Kellie Clements has come a long way since the days of redecorating her Barbie’s doll house.
Clements, who received her degree in interior design from UCA in December 2001, was one of the four finalists in last season’s HGTV Design Star. She was voted the Fan Favorite by viewers and had the opportunity to film her own HGTV online show. Clements returned to the show for its Design All Stars edition this summer.
HGTV Design Star features 12 individuals competing for their own show on HGTV. The finalists, who include professional interior designers, contractors, stylists and artists, must navigate innovative design challenges and impress the judges with creativity and ingenuity, according to the programs website.
Auditioning for Design Star was a risk, but a responsible one, Clements said.
“I really had nothing to lose. The reason most people don't take chances is because of their fear of failure,” she said. “Everyone has this fear, it's normal, but when your desire to succeed is stronger than your fear of failure you will go places. I have an incredible support system in my family and my desire to succeed has kept me moving toward all of my goals. My desires trump my fears.”
Clements was among the design show’s runners-up who were invited back to compete for an appearance on an HGTV show this summer and $25,000.
“I was honored to be invited back to be one of only six designers from the past seven seasons. That meant, yet again, I was selected to be part of a very special group,” she said. “I was pretty anxious. ... I had just gotten back in the groove with my family and business. I wasn't sure how my kids would feel but this chapter in my life has been full of opportunities I couldn't pass up.”
Her appearance on the show has created many opportunities for Clements. She was recently featured in the Edmond Sun Business Times in its "20 under Forty" section for her work and community involvement. She has been mentoring new designers and helping business owners. Clements was recently contracted to write a book that will be centered on helping designers with the way they approach their business.
“I am also working with a national company to develop my own line of window coverings. The new line is schedule to launch this fall.”
Clements, who lives in Edmond, Okla. with her husband of 11 years and two boys, said that interior design has always been in her blood.
“I come from a long line of artist so discovering that interior design was an actual college major was a welcome surprise. I rearranged my room a lot as a child and played more with Barbie’s house than I did with Barbie,” she said. “The second my advisor (Mary Harlan) suggested it, I was like well, yes that is what I am supposed to do, no question.”
Clements said that her time at UCA prepared her for the real world.
“My time and activities at UCA were a great foundation for all that I am currently juggling. While I was attending UCA I carried no less than 15 hours -- some semesters as many as 18, cheered and still worked full time at a gym in Little Rock,” she said. “It was hard to balance all of those things but I have realized in recent years that it was great preparation for the way I have to balance things today.” - Spencer Griffin