Ward Uses Interior Designs to Transform Homes and Lives
(OXFORD, Miss.) — One Oxford native believes that homes have the power to transform lives.
Kimberly Ward, an interior designer and the owner of Kimberly & Cameron Interiors, Inc., has always had an eye for design. Growing up, she developed an avid interest in scrapbooking and creating vision boards. She often found herself organizing and reorganizing things until she thought they were in their right place.
After acquiring her master’s degree, Ward began teaching art in Houston, Texas. It was here that she was encouraged to embrace art in a different way, by furnishing and decorating the living spaces of others. “Homes are supposed to be a place of healing and rejuvenation,” says Ward.
Ward’s first project was redecorating the home and office of Tony Wyllie, the current Senior Vice President of the Washington Redskins. Ward credits Wyllie with teaching her how to work with young professionals. “He gave me a chance, and he referred me to some of my later clients.”
Since her first project, Ward’s portfolio has grown to include everything from penthouse condos to medical offices and even some television and movie sets. Her work has been featured on HGTV’s Design Wars, MTV’s Super Sweet 16 and The Blind Side, a film loved by many Ole Miss fans.
She has also received many awards for her creativity and dedication to her craft, including being named one of Mississippi Magazine’s “Women to Watch.” When she’s not receiving an award, Ward takes out time to acknowledge the achievements of others. She is the founder of The Top 20 African American Interior Designers Award, a list that is created annually to showcase the work of African American designers.
One of the many rooms Ward has decorated.
In 2014, Ward moved her office to The Innovation Hub at Insight Park. The close proximity to campus has provided Ward access to talented faculty and students at The University of Mississippi.
Ward says her favorite aspect of the career is the never-ending opportunity to build relationships. She enjoys helping others connect the dots, and she uses her position in the industry to help other young professionals accomplish early career goals. Through her business, Ward has been able to create marketing and social media internship opportunities.
Ward’s interns get professional experience with several projects, including writing articles for her business’ website and monitoring the brand’s social media presence. They also have the freedom to brainstorm and implement marketing campaigns.
"Kimberly taught me the most important thing about choosing a career is picking something that you are truly passionate about and just running with it", says Lebria Lao, an Ole Miss senior and one of Ward's former interns. "She came to work everyday enthusiastic about the tasks she had to accomplish." Lao plans to take the work ethic skills she's learned from Ward with her as she completes a master's degree program in England.
Ward sees the internships as a mutually beneficial opportunity. Her interns get to hone their skills and gain exposure in the interior design industry, and she gets to introduce her work to a new set of eyes.
Ward has employed many students through her connections with the University. When looking for new interns, Ward seeks out individuals who are organized and dedicated. She knows that no intern will know everything on the first day, but she appreciates those who trust in their own voice and try their best. Ward believes this trait is the key to success.
When asked her personal definition of “success”, Ward answered that it is realized when you get in your happy place. “It’s when you are comfortable with where you are and you are not looking at what others are doing.”
Students who are interested in interning with Kimberly Ward should send their resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.