Today in The Lounge, Nick talks to Kelly Becker of the Schlagenhaft Studio. Kelly is the first person Nick’s interview who isn’t a designer but still runs a successful design firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kelly talks about how she got into the Interior Design business, how Schlagenhaft Studio has been able to branch out into attaining both national and international clients and how she uses marketing and business strategies to become successful.
Kelly’s uncle, Jon Schlagenhaft, was a successful interior designer in Milwaukee who had a reputation of high-quality design and respect throughout the community. In 2008, her uncle and his partner passed away in a plane crash, one week after they acquired the prominent Peabody Interiors, a luxury design firm with over 40 years of business in Milwaukee. Kelly was working in sales for a commercial printing agency when her family believed she had the necessary skill set to help run her uncle’s design company. When she joined the design firm, it was truly a family affair.
Kelly admits that what she lacks in interior design experience, she makes up for in business and in building relationships with staff and potential clients. She has been fortunate enough to have employees who have remained loyal to her uncle’s company throughout the years, and who have taught her the “ins and outs” of the design business. Kelly said her biggest learning curve were Human Relations issues and how to resolve those among the 18 employees in the firm. She has also learned how to use marketing and sales strategies to further the business and was able to open the Schlagenhaft Studio to accommodate custom designs for clients.
Kelly revels in how fortunate she is to be surrounded by a team of employees who support the previous vision of her uncle, as well as, the new vision she has developed managing the company. They are able to attain referrals from her uncle’s clients who recommend new clients and Kelly makes sure everyone is expertly matched to the perfect designer for their personality and style. This has allowed Schlagenhaft Studio to have clients all over the US as well as in international locations. Kelly’s future plans for the studio lie in expanding to commercial design, finding new ways to branch out with brand recognition and using marketing firms and press to branch out further into the industry.
Learn more about Kelly Becker and her designers at the Schlagenhaft Studio at www.schlagenhaftstudio.com
For more information visit: www.thedesignerswebsite.com
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