All this month I’m interviewing real-life designers about what it is like to run a design business. As you’ll see these ladies have all different backgrounds and experiences, but one thing they all have in common is that they have taken my course, The Golden Blueprint.
About Oksana Kreiman
A native of Russia, Oksana moved to the US as a teen. After getting an associates degree in Interior Design, Oksana worked for another Denver design firm for 10 years before setting out on her own with Pure Design in 2013.
What traits or talents have made you successful?
I am still not able to pinpoint this one. I would say that I can relate to people and make them feel comfortable working with me.
What has been your biggest sacrifice in running your business?
My family. Being a mom and an entrepreneur is hard. You are always under pressure to stay on top of things, and it seems that you have to devote every minute of your free time to your business.
What is the biggest lesson you've learned from running your business?
To pay attention to the details. Whether you are working on custom window treatments, tile designs, furniture orders or floor plans. Little things can cause much damage. Interior Design business is all about the details.
What does success mean to you?
To feel satisfaction at the end of the day. To live with purpose and know that you made a positive impact on someone's life.
How do you charge?
For larger projects, I charge a flat fee. For furniture selections and consultations, I charge an hourly rate.
What is a typical project like for your business?
My projects vary from bathroom and kitchen remodeling to full house remodel. Last several projects included furniture and accessorizing for the whole house.
When you stumble how do you pick yourself up?
I still have a hard time doing that. It's hard work to train your brain to think of positive outcomes. It's all about the lessons and what we learn from them. Even negative experience is an experience.
Do you have a favorite quote?
"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be a value." Albert Einstein
What drew you to interior design?
I would call it passion. When I was a little girl, I used to look at interiors and think to myself what I would change or do differently. How would I reposition the furniture or paint walls? How would I organize the space? That was back in Russia, and during that time most people couldn't afford to buy anything new. Everything was a deficit, and nothing was available for purchase (unless you had connections). Only after we moved to the USA, in high school, I learned that there is an actual job that's called an Interior Designer.
How do you wish the design industry was different?
In my opinion, making standards for to-the-trade discounts would take much pressure off designers. Sometimes it is very confusing to work with various vendors and lines.
Looking back, is there anything that you wish you could've done differently running your business?
I wish I would have taken more business-oriented classes. I feel like I am still on a learning curve.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud of my projects. I put my heart and soul into every one of them.
What is your biggest struggle in running your business?
I am still working on developing systems which would help me run my business more smoothly. I spend a considerable amount of time re-creating documents for each new project because they vary in shape and size.
How has your business changed since The Golden Blueprint?
As a business owner, it helped me to gain an understanding of the different aspects of the Interior Design business. It illuminated essential details about the structure, branding, and values.
Any sage advice or words of wisdom to fellow designers?
Self-worth is a big part of our lives. Do not compromise it for anyone or anything.
What are your goals for the next year?
The biggest goal is to finish the house we are building for our family. Another goal is to finalize the branding and internal business organization.
Tired of other designer's not sharing what they know about running a design business? That stops now. This is the blueprint for you design and build your business in 7 weeks so you can do what you want to do: design.
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