Learning to design for millennials isn’t complicated

In Blog-posts by bellemedia0 Comments

It’s Saturday night and our family is spending a quiet night and our family at home. We’ve popped some popcorn and are about to watch Treehouse Masters on TV. As we are watching the program I am interrupted several times by text messages from my little sister. My sister is the youngest of my three siblings. She grew up with both her parents and my younger brother living in suburbia under one roof. She lived a privileged life unlike me and my older brother who had different mothers and lived in the inner city. While in high school she had the opportunity to obtain her Esthetician’s license and began focusing on hair care and beauty. She later found her passion with skincare and nails. After graduating high school she went on to study marketing at the local university. During her first year in college she didn’t work and relied on her parents to provide for her financially. After her first year things became very difficult financially for her parents and they were no longer able to provide tuition for the upcoming school year which forced her to sit out the semester which turned into a year. My phone begins to buzz several times with text messages, it’s my sister again. After answering the first few texts there is a long pause. My sister has decided that she wants to start her own business, a Nail Salon. She has the perfect place for it and wants the help of her Interior Designer big sis. After the texts she decides she wants to Facetime me with her project requirements and I accepted the challenge to help her design her Nail salon. I was a little apprehensive in taking the job because I had never had a millennial as a customer. There are a lot of stereotypes about this particular group having unrealistic expectations, being narcissistic and being coddled by their parents. I knew I was about to get a taste of all of them in the upcoming weeks. During a span of about a month my sister texted me 50+ times, I had never heard from her that many times. The text messages occurred at the wee hours of the morning to late at night, does this girl ever sleep is what I thought. She had so many ideas for the salon that I created a private Pinterest Page for her to channel all of energy. I asked her to begin saving things that she liked within the page, so she wouldn’t text me every second of the day. She began pinning ideas of styles and accessories that she liked. I guess she wasn’t satisfied with the communication between boards, so she began creating screenshots of things that she really liked and texted them to me for an immediate response.The items she was pinning, I knew she couldn’t afford on a college student budget so I suggested that she utilize local Thrift Shops and ask family members for furnishings and accessories that they are no longer using for a start. She began the journey of Thrifting at boutiques and began to send me video messages of her finds and requests for opinions based on size and price. She also began to shop online at Wayfair, Craigslist and OfferUp sites to find items. It was funny because she would find the perfect piece of furniture or accessory but wouldn’t buy it unless the person or company selling it had a 5star rating along with at least 20 reviews. If it didn’t have a review then forget about it, I learned very quickly. After two months of constant text messages, indecisiveness, shopping and lack of funds, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to meet the needs or unrealistic expectations of this millennial. I still tried to continue to offer expert advice and she ultimately became frustrated with her financial constraints and decided to abandon the project. So little by little the text messages, Facetiming and video messages stopped and now she is re-enrolled back at the university. She still continues to do nails on the side for extra income. She just recently started a job with a printing company; they screen print logos and images on T-shirts and make signs which allow her to focus on Business and Marketing. Her main focus it to work hard in college and graduate in a few years. I am happy that I was able to assist my sister in the design of her space and it has helped me understand how some millennials think and react to different situations.