Name: Lakiesha Stanley, NCIDQ, IIDA
Title: Interior Designer – Healthcare
Office Location: Charlotte, NC
Years at Gresham Smith: 2
Meet Lakiesha Stanley, an interior designer in our Healthcare market and latest Faces of Gresham Smith feature. Lakiesha has a meaningful perspective on effective healthcare improvements — one of many benefits of a unique career path that brought her from hospital halls to tearing down walls. Keep reading to learn about Lakiesha’s leap of faith and how her passion for her patients led her to interior design.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Where did you go to school?
I received my bachelor’s degree in graphic design and visual arts from North Carolina A&T State University and my degree in interior architecture from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
What was your first job?
My very first job was selling hair extensions, wigs, and beauty products.
What drew you to Gresham Smith?
From my initial interview, I could see that Gresham Smith valued family, diversity of thought and DEI. The culture and diversity of people throughout that process sold me!
What made you choose your profession?
After working in the healthcare industry as a nurse technician in the emergency department for seven years, I realized I could offer more than just bedside care.
I entered the design world with a unique perspective and one goal: to bring change to such spaces. Interior design is intertwined with health and wellness, and I knew I could impact more patients by trading in my scrubs for a more stylized approach to healing. My loved ones often asked how I could handle bodily fluids and the sad situations of that environment, to which my response was that there is true beauty in the physical act of caring for people. However, I also believe that there is profound beauty in the intentional design of a space that positively affects and comforts people during their best and worst days.
How has Gresham Smith helped you in your career development?
Gresham Smith has shown me that there are many pathways and opportunities for interior design throughout the firm. Lesa Lorusso, Healthcare Director of Research and Insights, and Carolyn Blake, Healthcare Technical Practice Leader, are prime examples of colleagues who I look up to and have experienced support from throughout my time here.
What advice would you give to people who aspire to be where you are?
Take a chance! Do something else, move somewhere new, and try different foods. You will be surprised at how much a new perspective will change your design impact.
What are the top three highlights of your life so far?
- Experiencing the gifts of marriage, childbirth, and motherhood
- Becoming the IIDA Hawaii Pacific Chapter President
- Passing the NCIDQ to become a licensed interior designer
Where is your favorite place you’ve traveled and why?
I can’t choose between Japan and Bali! They are both so full of culture, beautifully designed architecture, and new experiences.
What book are you currently reading?
Oh Sis, You’re Pregnant! by Shanicia Boswell
Three objects on your desk?
A can of Pringles, my iPhone charger, and a ceramic tile for a current design project.