Interview with Interior Designer Stephanie Kraus

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Each month, we interview a Socialite Influencer, one of our members who has shown exceptional skill at marketing her business in the interior design, home staging, or workroom spaces. We cover the emotional, strategic, educational, and brand-based facets of running a business in the fast-paced home industry.

Meet Our Guest

What is your name?

Stephanie Kraus

What is the name of your business?

Stephanie Kraus Designs

Where are you located?

Wayne, PA

What services do you offer?

full service interior design

How long have you been working in the home industry?

I have been in business since 2013.

A note from our Socialite Influencer of the Month:

Stephanie Kraus Designs is a successful residential interior design firm located on the Main Line of Philadelphia, servicing the surrounding areas including southern New Jersey. Stephanie is known for her timeless interiors that incorporate bold neutral patterns and exciting bursts of color, offering a modern take on tradition. She is also known for bringing the "wow" factor in every space she designs.

Her dramatic interiors have been featured in several national magazines such as Clientele Luxury and HGTV Magazine. She has also been featured on HOUZZ and several prominent interior design blogs.

Guided by the belief that a home should be as unique and special as the people who live in it, Stephanie works closely with her clients to make sure their passions and interests are reflected throughout every space. Stephanie works tirelessly to curate unique, one of a kind design elements to make your home feel special and distinctly different. She has been sought after by local business owners and professionals to make their homes look luxurious yet feel relaxed and comfortable enough to entertain family and friends. 

As a busy mother of three, Stephanie understands that a home must be as functional as it is beautiful. She pays close attention to detail, tailoring each project to the specific needs of the client. She works tirelessly for her clients and prides herself on her firm's customer service.

In fact, over eighty percent of her business is from repeat clients and referrals from her extremely happy clients. Stephanie currently resides in Wayne, Pennsylvania, with her husband, three children, and their Golden doodle, Casey.

The Emotional Side of Biz in the Home Industry

When you first started your business, how confident were you?

Confident in my design skills but not with running my own business or having processes in place to make my business run smoothly.

What fears did you have as a new business owner in the home industry?

Lack of trust with my clients, lack of knowledge in taxes, bookkeeping, proper pricing, and credibility.

What part of your experience or education helped you grow your business?

I am self-taught. I learned to run my business with help from mentors, books, industry experts, asking other interior designers, reading, podcasts, and asking for help. The longer I have been in business, the more confident I am becoming. If I don’t know, I ask. I am taking more jobs that I love to photograph and less that don't make sense with my design aesthetic

How have you grown as a person since, and because of, starting your business?

I am in awe that I have grown my business so quickly and completely in such a short time while keeping balance with my family (or at least trying to). I only do the tasks that will result in making money and try to hire out those that don't. I limit my events to High Point and those that are right in my area to make sure I’m spending as much time with my family as possible.

Advice for New Interior Designers, Stagers & Workrooms

If you could give yourself (and any other new business owners in the home industry) a piece of advice, what would you say?

Hire out and outsource; it will result in higher profit margins, less stress and more success.

Do you have a business mentor or idol?

I have too many. :)

Secrets to Success in the Home Industry

What is the #1 problem you seek to solve for your clients?

Helping them design a home to completion that feels like them.

What type of project brings you the most joy?

Full house decorating with some renovation finish selections.

How do you spot and avoid a potentially ill-fitting client?

I avoid people who don’t have enough money, can’t make decisions, or come across as wishy-washy.

How do you handle people who say, "You're too expensive" and expect a discount?

Walk away.

In what ways have you intentionally set yourself apart from competitors?

I just do me and competition really doesn’t bother me.

What is your big dream or goal for your business within the next 5 years?

To make as much as money as possible and have the most satisfied design clients in my area.

Marketing Tips to Use & Avoid

What is the biggest marketing mistake you've ever made?

I have always done marketing since day one; not sure if I’ve made any mistakes. I’m sure I have!

What is one marketing tactic you use now that you wish you had used "back in the day"?

I’m still not comfortable with video or sharing too much information.

What is your favorite way to market your business?

Instagram.

How do you use Socialite Vault to help market your business in the home industry?

Email newsletters.

If a new business owner wanted to contact you for advice, how can they go about doing that?

Head over to my website and use the contact page.

What is your web address?

http://www.stephaniekrausdesigns.com/

What is your Instagram handle?

@stephaniekrausdesigns


Socialite Vault is marketing platform for interior designers, home stagers, and workrooms. Start a 14 day trial by clicking here.

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