What Level is Your Design Business?

Steve & Jill McKenzie: Multiple Income Streams. Interior Design, Product Lines, Artist & Retail Showroom

Episode 304 of A Well-Designed Business®

Welcome to today’s show where we feature another husband and wife team, Jill and Steve McKenzie. They are the owners of McKenzie Design Llc and also Steve McKenzie’s, a home décor business which is located in the heart of Atlanta’s west-midtown design district. Steve does the interior designing and runs the product design side of the business, while Jill predominantly oversees the running of the store and does the buying for the business.  Recently, they have also been doing a lot of product design and creation and also the licensing of certain products. Listen in today, to find out how they work together as a team, to run the retail end of their interior design business.

Steve started Steve McKenzie’s in 2012 after his tenure of more than twenty years with Berkshire-Hathaway owned Larson-Juhl, a custom frame manufacturer, and distributor, where he served most recently as the company’s president and CEO. Through practicing as an artist for more than twenty-five years, Steve has developed a unique technique of painting with walnut ink and focusing on organic composition. His studio is located in the upper loft space of Steve McKenzie’s. Jill and Steve have three children and three Springer Spaniels. Listen in today, to find out more about the ethical and service driven way that they run their business.

Show highlights:

  • It all started with Steve’s art- the fabric collection being the genesis of both the store and the design business.
  • The community that has developed as an offshoot of their showroom.
  • How it happened that Steve ended up taking the route he did, creating and selling his own textile line in showrooms across the country.
  • How Steve found the right experts to help him with getting his product line manufactured and launched.
  • Getting really clear about your expectations with mentors and mentees.
  • Some tips for getting your product line known ‘out there’.
  • The Jill works (and hustles) with Steve to get his products out there.
  • The grounding effect of Steve’s corporate background.
  • What went into Steve and Jill’s decision to open their own showroom and retail lifestyle store.
  • The idea of creating a personality around Steve’s fabrics.
  • Jill’s style of marketing their product lines.
  • Jill and Steve’s approach to their lifestyle brand of products.
  • How the design side of their business was born.
  • Evaluating whether or not to start a showroom.
  • How Steve and Jill cope when their opinions differ in their business.
  • Creating healthy boundaries and a good work-life balance.
  • Covering all the hours in the showroom.
  • Jill and Steve’s real commitment to really great customer service.
  • Why the customer is always (Even when they’re not!)


Website and Social: Steve Mckenzies Mckenzie Interior Design Steve Mckenzies Steve Mckenzie Art Houzz – McKenzie Interior Design/steve mckenzie’s Pinterest – @stevemckenzies Instagram – @stevemckenzies Twitter – @stevemckenzies Facebook – @stevemckenzies

What Level is Your Design Business?