Today we’d like to introduce you to Brigitte Hook.
Hi Brigitte, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I’ve always loved the design of things (and of humans!) Because my dad was in commercial construction and my mom was in commercial floor covering – my focus on architecture, art, furnishings, and human psychology are no surprise! Blueprints, floorpans, and textiles surrounded me. After a couple of years studying Psychology, I pressed pause on my education to work for a while and figure out what I really wanted to do… but instead of returning to school like I had planned, I met my now husband of 23 years. We married and had THREE children right away. I ended up staying home to focus on our kids for 18 years! Man, I mommed SO HARD during those years and loved my gig as a professional mom but I had a burning inside to do something different so I went back to school at age 40 once our oldest graduated from high school.
While I was in school, I started my business, remodeled our home, and began doing design projects for friends and family. I totally jumped into the deep end! There is no turning back after you’ve knocked down a couple walls! It’s thrilling! Eventually, I began receiving referrals and building a network of tradespeople and vendors and then, the BEST THING HAPPENED – My sister joined me! I knew she and I were destined to work together in design because of our shared passion for style done well (and her superpower of digging in and learning the crazy important details of design!) but I had thought maybe she’d wait until her kids were older. I am so glad she just jumped in with me and I’m blessed to have her by my side. I may have started my design firm as a “solopreneur” but now I wouldn’t want to do it without her as my right hand!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There have been some challenges along the way to where we are now. Even though a business course was included in my design program, I still had lots of questions about how to start an LLC, how to “do” business as far as which softwares to use, how to approach bookkeeping and how to pay taxes etc. It’s common for creatives to struggle with the business side of design but thankfully I found great resources – professional organizations within my field, mentors, podcasts and a couple of great business coaches! Oh and another struggle… I had to drop and retake both AutoCad and Space Planning classes and I almost quit school so there’s THAT! Being in school while our kids were in the stages they were was rough! (We had a Senior, Freshman, and 6th grader so we were busy to say the least!) Young budding designers and others who are interested in entering into this business have asked me if I think it’s necessary to go to design school to become a designer and my answer is this: it was definitely necessary for me but some people can jump right in as long as they have some professional experience that they can draw from and they’re willing to study and investigate all the various elements of design theory on their own. Being a mom and running a big household for 18 years was enlightening and enriching but it didn’t really prepare me for what I do now. I wanted to learn everything about design so I could be competent and provide tons of value to my clients.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Hook Modern Design is a small luxury design firm in Dallas, TX and was started in 2016 after I graduated from The Art Institute of Philadelphia’s Residential Planning program. We have a strong team of, well, team players, and we have trade and wholesale accounts all over the world. Many designers belong to professional organizations as we do – ASID and IDS… but another thing that sets us apart is our IDBPP designation. This is a newer one which stands for Interior Design Business Processes Professional. We took some time during 2020 to really dig into our systems and we are really proud of the hard work and changes we made to our business. Ultimately, this designation means that you are in good hands and will have a better experience working with us on your design projects because of our extensive knowledge of our industry. We like to bring value to every property we visit even if it doesn’t go beyond our 2 hour consultation where we leave our clients with valuable information and ideas!
Another thing that sets us apart is that we are process driven. We spend time with our clients getting to know what they really need and we usually end up exceeding expectations because of this. Experience has shown us that we need to stick to our processes because there’s so much MORE to our work than just thinking up pretty ideas and turning them into reality. We work hard at the front end of a project to educate our clients on how we work and what to expect. If they will trust us to help them organize the project flow and assist in budget creation up front, then we can serve them well and run our projects efficiently and, as I like to say, get out of their hair as fast as possible! I mean, really, MY SISTER AND I ARE FUN to have around but after a client has gone through renovations and waited patiently to get back to their lives, we like walking away confidently and leaving our clients happy and ready to show off our work in their new spaces!
How do you think about happiness?
Well this is a simple one for me – I believe Art and Truth both represent Freedom. I’m a Freedom JUNKIE so I delight in connecting people to all the art a home can handle while operating my business in an honest and respectful way. It really is a tremendous privilege to be invited into someone’s home to do what I love!
- Our 2 Hour Consultation is $600
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.hookmoderndesign.com
- Instagram: @HookModernDesign
- Facebook: Hook Modern Design
Derrick LeBlanc Jamie Brogdon Stephen Karlisch Tiffany McDonald