Rob Klein & Amy Kreutz: Kitchen Design-off
Today in the Lounge Nick Speaks with Rob Klein and Amy Kreutz from Carmel, Indiana. Rob and Amy are partners at Conceptual Kitchens. They talk about how they each fell into the design world, even though it wasn’t exactly what they thought they wanted to do. They also talk about the unique kitchens they design for clients whether the budget is big or small.
Getting to Know Rob and Amy
Rob and Amy are partners in business. Rob grew up and has lived in Carmel almost all his life. Amy grew up in a small rural town outside of Indianapolis. She attended Ball State University in Muncie. Amy’s favorite fashion accessory is her watch because it’s stylish and…. she’s always a tad late to the office. Rob’s favorite inspirational books are military books. Beer, Wine, or Cocktail? Rob prefers straight tequila. Amy prefers wine.
How Rob and Amy got their Start
Amy got interested in design from her art classes. She would play in the yard with her brother and create homes and communities with sticks. She loved drawing and drafting classes in high school. Rob has always been creative. He attended Kenyon College and majored in Fine Arts and Economics. After college, he worked for his dad’s construction company and drew homes for his dad. He did that for seven years and learned a tremendous amount working with his dad. After that, he started Conceptual Kitchens in the late 90s. When Amy was a freshman she found that there was an overabundance of architects coming out of school not getting jobs. She then decided to get a degree in design and a minor in marketing. The duo came together when Amy walked into the showroom saying that Rob needed to hire her, and he did.
The Business Today
Amy became partner a little over a year ago, after being together for five and half years. Rob and Amy both wear all the hats. They find this beneficial because they really help each other out. They are a four-person organization with two independent subcontractors. They have about 40 clients that they are working with in various states. They finish about 12-15 kitchens a year. The majority of their business comes from word of mouth. They work with five cabinet lines that all make custom cabinets in-house. Rob and Amy both talk with the client to get a feel for what they want, and then have a design-off. They both come up with their own interpretation of the client’s desires and present each of their ideas to see which kitchen the customer wants. As far as budget goes, they total appliances and cabinets with a ballpark figure and then get into more specifics to get a feel for the clients reaction. The three factors that help decide which cabinet manufacturer they’re going to work with are budget, lead time, and finish.
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