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Creativity transcends hairdressing to building design for TAFE Digital graduate

TAFE Digital

Creativity transcends hairdressing to building design for TAFE Digital graduate

21 January 2020

Jolie King’s desire and entrepreneurial flair to produce custom building designs has come to fruition since completing a Diploma of Building Design with TAFE Digital and starting JE Design Studio in Coffs Harbour.

Joining this high-demand architectural design market, which according to Job Outlook is expected to grow from 22,300 in 2018 to 23,900 by 2023, certainly has stood Ms King in good stead.  There are likely to be around 9,000 job openings over the next five years, or 1,800 per annum.

Coffs Harbour local, Ms King, said, “While my working life started as a hairdressing apprentice, I’ve always aspired to work as an architectural designer, taking an interest in the field from a young age.”

When Ms King found the Diploma of Building Design on TAFE Digital’s website, it ticked all of the boxes as she needed to study online, as well as having the option to use the course units as credits for a Bachelor of Applied Science (Architectural Science) later on.

Ms King is currently working on a Riverside alterations and additions project.  “Fortunately I’m able to be quite creative with this project, getting rid of the old boxy layout and opening the floor plan up to create an inviting space, which captures the river views not utilised before,” she said.

“I also offer interior design services, to help guide my clients to get the most out of their new build.”

The knowledge Ms King gained from her studies gave her a sound understanding of how projects are carried out from start to finish, giving her the confidence to look for work in the industry she’s so passionate about.

“Even before finishing the diploma, I gained full-time employment at a design firm in Perth, where I was able to apply my new skills to real +$1 million projects, and in turn, the practical on-the-job experience improved my progress when completing the remainder of the course.”

Having the flexibility to work her studies in around her work life was the most appealing part of studying online for Ms King.

“Setting my own pace and studying from home also inspired me to start JE Design Studio,” she said  “The course was structured in such a way that it took you through hypothetical projects imitating the realistic timeline of a project, from creating concept plans, which complied with local council regulations, to the administration side, and finally to construction drawings.”

All of these practical skills have been implemented into Ms King’s daily work environment and she’s kept in touch with quite a few fellow students who joined a Facebook group.

Ms King takes great pride in in producing custom designs tailored to each client’s needs, which are clear and concise to read. 

“When my ideas come to life, following months of planning plus the build time, it’s incredibly gratifying seeing the smiles on my clients’ faces when the end result comes to fruition.”

Ms King tries to keep up with design trends by taking inspiration from other designers through outlets like Houzz and Instagram, as well as subscribing to a number of different newsletters, highlighting new trending products.

“In addition to trends, keeping up with current regulations is key to getting any design off the ground, so staying on top of any legislative changes is a critical success factor,” she said.

JE Design Studios’ Instagram site can be found at

Visit to explore the range of online courses available for enrolment in 2020.

Media contact: Bonny Gunn, TAFE Digital Media and Communications Business Partner.  M: 0417 134 048