Name: Erin Schumacher, NCIDQ, EDAC
Current Title: Senior Interior Designer
Office Location: Nashville
Years at Gresham Smith: A total of 10
Meet Erin Schumacher, a senior interior designer in our Nashville Corporate + Urban Design studio and our latest Faces of Gresham Smith feature. When she’s not creating abstract art or reading to her two kids, this Nashville native is designing thoughtful, connected workplaces and community-centered developments. Keep reading to learn how Erin got her start at Gresham Smith and what brought her back to us after leaving to pursue a different path.
Where did you grow up?
Where did you go to college?
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville
What was your first job?
I worked retail, helping my dad run the shop for Nashville’s bicycle and outdoor enthusiasts he started in the 1970s—Cumberland Transit on West End Avenue.
What drew you to Gresham Smith?
As a Nashville native, I was familiar with Gresham Smith’s strong history and longevity. The firm has supported my professional growth since I was a junior designer right out of school. I’ve had opportunities to work with multiple markets and project types and in a variety of roles.
You left Gresham Smith for a period, what made you return to the firm?
When I returned in 2017 I saw real opportunity in the way Gresham Smith was adapting to the current industry as a whole. I was eager to contribute to that positive transformation. As a part of the firm’s Corporate + Urban Design team, I get to work on everything from corporate campuses to mixed-used developments. I enjoy the challenge of designing functional, flexible spaces where employees are inspired to do their best work, as well as community-centered developments that embrace the surrounding neighborhood.
What advice would you give people who aspire to be where you are?
Be willing to take risks, ask for the help you need, learn from your mistakes, set goals and take one step at a time to achieve them.
What’s your personal motto?
Be part of the solution—not the problem.
If you weren’t in your current profession what would you be doing?
I would definitely be a professional florist. I am a big green thumb and designing floral arrangements gives me a true sense of peace.
Do you have any talents?
I’m an abstract artist and work with paint, mixed media and sculpture. I don’t usually claim that—my husband is the “real” artist in the family!
Where is your favorite place you’re traveled and why?
Capri, Italy. I studied in Florence during college and traveled to Capri while I was there. It’s a breathtaking island!
What book are you currently reading?
Currently I’m always reading children’s books to my kids, Amelia and Wylie!