iscd Alumni: Caine Hodder

Posted by rachel on January 29

From a career in finance and logistics to running his own successful design studio, Caine talks to us about his design journey and how he is designing his way in the industry!

Tell us a little about yourself before you studied at iscd…

I grew up in Shellharbour and left home at 18 to join the RAAF. I worked in finance and logistics for 8 years before transitioning out of the military. From there I worked for a private hospital in logistics, while studying my first courses at iscd, Cert IV Design and Diploma Interior Styling. I returned to iscd in 2018 to complete the Colour Diploma.

What made you choose iscd over other institutions?

I visited iscd for a colour 101 workshop and fell in love with the school. I was welcomed by everyone and it felt like a second home. I signed up to my Cert IV straight away and have not looked back!

When we say “Design your way” what does this saying mean to you?

Starting out in a new industry is not easy. You’re establishing your place in the field with your peers. The path you create is designed by you. Opportunities are not handed to you, you need to be out there looking and take on anything that aligns with what you want your brand to be.

How are you designing your way in the industry?

I’m designing my way by putting myself out there, while staying true to my style and what I want my brand to be known for. I attend networking events, work in a few different fields of design and take on any opportunity that these create.

It’s not always comfortable to sell yourself, but I’ve learnt to have confidence in myself and in turn clients also have the same confidence in you as a designer.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me starts by walking my 2 Italian Greyhounds, and that’s basically the only routine I have. The rest of my day varies every day. I have meetings with clients, real estate agents, networking with industry or referral partners. I could have a property staging install or collection, I could have a colour consult, or be onsite for ongoing design projects. It is because of this huge variety that I love working in this industry. No day is the same, I’m never bored and I never not want to be working on growing my business!

What is the best thing you have learnt since being out in the industry?

Take on opportunities, but it is also ok to say no. Sometimes things do not align with you, and that’s the most important thing. As a designer, you are your brand and it is so important that everything you do is true to that. I believe if you stay true to you, you will go a long way!


Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from many places. Travel is huge for me. I love to explore other cultures and learn from their ways of living and introducing bits and pieces into my designs. I draw inspiration from other designers and stylists, furniture designers and nature. 

What are you highlights since graduating?

Since graduating I have worked on some really fun projects. I’ve assisted on the design of Lorna Jane’s beach houses in Byron Bay. I’ve recently had a feature on the Interiors Addict for one of my projects in Bondi. And the positive direction my business is moving in!


Favourite projects/jobs you’ve worked on/completed since running your own business?

I’ve completed an internship with Temple and Webster to get an insight into the editorial world. I had a lot of fun styling my own campaign shoot at the end of that. And my Bondi job was a lot of fun. My client was the dream client, I had free run on the design and had the budget to work with some of my favourite designers, like Timothy Oulton and Versace. 

What’s one thing you wish you had been told when you were starting out in the industry?

It’s not always easy BUT it is so worth the work! The hits will take only make you want it more!

What advice would you give to someone looking to study interior design?

If you have a passion for design and helping create a dream lifestyle for people, there is no better career. Build a support network and go for it! iscd is a great starting point, they are well respected industry educators and very supportive throughout.


Are you inspired by Caine? Do you want to know more about our courses and where a career in interior design could take you?