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We are celebrating a great 2018 with a healthy list of new customers and suppliers. The ten-year recovery from the 2007-2008 recession was a challenge, but we are proud to have weathered that crisis and are starting year two of a three-year strategic plan to grow and create a sustainable interior design business.

Last year we added Megan Hoekzema, Interior Designer, and Stacey Udell, Office Administrator to the team. We joined Local First, volunteered at Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary and donated our design time to Living Stones Academy helping them improve their multipurpose room and staff lounge.

We reference The Right Place’s 2019 Economic Outlook report to get a sense of what our community might experience ahead. As a tiny company, we would like to think we can be resilient to most economic shifts, and we describe ourselves as “small but mighty”. But along with that, we want to add “smart” so we have our heads up regarding our economy.

  • While the West Michigan marketplace needs to pay attention to the impact of tariffs, trade agreements, interest rate hikes, and changes in leadership in Lansing, the ongoing issues of talent shortage and the reality that every company needs to do more with fewer people.
  • Grand Rapids continues to lead the state (and the nation) in post-recession recovery.
  • The president of The Right Place, Birgit Klohs, is our customer and when asked, she summarized about the future, “2018 was a banner year, 2019 isn’t going to be quite as good. Read more here.
  • Rapid Growth Media’s article “Michigan’s Corporate Construction Continues to Grow into 2019” reports that West Michigan contractors have the largest backlog of business since 2000. “If the world stopped today, construction employers would have 9.8 months of work left to do.” And since contractors are r.o.i. Design’s #1 customer, we are pleased to hear this news.

For us 2019 will mean:

New staff, we are currently looking to hire a design lead. This person will help develop new business, lead the design direction of projects they develop and add perspective and energy to our group as we look to grow.

A year ago, we thought we needed to add staff to be able to provide us with rendering and illustration talent, but our Creative Executive Ryan Bright has risen to the challenge, growing in skills and managing out-sourced talent to meet our needs. We see adding more rendering services as part of the tool kit.

Our work in medical and dental offices continues to look strong. We have multi-family projects scheduled through 2020. Our window covering and solar shade business is growing. We have installed two projects with more than 100 windows within a few months of each other. Congratulations to Purchasing and Procurement Manager, Ronda Geyer.

We will be looking at our technology needs this year and anticipate making an investment in software and hardware.

Our physical sample library needs to shrink, as more and more resources are “online”. We rely on our sales representatives to help us with “just in time sampling”. Megan continues to manage our library and representatives in the effort to stay on top of the newest and best materials.

Our strategic plan has us revising processes and procedures, focusing on marketing and sales, and company culture.

We continue to be driven to “making a difference” in the lives of our customers and in our community.