Drawn To Hospitality Design

Sara Duffy, Principal of interiors division, Stonehill Taylor

Sara Duffy

What initially inspired you to get into the hospitality business? Before joining Stonehill Taylor in 2008, I was working at MTV as a designer. During my time there I was managing the interior design of their Times Square store and I fell in love with the process. This project sparked my passion for the hospitality design industry and has led me to where I am today.

Who were some of your mentors or role models, male or female, and what were their most valuable lessons? Throughout my life, my mother has been a major role model for me. She is a strong, amazing and smart woman who also happens to be an interior designer. The most valued lesson that my mother has taught me is to love what you do and always push the boundaries. She has inspired me so much by opening her own interior design business at 78 years old, exemplifying how to pursue your life passions and enjoy what you do in your career.  

In your opinion, how is the lodging industry doing in terms of getting women into leadership positions? Fortunately, we have seen more women at the top of the hospitality industry but mainly on the design side. The ownership and development teams are mainly men, but I am hopeful that women will rise in these sectors. I believe that it is important for women to understand that it may be an uphill battle to get to the top, but through determination and hard work they will absolutely get there. I am excited for the future of the industry. 

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