I have wanted to be an interior designer since I was 11-years old. My parents always encouraged me to design my personal space, aka my bedroom, to be my own style when I was growing up. To me that meant lots of electric blue and vignettes that changed often. Some days I would hang wallpaper with a palm tree motif, other days that meant installing a wall unit for my new studio, while other days that meant tearing out blue carpet and installing hardwood flooring. It was ever evolving and experiential for my junior high and high school years.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
I was intimidated to hire people as I thought I wouldn’t be able to afford them. Quickly I learned if I employed others who were experts in their field or good at design, I could take on more projects because I had assistance or had a pro taking care of the accounting side of things.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I am currently listening to more podcast than reading books because I am traveling a lot. I think inspiring foundational books include “Everyday Greatness” by Steven Covey, Tools of titans by Tim Ferris and “Good to Great” by James Collins.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My parents never wanted me to have the overhead of employees or a brick and mortar studio. My husband knew that a store front was a dream of mine and encouraged me to take the leap. I did so and grew into three different Design Labs over the past 10 years. Currently, we are transitioning two brick and mortar shops to online platforms due to the way consumers have pivoted in their purchasing behaviors. I am so have to have experienced success in the brick and mortar set-up and to not be wondering “what if”. I know I was able to do well in that space and now look forward to a new opportunity for the products we create with interior design brands.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I wish I knew that there are many different versions and seasons of a career. An interior designer does not need to simply due pure interior design work her whole career. There are many versions of types of work that can be done with interior design as a foundation. It may have seemed non-traditional at first, but I have come to learn I can be an author, product designer, marketer, content generator, board member, educator and many more things as my desires and experiences evolve.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Be flexible. When you are open and flexible, you can absorb experiences and have an elevated version of your dreams come to life. It’s likely if you do what you love, you will create a very meaningful, fulfilled life.