Karin Ross is the owner/CEO of Karin Ross Designs, a company she has run with a high degree of success. Karin’s success in the design business is based on her attention to detail. This has helped her a lot, not just in her position as CEO, but also as an interior designer. For the past 20 years, Karin Ross has reimagined homes and has experience in taking a simple design and turning into a complete and beautiful home. She believes that the best way to give clients the best is to have interior designers actively involved in the implementation phase of a project.
Karin is also lucky to have a general contractor for a husband. By combining Karin’s creative genius and her husband’s implementation capabilities, the two are a power to reckon with in the Real Estate industry. Her superior standing in the industry also comes from her style of design. She calls her style European Transitional, which is a mix of European conservative designs with the latest trends in design. Karin’s style is understandable considering that she was born in Belgium and studied design in Belgium and Italy. Her abilities in coming up with Euro-centric designs have won her accolades all through the Midwest. Together with her husband, Karin been featured on different media from Dwell Magazine to HGTV for her amazing work.
How did you get started in the interior design business?
This business was borne out of a passion for design. It is this passion that pushed me to pursue higher education in interior design and later along venture into business in the same field. My husband was also very supportive and motivated me to get started.
How long did it take for you to become profitable? When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
It took us about a year for the business to become sustainably profitable. It’s a tough business and you have to build a name before the big projects start rolling in. Despite the hardships, I never had doubts about the business. My husband was very supportive and would always push me to keep going, no matter the circumstances.
What was your experience running Karin Ross Designs?
The experience has been wonderful. I am passionate about interior design and this business allows me to live my dreams. My contractor husband makes it even easier to run the business successfully. I am enjoying life just by running this business.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
I use magazines and television advertising a lot. It’s a successful strategy in helping build awareness about my business. Of course, my Eurocentric approach to design helps out with marketing too.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
In this business, we make lots of tough decisions all the time. It’s the only way to stay competitive. I can’t pinpoint one specific decision that I have made in the last few months that I would consider tougher than anything I usually handle.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
That would be my strong passion for design, and a supportive husband. Passion for the business has enabled me to fuse European designs with the latest trends in a way that our competitors cannot. My husband’s experience as a general contractor also means we can take on projects and merge design and implementation from the beginning to the end. It gives us an edge in the industry.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I have lots of satisfactorily moments in the business. Anytime I handle a project and the client gives me a positive review, I feel happy and satisfied. It’s an amazing feeling.
- What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The future is bright for my business. We continue to give clients the best designs in the market. I am also very excited that the market is increasingly more receptive to my fusion of European and American trends in design.
What business books have inspired you?
The bible has inspired me a lot. Whenever I read it, I get the answers I need to some of the deepest questions I have about life, business – literally everything.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would advise my younger self to focus more on building a strong work-life balance. Money is important, but chasing it should not take away your family time. In the end, it is the people you love that matter.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
I would gladly mentor anyone who wants my advice. I always feel happy whenever a young person comes to me for advice on how to run their business, and I can offer helpful answers. Anyone seeking mentorship can come to my office and we schedule a date.