Joy Story

My Story…

My name is Joy Nan Rodia, and I wanted to be an Interior Designer so badly I could smell Benjamin Moore paint fumes in my dreams…No joke!

As fate would have it, I was blessed with an opportunity to attend and graduate from the prestigious Parsons School of Design in NYC with a degree in Interior Design.

Soon after graduation, misfortune followed and I couldn’t get a job in my field.

Oh, the panic!

Weighted down with a sack full of student debt, I found a job, lamentingly.

I worked 9 to 5 in job devoid of joy, BUT it paid the bills.

Sexy, Not Sexy…

I landed a position as an Account Executive for an insurance company on 5th Ave in NYC and was responsible for our client’s mega substantial portfolios of Wills and Trusts.

I admit I was paid very well.

Sounds kinda sexy, yes?

Well, not so fast…

On a random Thursday, my boss asked me, “Hey Joy, can you grab me a coffee with two sugars, and pick up my dry cleaning after 1:00?”


You have to be…[EXPLETIVE!]…kidding me?

Why My Story Helps You…

I QUIT! OK, I didn’t really quit at that exact moment, but my exit strategy was now crystal clear.

My Story
NextGen Design Academy

I continued to worked with clients on nights and weekends, doing design consultations, as well as designing homes, although my job was demanding, I was limited in how much time I was able to dedicate to my side hustle.

My friends and family encouraged me to pursue my passion for design, but I was only decorating a couple of houses a year. The idea of my income dropping was scary and intimidating. It was no longer about making extra money on the side; it was about living off those earnings and drilling down to pay off my student debt.

Dropping from nearly $200,000 to a third of that was a hard pill to swallow.

My corporate life was defined by answering emails, attending meetings with my clients and creating and revising their Wills and Trusts.

So much of that didn’t pay to my strengths and passion for interior design.

With a goal in mind, I launched my business full time.

Yes, there were challenges, but my freedom in my new role as an interior designer and an educator encouraged me to move forward.

Make the decision and be fully committed

You see, I know firsthand how intimidating and scary turning your side gig into a full-time job can be. I always recommend taking calculated risks to reach your goal.

My advice would be that when the transition is right for you, you’ll know. When a change is necessary, just do it — take the opportunity.

Make the decision and be fully committed

Like many new business owners, I worried about making my new endeavor profitable.

I took on every new project I could, even when I didn’t have enough time.

And in 1997, I opened my own Interior Design Studio.

That same year, I began mentoring what became hundreds of students at my studio.

23 years later, the NextGen Design Academy online course was born.

Over the years, I’ve heard too many stories like mine of aspiring decorators shackled to their boring, lifeless, soul-sucking jobs.

Therefore, I’ve made it my life’s work to help people like you, transform into talented, next-generation interior decorators and intuitive business owners. Your dream career is only one click away. Won’t you join us?

NextGen Design Academy