Kelsey Dugle’s interior design skills will soon appear on televisions everywhere.
A 2016 graduate of Ivy Tech Community College, Dugle recently worked as a design production assistant for the HGTV show “Good Bones.” The show, filmed in Indianapolis, features mother and daughter real estate team Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak renovating homes in the Fountain Square and Bates-Hendricks neighborhoods.
As a design production assistant, Dugle helped decorate and stage newly renovated homes for the show.
“We go in and we make it look pretty,” Dugle said. “We bring in the rugs, the furniture, the lamps, the artwork, and we put the room together to stage it for the show.”
The design skills she learned at the Ivy Tech Columbus School of Fine Arts and Design helped her stand out among the show’s other production assistants. She was the only one with a degree in environmental interior design, which earned her the trust of the show’s interior designers to effectively and professionally stage a room.
Dugle landed the job the way many college graduates find their first jobs — by searching online. A resident of Greensburg, Dugle was looking for jobs in the Indianapolis and Cincinnati areas. She kept in touch with her instructors at Ivy Tech, who helped guide her search until she found the production assistant listing on the Indiana Design Center website.
“I sent my resume and everything to the production manager, but he told me the job had been filled,” Dugle recalls. “A month later, he called me back and asked if I was still interested because they needed someone right away.”
The education she received at Ivy Tech prepared her well and provided her a pathway to a fulfilling career opportunity. Before coming to the College, she considered becoming a teacher and was studying education at another university.
After taking a few education classes and substitute teaching, she felt teaching wasn’t the right fit for her. In her history courses, she was more interested in the historic structures rather than the names and dates of the events that took place.
She also liked doing home improvement and do-it-yourself projects. Whenever there was work to be done around home, such as painting or carpeting, she would help out.
“I always felt kind of handy,” Dugle said. “I thought about doing interior design years ago, but I pushed it aside.”
With a renewed interest in interior design, she researched design schools throughout the state and found that the quality and depth of Ivy Tech’s program aligned well with her. Following her interests in historic buildings, she also took a course in historic preservation, which she aced.
She also liked that Ivy Tech enabled her to take classes and complete the program close to home.
“I feel like I got a full four years in less than two,” Dugle said. “It’s fantastic.”
Her job as a production assistant has wrapped up for now. She expects the episodes that feature rooms she helped stage to air in late May 2017.
As she searches for her next opportunity, she has the invaluable experience of designing homes for a national television show.