Immediately upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design from Georgia Southern University, Quintel spent her formative years at an architecture firm designing large-scale commercial, multi-family housing and community-centered spaces. It was through this experience that she sharpened her technical skills, developed a knack for project management, and learned the ins and outs of the built-environment business. Determined to bounce back from an industry layoff, she relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina and used her experience to develop the Home Stylist program for West Elm store associates across the nation. Becoming the first certified Home Stylist for the brand, she implemented learning and design education modules, managed project accounts with builders, and served as a regional mentor for the creative credentialing process. Working in furniture retail expanded her knowledge of the product development process and afforded her the opportunity to build a loyal residential design clientele base in her new city. In 2014, she officially launched Quin Gwinn Studio and surged into her creative future. As a highly sought after expert, Quintel has been featured in local publications such as Charlotte Magazine, Charlotte Home Design & Decor and South Park Magazine. She has also worked with top home and lifestyle brands including Tastemade Home, Dwell Magazine, West Elm, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.
Aside from her practice work, Quintel is passionate about the impact design has on our society at large and in 2018 conferred her Master of Arts degree in Interior Architecture & Design from Queens University of Charlotte. She embraces non-traditional roles as a spatial activist, community advocate and placemaker whose practice addresses challenges through creative transformation of space. Drawing on her formal education and experience in interior architecture and design, Quintel believes responsively created spaces are integral and poetic elements of a culturally significant built environment. She spearheads community-based design projects, rooted in neighborhood knowledge, focused on: adaptive reuse, place and identity, inclusive public engagement, environmental justice, spatial healing and cultural sustainability. Her signature program, Project P.L.A.C.E. (Physical Landscapes, Adaptive Community Engagement) is a public space initiative designed to cultivate civic engagement and community connections that empower citizens to enhance their environmental, economic and social well-being. In all aspects of her work, she positions community and culture as an answer to how we might innovatively embed responsive design elements into the DNA of a space.
The notion that designing and building the physical environment carries social and ethical responsibilities serves as a guiding light for Quintel in ways that push her to apply her critical thinking abilities and creative problem solving skills beyond design. She uses her platform to serve as a design educator, to advance creative research and to champion innovation. A serial social entrepreneur of sorts, she is passionate about implementing equitable practices that contribute to finding solutions to many of our society’s most pressing issues and igniting change within the design industry. She organized the Coalition of Young Designers, a burgeoning creative collective dedicated to promoting next-generation design professionals and founded The Olive Guide -- the first digital shelter magazine to highlight the work and perspectives of designers, stylists and makers of color. She serves as a board member for Lakeview Neighborhood Alliance, The Vogue Room Foundation and Stilletto Boss University -- all Charlotte-based non-profit organizations that focus on creative community impact work. Quintel is currently the Charlotte Project Lead for the League of Creative Interventionists, a creative placemaking organization and she is developing Current Collective -- a state-wide curated alliance she co-founded that connects black designers, artists and creatives.