UNK Alumni Design Luxury Homes for Celebrity Clients – UNK News


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UNK graduates Emily Bridge and Katie Ward work for Alder & Tweed Design Co., a design firm that specializes in luxury residences, communities, and hospitality projects.  (Photos courtesy of Alder & Tweed)
UNK graduates Emily Bridge and Katie Ward work for Alder & Tweed Design Co., a design firm that specializes in luxury residences, communities, and hospitality projects. (Photos courtesy of Alder & Tweed)

By Tyler Ellyson
UNK Communications

BIG SKY, Mt. – Employees of Alder & Tweed Design Co. may not speak publicly about their clients.


So Emily Bridge and Katie Ward need to be careful when talking about their jobs.

They won’t mention your name, but a quick Google search will give you a good idea of ​​the kind of people they work for: A-list actors, popular musicians, sports stars, and tech moguls.

“It’s pretty exclusive, definitely celebrities and the 1% that live there,” Bridge said of the Yellowstone Club, a private ski and golf community nestled in the Rocky Mountains near Big Sky, Montana.

Spanning 15,200 acres, this members-only oasis features world-class ski slopes, an 18-hole golf course designed by former PGA player and renowned course architect Tom Weiskopf, and other luxury amenities.

When someone buys a multi-million dollar home in the Yellowstone Club, Alder & Tweed is recommended for interior design.

“We can go into these beautiful houses and put beautiful things in the house,” Ward said. “It doesn’t really feel like a job. I think everyone, deep down, really enjoys choosing nice furniture and putting together designs.”

For Ward and Bridge, the opportunity to work for the high-end design firm is a dream come true.

“Somehow, right out of college, I landed my dream job,” Bridge said.


The 24-year-olds met at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where they both studied interior and product design. In a smaller program, they developed close relationships with professors and classmates, many of whom took the same classes together year after year.

“We all became really, really good friends,” said Ward, an Omaha native.

“It was nice to have that support system around us,” added Bridge, who grew up in Kearney.

The UNK program also exposed them to a variety of design concepts and career paths. For example, Ward completed his internship at Walker Art Gallery on campus, while Bridge worked remotely for Jackie Barnes Design, a Cincinnati-based interior design firm.

“I think that really prepared us for this job, because everything is so different all the time,” Bridge said. “There is no one size fits all process, so it was nice to see all the different possibilities that exist within interior design.”

After graduating in the spring of 2021, Bridge decided to “spread his wings” and seek employment outside of Nebraska.

She was looking for job postings on Indeed when she saw Alder & Tweed’s listing for a designer in the Park City, Utah location. Naturally, he went to the agency’s website and discovered an “amazing company that is very stylish.”

During her interview, Bridge mentioned a roommate who also recently graduated with a degree in interior and product design. Alder & Tweed had two openings in its Big Sky office, and Bridge and Ward were a perfect fit.

“She definitely gets credit for that,” Ward said with a smile. “She got the biggest bedroom when we moved in.”

“That was our deal,” Bridge confirmed.


Ward and Bridge currently live in Bozeman, Montana, about 45 miles northeast of Big Sky, where they have worked since September.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Ward said. “We have a great team around us. It’s like we’re all friends who work on really beautiful houses every day.”

In addition to the Yellowstone Club, Alder & Tweed has design contracts with Montage Big Sky, a nearby luxury resort, and Wasatch Peaks Ranch, a 12,740-acre private community and club in the Wasatch Mountains near Park City, Utah. Ward designed 22 units at Montage Big Sky, which features a grand hotel, multiple restaurants, a 10,000-square-foot spa, and private residences.

With a third location in New York, Alder & Tweed works with clients throughout North America. The firm has designed homes in Las Vegas, Martha’s Vineyard, Cabo San Lucas and Los Angeles.

Ward and Bridge look forward to advancing within the company while continuing to do what they love.

“I can do this for the rest of my life,” Ward said. “This is literally perfect. It’s so much fun.”

“The sky is the limit,” added Bridge. “If I can do this now, I feel like I can accomplish anything.”

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