.


CW: Now it’s time for our Lightning round, so we were inspired by Vogue’s 73 questions Style interviews. We don’t have time for 73 questions, so we’re shortening it to 23. Go with your gut, Claire. Are you ready?

CW: What do you usually drink in the morning? 


CM: Coffee


CW:If you were to go back to school, what would you want to learn? 


CM: Cooking


CW: What’s a design trend you would like to see disappear forever? 


CM: Shiplap


CW: What’s the best thing that happened to you during COVID? 


CM: I was able to realize the most important people and things in my life.


CW: What’s the worst thing that happened to you during COVID?


CM: I unfortunately got COVID two different times.


CW: Where’s your hometown?


CM: Saint Paul, Minnesota


CW: What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?


CM: Ireland


CW: Describe the style of your home in two words.


CM: Eclectic Comfort


CW: When are you the most inspired? 


CM: When I’m around people who are close to me and help motivate me.


CW: Dogs or cats?


CM: Dogs


CW: What’s the best thing about being an interior designer?


CM: Being able to share my love of design with others in the community


CW: What show could you watch over and over? 


CM: Chopped


CW: What’s your favorite place or space in the Twin Cities?


CM: Saint Paul Farmers Market


CW: What city would you move to in a heartbeat? 


CM: Denver, Colorado


CW: What’s inspiring you in life right now? 


CM: The ability to do and be anything I want to.


CW: What do you do on a rainy day? 


CM: Grab some coffee and organize my apartment.


CW: What’s your favorite local restaurant? 


CM: I love Wakame for Sushi.


CW: What album or artist do you listen to the most? 


CM: Machine Gun Kelly


CW: What’s your favorite smell? 


CM: Fir or Pine Trees


CW: How do you decompress? 


CM: Going to the gym to exercise and cooking


CW: If you could make a documentary, what would it be about? 


CM: The rise of social media, especially TikTok and how trends are created.


CW: What’s your favorite late night snack? 


CM: Top the Tater with classic Lays Potato Chips.


CW: What’s one goal you are determined to achieve in your lifetime?


CM:Successfully cooking a Beef Wellington, specifically Gordon Ramsay’s version.


CW: Claire, that’s all of the questions I have for you today. How can our listeners stay connected with you?


CM: Feel free to connect with me personally on LinkedIn, or on Instagram at @iaarchitects especially, to see what we’ve been up to in the design field.


CW: Thanks for being a part of our podcast, Claire.


CM: Absolutely, thanks for having me!




Caitlin Wolff – Social Spaces Specialist

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