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Today Nick has two special guests, John and Theresa Dorlini of Circle Design Studio in Roanoke, Virginia. Back for another interview, the three talk about growing a business from the ground up, the quirks you must deal with as business owners and keeping the passion in work. All while juggling to raise four children, the couple is managing an architecture and interior design empire!

Keeping the Passion

Both John and Theresa always knew their professions would lay in architecture and interior design. Though they parted ways for college after meeting at age 15, the two reconnected after graduate school, and the rest is history! Today, new work for residential and commercial projects finds them, including hotels, senior centers, manufacturing centers, and office spaces. The lines between the kinds of design are beginning to blur, and the two are taking advantage of it.

Though running the business is where much of their efforts must go to be successful, keeping the passion for their jobs as designers is essential. It’s easy to stay excited when you get to do things like design space around an original Banksy! The two now get to work on custom projects and are currently designing a home at the New River Gorge, West Virginia, overlooking Lake Norman. On these, they’ll be constructing entire houses, meanwhile paying close attention to all the details.

The Business of Being a Designer

Like Nick says, Passion Sucks, It’s All About the Money! Running an interior design business is about much more than being creative. Even though you can eventually find your groove and work on bigger jobs, maintaining the company is necessary. For John, the most challenging aspect of running a business is managing deadlines and workers, meanwhile trying to do everything efficiently. For Theresa, it is always vital to make employees feel fulfilled by finding the position where they can shine their brightest.

From the Basement to a Big Budget

Starting a business is difficult, no matter the industry. On The Chaise Lounge, we’ve had a few guests including Garrison Hullinger and Parker Torres-Design, who both worked out of basements and attics of homes when first opening shop. Today, as you all know, they’re working with multi-million dollar budgets! Staying focused on goals and being frugal is essential. Some of the best work comes from home offices and it’s a testament to a person’s drive, which John and Theresa exhibit perfectly!

To learn more about Circle Design studio, visit circledesignstudio.com and follow them on Facebook or Instagram. Listen to their past episode for more from the two.

About the Author
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Lauren moved to Denver three years ago and is loving every bit. Though she came to Colorado to study communications, marketing, and journalism, she’s got a love for all things art, design and media related. Lauren’s gig at The Chaise Lounge includes writing, copy editing and creating social media content. When not in classes at the University of Denver or writing about the business of interior design, you can find her with a camera or paintbrush in her hand, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, or on the ski slopes.

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