Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in interior design but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Charley Harold, Owner of Dear Charley Designs, located in Wilmore, KY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I own a boutique interior design firm in the heart of the bluegrass just outside Lexington, Kentucky. I create a captivating living by offering unique and personalized kitchen and bathroom designs as well as furniture and decor. I love to mix unique high-end details with economical pieces to strike the perfect balance between form, function, and finance.

Tell us about yourself

I am an extrovert who loves people, how they interact with others, and the spaces they enjoy. As a kid, I enjoyed rearranging my own room to create a fresh new space, often in the middle of the night. My parents would wake up to my having totally rearranged my bedroom room! I have also always enjoyed art and design and delved into anything I could that combined these interests. I went to Samford University to pursue interior design and never wavered. Since graduating in 2006, I have immersed myself in the design and construction industry learning everything I can from tradespeople, showroom specialists, other designers, contractors, and architects. I absolutely love being around people, and honestly, I get most of my inspiration for new designs from my clients themselves. It's interesting how much you can learn about someone when asking them daily living and design questions!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Honestly, getting the courage to take the leap! Since doing so, I feel fulfilled in pursuing my dreams, and I am excited about scaling my business to the next level!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Balancing everything from working IN the business to working ON the business. Of course, as a creative, I always want to work for my clients, but I am learning to strike a balance and appreciate the other parts of the business like marketing, strategic planning, and creating a fun experience for my clients through customer service.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Outsource-anything you don't like to do, send it elsewhere so you can grow and scale your business. My first thing to outsource was accounting, and boy am I glad!
  2. Create a business plan before launching. I didn't want to do this because, honestly, who does? BUT, this was the single most helpful thing to establishing a profitable business that was ready to hit the ground running as soon as I launched.
  3. Create Standard Operating Procedures-Templates and organization for repeatable tasks have been such a time saver! You'll be so surprised how much time you can save by creating a standard procedure for even the smallest task! I even have email templates for standard information that I have to email clients often!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Thank you for the opportunity!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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