When you’re a designer, you’ve often got one customer: the one right in front of you. And you’ve got essentially one product: the one you’re making. With every job, you’re building both your reputation and your portfolio. But here’s the kicker. If you’re doing custom work, then your customer is also your boss.
But pressure — and lots of it — is how diamonds are made. Jewelry makers like Steve Credeur are tasked with making not just something beautiful for their customer-bosses, but something unique and precious too.
But that’s the way Steve likes it. He takes pride in his company, Steve Charles Jewelers, being a small part of a family’s big story. It all starts with a one-on-one consultation. It’s a process so special, you’re going to need a referral. Steve doesn’t advertise his location. He takes appointments only. He tries to stay under the radar.
Despite actively avoiding brand awareness, Steve has built a clientele of around over 5,000 customers nationwide. He was born and raised in Carencro and lives in Youngsville. You’ll have to make an appointment to find out the rest.
Jewelry is just one kind of design of course. There are as many design jobs as there are industries and Maureen Dugas Foster has worked in a lot of them. She’s worked in project management, sales, and business development. She’s worked as an artist, in community engagement and as a teacher.
Maureen’s training is in architecture, she’s the owner of Dugas Foster Design, a side-hustle studio that specializes in residential additions and remodeling.
The common thread in all of that is people and creativity. In 2016 Maureen founded Designing Women of Acadiana. It’s a civic group that serves as a gathering place for women who work in creative fields. They talk shop, go on architecture tours, host speakers and even have their own Mardi Gras walking krewe.
Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at Tsunami Sushi in downtown Lafayette. Photos by Astor Morgan.