Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Armstrong.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Kim. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My interior Design Profession doesn’t begin with a glamorous story or a typical path. It was a journey for me to get to where I am today as a designer, and my past experiences molded and shaped where I am today as a designer and business owner. I track my journey back to my childhood, whereas a competitive athlete I learned discipline, work ethic, setting goals, achievement, failure’s and how to learn and overcome failure. My athletic career opened many doors for me in athletic scholarships, and landed me as a competitive Division I athlete in two sports, at UNT.
While at UNT, I thought my natural career path would be in exercise kinesiology. But what I discovered is that I didn’t much care for science, and while I had already claimed my major at that point, I knew I could not continue on the path of anatomy. I purged through the College syllabus and eliminated everything I came across until I came to the fine arts section.
Now, I know the fine arts might seem like a total departure from what seemed like a natural path as an athlete, but growing up, art was always my outlet. its were my soul seemed calm and at peace, I would lose time in art projects, Painting, photography, and drawing. I was in art electives all four years in high school and was a member of the art club, a whopping 23 of us.
Art was always an area in my life that had taken a back seat because my athletic career was so dominating….. But here at age 20, I find myself looking at two crossroads and landing in the Fine Arts section as a possible path for my career. It was then that I decided the Interior Design Degree seemed like the most fitting path. The next three years in college I battled on the soccer field to pay my way towards an interior design degree. I loved every second of my design classes, and I was so grateful to have discovered this other passion of mine.
Fast forward a few more years. I had then graduated from UNT with a degree in Interior Design, and a Minor in business. At the ripe age of 25, I decided it was time to launch my own business. I had $200 in my business bank account, a table that I called my Desk purchased from Wal-mart, and a 7-year-old laptop computer my dad gave to me….. I was young, naive, I had no social or professional connections.
Looking back I have no idea why I thought this was a good time to go off on my own. by no means was this a recipe for success…… What I did have was a foundation of great qualities learned from years of athletic training, an unshakeable confidence in my abilities as a designer, and an unwavering sense that I would be successful. I believe it was the combination of these three things that have given me a successful career as a business owner and an Interior Designer.
Sometimes I look back and I am amazed at the path I carved for myself. The accomplishments I have made and the kind of projects I started with to the ones I have today. It’s been a whirlwind and an incredible ride, and with each passing year, it just gets better!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has not been smooth from the beginning, and I still face challenges today, and I believe I will continue to learn and grow as long as I am working and designing. but I can say, that the struggles of the younger years in my profession are thankfully behind me. I was so young when I first started and the growth curve for me was so significant in practically every facet of the business.
I am so grateful that I was so optimistic, had so much energy, and belief because I never let failures knock me down. Instead, every challenge I faced was a chance to grow, learn, and perfect the way I design, and the way I run my business. The struggles today are more about fine-tuning, learning how to grow at the right pace for me, and the balance now of work and family.
Some of the great teachable challenges of the past range from setting clients expectations, pricing to be profitable, learning which tradesmen can consistently deliver products on time and the quality my clients have come to expect from me and learning to trust my instincts.
Please tell us about Kim Armstrong Interior Design (KAID).
custom design (furniture, architecture, soft goods). everything is hand selected and most items are custom designed.
My Design style consists of color, eclectic mixes of styles, pattern, and floral… I love floral. I’ve been described by my peers as “fearless” in my exploration of color and layering of the pattern. I equally love nice fabrics. I’m a bit of a self-described “fabric snob”. I feel like fabrics bring a room its personality and life. It’s where I draw the inspiration for my designs. I always allow a little “splurge” in the budget to go towards a great textile!
I have a great sense of scale, and architectural vision, and I am amazingly great with numbers, which is good for estimating costs, quantities and catching mistakes before they occur. The technical side of interior design is so important to do the job right and avoid costly mistakes, and usually, creative people struggle with this, but I am unusually strong in this category.
While I am also strong from an engineering and numbers standpoint, I have a strong sense of intuition, that I use to help guide me in designing specifically for my clients, I’m able to remove my ego, and deliver designs that reflect my client’s personality and style. While I am recognized for my unapologetically bold use of color and pattern, I understand not everyone embraces that level of vibrancy with as much enthusiasm as I do. I’m able to create a balance of color and pattern that my clients love and feel like is a reflection of them.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
This is a great question that I have reflected on myself. And when I mentor emerging designers I always tell them what I would have done differently, so hopefully, they can grow from my experiences.
There are two things that are standouts for me and things in reflection I would have done differently… The first thing is I would have worked for a small interior design firm before setting off on my own, and second, I would have been more cognizant of building my social network.
There are so many doors of opportunity in this industry with your network and the social connections you have. I don’t think I was as aware of this in my younger years as I am today. so if I were to do things differently I would have started my career at a later age, developed more professionally before taking off on my own, and been more aware of the importance of social influences on my growth as a business owner.
- My starting fee for “Inbox Design” is $2,500 per room.
- Website: www.KimArmstrongInteriorDesign.com
- Phone: 214-500-0600
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kimarmstronginteriordesign/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karms41078
Michael Hunter Photography, Kim Burnstad Photography