Alethia Johnson had no idea that her passion for interior design would become her career after just sharing a TikTok.
In August, the 29-year-old posted a before and after bedroom transformation of her sister Athena at Morgan State. The video went viral on the app and garnered over 11 million views.
Johnson told CNBC Make It that since going viral on TikTok, she was able to quit her job as a nurse and become a full-time interior designer.
You already have many new clients and rooms that you are designing.
“I think everything happens at the right time,” Johnson says. “I’m excited to follow a passion I had as a little girl and get paid to do what I love.”
Viral transformation cost $300 . fewer
Johnson says redesigning her sister’s new dorm was always a given. She had successfully completed the makeover of her sister’s bedroom at home a year ago.
“She already knew that I was perfectly capable of giving her something without getting involved. She gave me free rein,” Johnson said.
Johnson didn’t start out with much inspiration or direction for the design, but Athena told him that the one thing she didn’t want was a colorful room. Johnson decided to stick with a neutral color scheme.
For furniture and decor, Johnson says she has turned to Amazon, Dollar Tree, and Home Depot.
It took Johnson, her mom and sister about two hours to apply removable wallpaper, install shelf organizers, and create custom picture frames.
The change came in at just under $300.
“At first I was very unhappy with the end result,” Johnson said. “I changed my mind seeing how much my sister loved the room.”
Johnson said her sister loved the DIY frames and plans to reuse them throughout her four years at Morgan State.
“When I FaceTime, she looks very comfortable in her room. It doesn’t look or feel like you’re somewhere else. It looks like a place where it belongs, and that was my goal,” he said .
Since redesigning half of his sister’s room, Johnson revealed that he also took the roommate’s side.
In all, it cost about $550 to replace the entire room.
The only guidance he got from his roommate was to stay away from pink.
“The motivation to keep the roommate side was to spread friendliness and great looks,” Johnson said. “I knew it would go into a side play on what has already been done and at the same time give it a unique feel.”
Johnson, his mother and his sister spent nearly four hours on the second makeover. “Everyone deserves something special from time to time,” he said.
“The roommate loved it and insisted on paying, but I didn’t let her. She thanked me and said her mom couldn’t wait to see it.”
This article was originally published in English by Celia Fernández for our sister network CNBC.com. Go here for more from CNBC.