Featured Member: Kitchen Design by Susan D, LLC
SC: Briefly describe your business
KD: Kitchen Design by Susan D, LLC is a personalized service to aid you in redesigning your Kitchen, Bathroom, Wall Unit, Closet Interior, Outdoor Kitchen Space, Blinds and Drapery for your Windows as well. Susan personally visits your residence and takes her own measurements. Graphic designing is done afterwards and emailed to clients so they can study the transformations one thought at a time. We offer a variety of cabinet choices and have selections in everyone’s budget. We take our time, no sales pressure. We want to be sure that you will still love your final decision 5+ years from now. Susan analyzes how you and your family use your space and will suggest an easy traffic flow to allow all to help or set a boundary if the person using the kitchen doesn’t want anyone in their space. We work directly with homeowners and/or in coordination with contractors and architects. Blueprint overviews too. New Construction or Remodeling. Taking it once step at a time allows for a more relaxing process without the added stress of too many decisions at once.
SC: What motivates you to jump out of bed in the morning?
KD: Every day is a new day to thank God that I’m alive. My motivation is my clients! Knowing they are waiting on layouts or depending on me to accomplish that which we’ve set out to do in a timely manner either keeps me up to all hours of the morning or wakes me up early with fresh, new ideas!
SC: Tell us about your company culture.
KD: Customer-focused; High integrity workplace; Strong trust relationships; Highly effective leadership; Effective systems and processes; Performance-based compensation; Effective 360-degree communications; Commitment to learning and skill development; High degree of adaptability; High accountability standards
SC: What are three things you use every day in your job?
KD: Three things I use every day are Creativity, Computer and Phone.
SC: What trends/insights are you finding in your field/market?
KD: Trends in our market change with the season – this allow the cabinet company to introduce new colors and door styles. Although trends look great in magazines (like Gray is the new Black right now) these trendy colors are usually gone before they are enjoyed. I have no problem designing in the latest trend and we do carry the newest colors for our clients to see however I recommend an easier trendy coordination to change (i.e., paint colors on walls, teapot color, dishes in glass cabinets, kitchen towels…) These items are less expensive to change and your kitchen design will always be in style no matter what the latest and greatest of the season is.
SC: What advice do you have to give to emerging talent in your field?
KD: My advise to new designers is to listen. Listen to your clients regarding what they want, what they like, what they don’t like, what makes life easier for them, how they use their space, how their family gathers, what they don’t like about their current space. Keep in mind that you are designing a space that is theirs not yours. Ask questions and make them the most viable part of the process. Help them to accomplish that which is in their head. Give them the picture of what they are thinking. Show them the why something won’t work — they need to understand that not everything we want could fit in their measurements. Speaking of measurements – measure twice or three times and always have a second party confirm your measurements. Take a step back and study the space. Look for vents, switches, electrical outlets, plumbing locations. Ask questions. Don’t commit to telling them they can have something until you know if the measurements will allow it to be. Be kind, honest, trustworthy, patient, a good listener and a good communicator.
SC: What benefit(s) attracted you to the Stafford Chamber?
KD: It is is the tie that binds the business community together. The Chamber exists to make a community a better place to work, live and play. Consumers believe that businesses that are involved in the community, care about their customers and that the company is reputable. When a consumer thinks more favorably of a company because the company is a member of its local Chamber of Commerce, it is because they infer that the company is trustworthy, connected to the community, listens to its customers is successful and is a leader in the business community. A Chamber membership also provides excellent networking opportunities.
I love being a part of this chamber as we are all a family. We are business owners connecting with each other to inspire and uplift each other to keep on moving forward. In today’s economy, we all need each other and we should go to our members page first before reaching for the yellow pages — or Google! Businesses helping businesses, people helping people. Growing relationships with each other’s clients and with each other. That’s what networking is all about, that’s why we are a part of something good for us as well as for the community.
SC: What business challenges keep you up at night?
KD: I would suspect that where the next job is coming from would be every business owners concern. What is happening in the world today would be my guess as well as the changes in the economy.
SC: Tell us about organizations/charities that you are passionate about.
KD: Besides using my God given talent to design space; we are also passionate about being a part of a company called Jeunesse. Being a part of a global leader, Jeunesse has a social responsibility to the community. Jeunesse is more than just a business—Jeunesse is family—and our charitable organization, Jeunesse Kids™, is the epitome of this principle. Our partnership with Free the Children is releasing kids from poverty, lack of access to education, and exploitation. Their Adopt a Village Program has brought more than 650 school rooms to youth and provided clean water, health care and sanitation to 1 million people around the world. This is your chance to serve others and make a difference—because we’re not only helping children around the world, we’re changing their futures. Free The Children is an international charity and partner with Jeunesse Kids™. Founded in 1995 by international activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children believes in a world where young people are free to achieve their fullest potential and empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens. The organization’s domestic programs—which include We Day, Free The Children’s signature youth empowerment event—educate, engage and empower 2.3 million youth across North America and United Kingdom. Free The Children’s international projects are implemented through a holistic and sustainable development model called Adopt a Village. Currently, Adopt a Village supports community development in eight countries; East Africa, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua, rural China and India. Through its international programming, Free The Children is freeing children and their families from the cycle of poverty. Changing The Future Jeunesse Kids™ embraces a culture that’s focused on providing a better standard of living for those in need. What’s more, people all from all parts of the globe are participating in this revolutionary initiative to improve the lives of children everywhere. To hear more go to our website: www.SkinCareForAll.JeunesseGlobal.com
SC: If you could choose any song to represent your company, what song would it be?
KD: I Believe I Can Fly
SC: What Stafford area business person do you most admire?
KD: I admire all honest, hard working local business people for their dedication to making a living on their own terms. It takes tenacity to stay in business for yourself and everyone who does should be commended.
SC: When you are not working, where in Stafford do you like to spend your time?
KD: Shopping: I like to walk through the stores and focus on what I am seeing. It helps me get a new mindset for the upcoming season and clears my head from thinking about work.