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How to Level Up in the Wallpaper Hanging Industry: A Fresh Perspective
As a former kitchen renovator and now a wallpaper installer, Nancy Beans has a lot to share about her experience thus far in the wallcovering industry. Focused on networking, education, and experience, Nancy credits much of her success to her membership and the community within Wallcovering Installers Association. This is an account of Nancy’s honest approach to her new found career and how membership for one year and attending the annual convention has helped to fast-track her; (and how you can excel as a wallcovering installer too).
About Nancy Bean
Beginning her career in kitchen and interior design, Nancy worked as a kitchen designer for 20 years. Had she not found her niche in wallcoverings, Nancy would have continued her career in kitchen or pivoted into textile design. Finaly Nancy reached a state of burn out in the kitchen design field. Nancy moved on to paint wall murals in residential homes where she found her next inspiration to then explore further into hands-on and creative fields. Nancy graciously fell into an important connection for her next career move, when she met Terry Trapp in Brighton Colorado one year ago. The relationship Nancy formed with experienced wallcovering installer Terry Trapp, meant Nancy would be taken under the wing of a seasoned professional in a new and exciting creative field. The apprenticeship helped her dive in head first. The last year under Trapp is what has become the foundation for Nancy’s new career.
Inspired by her first job with Terry, Nancy was sure this career pivot was the right fit for her. A major part of this new chapter means discovering different tools, papers, and pastes, communicating with other installers and manufacturers, wallcovering installers, and companies. To grow and thrive, Nancy turns to other installers in the association available on social media groups and across their shared account for networking, marketing, and inspiration. From her daily life as a wallcovering installer to showcasing her finished projects, Nancy is proud to also share her work via her Instagram page @coolbeansdesignllc.
Nancy refers to her style as eclectic, modern, and contemporary, mixing in different rustic and modern elements; or mountain-modern. An aesthetic prevalent in beautiful Colorado. Nancy enjoys working with shiny, colored materials that represent a fun and funky finished look as well. To stay ahead of the trends, Nancy again turns to social media to connect with fellow-former kitchen designer friends, local designers, and other wallcovering installers. When subscribing to print, Nancy is peeping through Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, and local publications to keep her fresh, creative and on trend.
New Installer Challenges
As a newer installer, Nancy is not naive to the challenges of the industry. She advies other new wallcovering installers to work with as many different seasoned professionals as possible. Each wallcovering installer has a different technique and piece of advice to bestow onto the new flock coming up into the field. Nancy believes that networking, taking advantage of different opportunities, and education are huge factors in her success and credits her membership for enhancing her growth and craft. Following the local interior design groups and their pop-up events for networking with other installers and designers has helped her deep dive into the niche craft also.
The biggest hurdle Nancy has faced as a new installer is the lack of quick, learn-at-your-own-pace education. There are no physical schools to learn the techniques. Nancy has found new installers are learning under the wings of the major names in wallcovering; Ragland, Haigler, Wright-Mead. That said, the Wallcovering Installers Association is debuting the first ever, association-led online education webinar and on demand class series in Q4 of 2019; stay tuned!
Next, the convention is a great way to learn. Nancy advises that it may be overwhelming to a total kitchen designer-turned new installer (or total newbie) and too much information to absorb at once, but is worth the experience 100 percent. It is what propelled Nancy quickly into greater understanding in her new chosen creative role.
Focused on growing her new career in the wallcovering installing industry, Nancy turned to WIA for networking, education, and business opportunities. She has gained a great network of installers to lean on that serve as “co-workers” who are always willing to lend a helping hand. The camaraderie is not the only benefit of her membership. Nancy has gained a number of marketing and business opportunities online through the WIA Facebook page and WIA web page. Encouraging other new installers to participate in discussions online, Nancy has learned a lot from the WIA community. Attending Convention is the best in-person opportunity to learn from the hands-on workshops, and break out lectures of the veterans of the trade, “Don’t be afraid to get involved in the WIA community.” We are less than a week from the 2019 convention occuring in Cincinnati, Ohio where over 100-new and veteran installers are descending onto the city. Last-minute sign ups are being accepted. If it’s too late this year, and you are on the fence; next year the Convention will be firing off in New Orleans. Book a week off for a deep dive while in the historic southern city in September 2020 now.
Who: Nancy Bean, Cool Beans Design
Member Type: Installer
Name: Nancy Bean
Company Name: Cool Beans Design
Instagram handle: @coolbeansdesignllc