This is an interview with Lindsay Colwell, Managing Principal at Cullum Homes.
Where were you at 22, and how did you get to where you are today?
At 22 I had just graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN with a Bachelors in Economics. I had started architecture graduate school at the Design School at Arizona State University. Upon graduation from ASU, Paul and I lived all over the US as he was serving as a submarine officer in the Navy. I worked remotely from all of those locations, giving our team the opportunity to hone our skills at handling remote homeowners and communicate digitally. Living in 8 states over 10 years gave me a very concentrated look at residential design throughout the country. Those little tid bits gathered from each place definitely make their way into our designs and are a resource for solving design problems.
When did you really decide to “take ownership” of your career? What inspired you to pursue your passion?
I was a freshman in college when I decided design wasn’t just a hobby leftover from growing up in a homebuilding company. At that point, I switched from a pre-medicine track to an economics and architecture track. I think my parents always hoped I would want to be involved in the family business, but were great about allowing me to get there through my own path.
All good career stories include some aspect of “risk.” Was there a moment in your career where you felt that you were risking something, but looking back on it now, that move made all the difference?
Our design team has evolved over the last 3 years from separate architecture and design selections departments to one integrated architecture, engineering, and interior design team. It was the right move to bring everyone into the same workflow, but took a lot of planning (and convincing!) to execute that without interrupting our workflow.
Where do you find significance in your work? What gives you the most satisfaction?
I really enjoy bringing all of the design pieces together into one seamless vision. There is a high level of detail and accuracy, not to mention understanding of cost, that we can accomplish with an integrated process.
How do you measure success in your role? How do you know you’re succeeding?
I measure success by the enthusiasm of our team and the satisfaction of our homeowners! Having 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-time clients who choose to design and build another home with us because it was so fun is really satisfying.
If you could offer your 22-year old self one piece of advice, what would you say?