PLACE Designers | Moonlighting

I worked for Voelter Associates for four years.  During that time I learned that architecture and engineering firms are typically named after the founder ” and Associates” or are an acronym made up of the founders names.    This has held true for me even to this day.

During my senior year of high school, I wanted to work more than what I was able to do for Voelter.  In order to do so, my dad advised me to make flyers and mail them to potential clients.  I named my new company Paragon Drafting, because paragon means “model of excellence” or “a perfect example of a particular quality.”  I wanted people to know that my company would be the best!

I printed my flyer on neon green paper to get attention, advertising my hourly contract drafting service.  I mailed it to every architect in the Austin area who’s business name started with the letter “A”.  It turns out, that’s all it took, because I got three potential clients from that initial mailer, two that became regular.  If I remember correctly, I charged $35/hr, which was a killing for me because I think I made $11/hr at my day job.  I drew complete houses for one architect who didn’t know how to use a computer, and I did MEP (mechanical electrical plumbing) drafting for a firm that was super busy.

The MEP firm thought that I was really fast, and I guess I was but I drew everything in paperspace because I didn’t understand the difference between paperspace and modelspace yet.  We didn’t use paperspace at Voelter’s.  So even though my work looked good and got the job done, I wasn’t really doing it correctly.  Hopefully no one ever had to go back and try to edit those drawings!

I did learn some things about MEP work that would come in useful later.

More to come soon.  If you want to get in touch please let me know!  Thanks for reading!

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