What Level is Your Design Business?

Kaitlyn Wolfe: Rapidly Scaling a Successful Design-Build Business

Episode 824 of A Well-Designed Business®

Today With Kaitlyn Wolfe:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Today we have on Kaitlyn Wolfe, founder, general contractor, and principal designer at Iconic by Kaitlyn Wolfe, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based design-build firm that Kaitlyn has grown from the ground up.

Kaitlyn gives us a peek behind the curtain, speaking to what the past few years have been like for her business—one that started as a solo side hustle and has quickly grown to an award-winning firm with more than 15 employees. She shares how she strategized on the fly, but also how she has thoughtfully grown her team with intention and implemented organizational systems along the way.

Pick It Apart

[4:30] Kaitlyn shares how she fell in love with construction by working with interior designers, architects, and general contractors, all of which gave her well-rounded knowledge of the industry.

[12:51] Kaitlyn admits that things could have backfired but remained confident in herself.

[25:20] Kaitlyn shares how diversity within the team adds to each project.

[31:30] Kaitlyn explains what she has learned from growing her team.

[38:05] Kaitlyn discusses what open communication with her team looks like.

LuAnn Nigara and Kaitlyn Wolfe’s Ah-Ha Moments

“…having more of the construction knowledge is super important. I think it helps you collaborate with builders more. I think it just helps you be a better designer.” – Kaitlyn Wolfe

“The reason we’re changing so fast, or changing things all the time is because we’re growing.” – Kaitlyn Wolfe

 “I feel like I work for my team…Where can they grow? How can I provide opportunities for them? What are their goals and how can I help them get there within this company?” – Kaitlyn Wolfe

More About Kaitlyn Wolfe:

From an early age, I knew interior design was something that I absolutely loved and resonated with. In addition, my father was an electrical engineer so I was always helping with any home improvement project I could get my hands on. I was born in a small town outside of Dallas, Texas where I lived until I was 8 years old. My family picked up and moved us to London, England, where I lived until I was 11. Looking back, I think having exposure to European architecture at such a young age and traveling all over Europe, really shaped me. When we left London, we moved to a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I ended up staying in Pennsylvania until I decided to move to Arizona to pursue my Masters in Business Administration. I gained experience working for an interior designer and an architect, as well as a general contractor. I felt that my skills were really well-rounded and it was time to create something of my own. In 2016, I started Iconic Design+Build (although I started as KaityMac Interiors and re-branded in 2018). I worked on my own for the first few years and gained an assistant in 2019. I now have a team of 16 of us and I’ve really focused on cultivating the best team, the best work culture, and attracting the clients that we really feel aligned with. I pursued interior design and construction because I often noticed there was a lack of communication between the design and the build-on projects I had worked on. Getting my contractor’s license allows us to execute the construction for our clients looking for a remodel or TI buildout and it allows us to communicate better with builders and architects that we partner with for custom home designs. We are a full-service luxury interior design firm as well as a general contractor, with projects ranging from residential to commercial. We design everything from residential remodels and new construction custom homes to boutique retail and hospitality spaces. We specialize in mixing styles such as Scandinavian, vintage, brutalist, industrial, minimalist, and mid-century modern spaces, all with an organic desert feeling. I want to inspire others to follow their passion and to design with intention. I pursued interior design when all odds were against me, but I knew that this was my purpose in life. When it comes to intention, I want people to see there was a reason for every single design detail and element we include in a space. We always focused on functionality for our client’s, at the same time pushing them out of their comfort zones creatively. In my free time, I absolutely love vintage shopping, traveling, and visiting National Parks!

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Other Shows Mentioned:

#433: Nate Berkus: Introducing His Collection With Kravet

#663: Andrea Hysmith: Structure and Flexibility, Keys to Reaching Goals in Your Interior Design Business

#363: Power Talk Friday: Eileen Hahn: Building An Exceptional Interior Design Team

#589: Power Talk Friday: Eileen Hahn: Scaling From 2 Million to 5 Million

Other Resources Mentioned:

Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman

What Level is Your Design Business?