My first project out on my own will always be special to me. First, some background… My last few years of design school, I worked as a designer at a design/build firm in my hometown of South Bend, IN. About 3 1/2 years ago, my husband and I decided to move to Chicago. We figured that a big city would have more career choices for me. My husband has his own businesses, so he was flexible. After countless weekends driving back and forth to the city looking for jobs (2008 was not a good time for this!), I finally found a job at a small, high-end design company. Working there was a rough experience. Deadlines promised to clients were missed, construction was always behind, and every decision seemed to take longer than it should.
After one year, I took the plunge and started my own interior design and remodeling company (2009). Lugbill Designs was born. Like many new businesses, the first year was slow. However, with the help of online advertising, we slowly started to see business trickle in. To this day, the business overhead is very low (home office), so a majority of gross profit was actual profit. I attribute the ongoing success of my firm, to having such low overhead starting out.
2.5 years in, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to go out on my own. I’ve had some great opportunities, including working as a design consultant on an HGTV series, and multiple $100,000+ budget projects. As great as those are, my first full project, the bathroom remodel shown above, will always have a special place in my heart. I associate it with the start of a new life. Every time I see this picture, I am utterly amazed at how this has all played out.
I am mom and pop.
- Erica Lugbill