We are thrilled to share with all of you that we have added an incredibly talented Interior Designer to our TLD Team! Meet Kristen Seyferth: designer, fellow cat lover, and my new Girl Friday. I'm going to let Kristen tell you a bit about herself in just a moment, but first I wanted to share the backstory of how we decided to bring on another member to our Team.
Earlier this year I was reaching my breaking point. Behind the portfolio images and pretty Instagram photos, there was some epic level hustling happening behind the scenes. Steven had joined the business full time, and to prepare for that we had ramped up the business in a big way to make sure that we would have enough money to do things like eat food and continue to live in our house. Putting all of our eggs in the family-business basket was risky, and we were doing all we could to mitigate that risk.
It worked splendidly. A little too splendidly, because I was running myself into the ground. While Steven was making huge strides at helping with the business by taking over the accounting, invoicing, order management, and all of the back of house business stuff that has to get done to keep the train moving, he wasn't a designer (not his fault, I knew that before I hired him, after all!). And there were many days where there was just so much designing get done but not enough designer to do it.
I was doing everything that I loved. Literally everything. Too much of it. And I was stressed and on edge and it wasn't good for my well being or my family. I realized the truth that Steven and many others around me had already known - we needed to expand. I knew in my heart that I didn't want to SHRINK the business we had worked so hard to grow. I had a 6 month wait list and was turning people away left and right, which broke my heart. First off, turning away work is not a great method for creating a sustainable business, but more importantly it hurt my heart to not be able to serve all of these amazing people who needed help with their homes. Something had to change.
Kristen and I go pretty far back. 5 years ago on a recruiting trip to Ohio for my old firm I met Kristen and was immediately SOLD. I called HR immediately and told them to make her an offer, post haste. I had interviewed dozens upon dozens of others over the years, but Kristen was something special. She was hired and we worked together for several years until I left the firm when Max was born. We stayed in contact and would catch up from time to time to talk work and life.
Earlier this year, in the midst of my overwhelm, Kristen reached out to have a cup of coffee. Before I had even finished eating my everything bagel I had offered her a part time design position. For all the wrestling and worrying about if we should hire, who we would hire, when would we hire, could we afford to hire, and how would I find that perfect person, it just magically fell into place over a cup of iced coffee.
Since that time earlier this year, Kristen has been working part time for TLD and has been more of a help to the business and my mental health than I can begin to put into words. She and I share a very similar design aesthetic and work style, which has made it nearly seamless for her to integrate into our projects.
While we know her role will evolve and change, the plan is for Kristen to work alongside me on all of our projects. As she gains more experience there will likely be a time that it will be natural for her to take on a lead role on future projects, but for the time being we are both looking forward to working hand-in-hand on projects together. I will continue to lead every project and be the main contact for our clients. I love what I do, and the personal connections with my clients are what brings me joy. This will not change.
The design process works well in a collaborative setting, and there have been SO MANY times over the last couple of years where I desperately wanted another designer to bounce ideas off of. I'm so grateful that we will have that ability now within our Team.
I have rambled on long enough! Without further ado, here's Kristen!
Where did you grow up?
I was raised in Harrison, Ohio, which is a tiny dot on the southwest corner of Ohio. My dad is a contractor and my mom is the best hostess I know. With their combined powers, they raised an interior designer! I am the second oldest of five kids. Growing up, I can confidently say there was never a dull moment!
Where you went to school and what you studied?
My alma mater is Miami University (of Ohio) where I received a BFA in Interior Design.
What brought you to Texas?
Tara! But seriously, I met her during the height of my senior year when she was recruiting at career day. We hit it off and so about eight weeks later, I moved to Texas to work with her at a large commercial firm in Dallas. I have been here since 2012, and let me tell you, I don't plan on leaving anytime soon. #texasforever
What's your design background?
My design background started in corporate office design where I worked with some of the best clients around, learning to pay close attention to detail and furthering my love for branding and graphic design. From there, I went to multi-family and hospitality which created a love for mixing textures, pattern, and color in unique ways. In between all of this, I have been a graphic designer and a personal stylist for Stitch Fix! You could say I've done a little bit of everything.
Why did you make the big move from a corporate gig to a smaller residential shop?
For as long as I can think back, this is what I have wanted to do! My dad is a small business owner and I've always had that entrepreneurial spirit in my bones. While I took a turn into the corporate world, this is where I truly belong. Working for a smaller company allows for direct interaction with clients and homeowner and makes the design process so much sweeter!
If you could only eat one food for the rest of eternity, what would it be?
I am an outlier... I love pineapple on pizza. Give me pepperoni-pineapple every day, please.
What are 3 words your best friends would use to describe you?
Energetic, Creative, Spontaneous. (I tried to get them to say I am hilarious, but they wouldn't give me that. It's fine.)
What are you passionate about besides interior design?
Community, I am all about my people. A good cup of coffee. My two beloved cats, Eddie and Benzie. Theology, I can frequently be found with my nose in a book.
What's your personal design style?
Happy Modern, which I define as clean lines mixed with pops of color and texture. Add a dash of boho and mid-century to round it out.
What's your favorite piece of the design process?
Seeing it all come together! It's so satisfying to watch the vision for each unique client come to life.
An interesting tidbit people might enjoy:
I enjoy the thrill of the shopping hunt. My most recent accomplishment was paying $8.88 for a dress at Anthropologie. Miracles do happen.