After having my first child, I made a major career change and decided to pursue my passion for interior design. With a previous Fashion and Fine Arts degree, I decided to pursue interiors. Now, I am both a mom and business owner, following my dream! My business focuses on interior design and styling. I am a self-professed style mutt. My spaces incorporate Mid-Century, Scandinavian, Modern, Eclectic, Bohemian, and Global influences. My aim is design unique and approachable spaces for my clients. How my idea for business come about? Like mentioned above, I was in a previous career for over 18 years and pretty burned out on the grind. I took sometime off after having my daughter to really focus on what it is that would make me happy for a career. I knew that I had to release creativity somehow. It felt right to slowly start building my business in hopes that I would have a well-oiled machine by the time my kid(s) were in school. I didn't want to be sitting at home in 5 years wondering, "Hmmm... what should I do now?"
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
I think in starting any new business, the two biggest hurdles were/are A) managing your time/finding balance B) Not self-doubting yourself. It's hard to find balance between running a business, being a mom, being a wife, and running a household. I still need to work on finding the balance. As many new businesses get off of the ground, there are late nights and time boundaries that are crossed to try and get the job done. Starting up a business from scratch can be overwhelming. Trying to keep my confidence up is something that I also have to practice on the daily.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
Unfortunately, I have not had time to finish a book lately! I do enjoy "The Business of Design" on podcast. It was referred to me by a friend and fellow designer. I find that podcasts are something that I can manage more easily than books at the moment. I also enjoy, "How I Built This." That podcast is a series based on entrepreneurs and their stories of creating their own businesses.
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?
I can't say that I've had any friction in that area. On the contrary, I'm so lucky to have such a wonderfully supportive husband. He was the one that really nudged me to go for it and take a leap. Most definitely without him backing me up, it would be impossible to pursue this passion of mine.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
I would have two say that to get my business rolling, both professional photos of my work and press were both equally influential. It was important to spend the money to photograph spaces in high quality. What came from that were organic opportunities to be published which then trickled down to client inquiries.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I am pretty hard on myself, and it would be nice for me to recognize that more people are in my shoes that what appears to be on the surface. One of my favorite quotes is: "Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle, or your middle to someone else's end." Especially with social media, it's so easy to constantly compare your work.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
I would say, if you can, try and trust the leap of faith. There's nothing better than working for yourself on your own accord. Add in being able to pursue a creative passion and balance home life, it's a no brainer. There will be growing pains along the way, but it's been such an accomplishment to start my own business from scratch.