1. Nina, we were introduced to you on the show, Design Star, but can you give us a bit of background on who you were up until you joined the show? Are you a , an architect or simply a design enthusisast and what kind of education do you have in your field?
"I had been working for Ralph Lauren when I heard about the open audition for the show. I had been with the company for years. I graduated from Pratt institute with an Architecture degree but also studied and fine arts with their study abroad program in Tuscany. I was very happy with my life and where I was at professionally."
2. Where did you grow up and where has life taken you so far? When did you know you wanted to work in the interior design industry?
"I am born and raised in Brooklyn and still live there. I have traveled all over the world and lived in many places but the culture of Brooklyn is just so relateable to me. I am not saying I may not be moving away soon like to LA (wink wink) but I have respect for the culture of where I come from."
3. Tell us who and or what you are influenced by. Is it the high profile designers or have you found influence in your own surroundings?
"I am always influenced by my clients. I look at the job of a designer a little like a psychiatrist, I am there merely to pull out of the client what already exists. A client usually hires me because they have seen my past work so a little of me and lot of the client always equals a beautiful end result. I have never had an unsatisfied client."
4. Before you joined Design Star would you have considered yourself successful in the design field? How do you measure success?
"I measure success by the projects I have been a part of corporately and the projects I have been awarded as an individual business. My professional work experience and background proves my success in the corporate world. The jobs I have done on my own have drawn a lot of positive attention and generated more business so I guess I would say yes I consider myself successful."
5. Had you watched the previous seasons of Design Star or any other similar shows? What were your thoughts and did you have a favorite?
"Truth be told I had never seen an episode before auditioning. I watched a few before going on the show, but there was only two days between resigning from Polo and starting the filming so you can imagine how many episodes I watched. Lol, not that many."
6. When did you decide to try out for the show? How did you find the information you needed to apply? What was the process like and how long did it take? Tell us how you found out you made the cut and how you felt.
"My family encouraged me to audition. They are HGTV fans and thought I would be perfect. I am a risk taker and I love a challenge so I figured why not. I was excited when I found out I made the show. I looked at it as, 'hey my life is going to change good or bad, but it is definitely going to change'.
There is no way to be prepared for being creative on TV and being on top of your game with 12 other people 24/7. LOL, it was intense but it was so much fun."
7. What concerns did you have about joining the show? What information were you given before hand? For example, were you told what paint company you'd be using, what stores you'd be shopping and/or what power tools would be available to you? Were you able to take personal journals/look books/or other inspiration notes with you?
I really didn’t have any time to have many concerns about the show. It all happened so fast. I just jumped right in.
8. We'll be seeing Episode 5 tonight and so I'm sure you've had comments from viewers, friends and family. How has that affected you and has it been positive or negative in general? How do you feel about the nickname you were given, "Meana"? Having watched the episodes, do you feel like the Nina we saw was representative of who you are?
"I take my job very seriously and I think that is what the camera captured. I am passionate and intense when it comes to creating and being a professional."
9. In episode 4 you were in the bottom 3, do you feel that was fair?
"As some of the viewers are noticing, there seems to be a lot more pressure on me then any other contestant, I win one day and the next, there I am in the bottom because they expect more of me. I think there were other people in both episode 2 and 4 that did a lot less and they were not in the bottom. I take it as a compliment that the judges looked so closely at me and I think I showed that I work well under pressure."
10. If you were the one selected as the winner of this season, what kind of show could we look forward to on HGTV? What would be your concept? Is hosting a tv show scary to you or exciting?
"If I were to win this season you could expect a fun show that you could learn something from."
14. You have recently begun your own blog, can you tell us about it?
"I started a blog as an outlet to share my upcoming projects and art work. I have traveled to so many places, I have a lot photographs and art work I am proud of and I thought a blog would be a great place to share that. I have been writing about the show lately because that is what is going on in my life at the moment but once the show is over I will be back to posting my art and design work. I am actually working on a fabulous residence in the French style that I am very excited about. The client likes French but with an edge of modern so it should come really nice."
15. How can people contact you if they're interested in hiring you or purchasing one of your paintings?
"If anyone is interested in buying any of my photography or paintings they can email me at or you can check out my work @ Ninaferrer.net and read my blog at blog.ninaferrer.net."
Nina, I want to thank you so very much for taking the time to let us get to know you and the Design Star process a bit better. We are excited to see where the process takes you and the other designers and will look forward to hearing your continued commentary on your blog. We wish you the best of luck and hope you'll stop by Ohmigosh! often and share your insights!
All photos are the work of Nina Ferrer and in some cases in collaboration with other Design Star contestants via HGTV.
Tune in tonight at 9pm central time to watch episode 5 of Design Star on HGTV and check out my blog tomorrow for my full review AND the winners of the Stella & Dot giveaways!!!!