What Level is Your Design Business?

Bessie Seeley: Growing a Thriving Interior Design Firm From the Kitchen Table

Episode 938 of A Well-Designed Business®
938: Bessie Seeley: Growing a Thriving Interior Design Firm From the Kitchen Table

Today With Bessie Seeley:

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. Many designers start their businesses on the side, from home, or wherever we can squeeze in our work. And as they grow, most of them pivot to a studio as soon as possible. After all, that’s how you connect with clients and get taken seriously…right? But what if I told you that where you work from doesn’t matter nearly as much as you think it does. What if I told you that you could run a thriving business right from your kitchen table? I’ve seen several business owners do just that over the years, and my guest today, Bessie Seeley, founder of Kardinia Interior Design, is the same way. Bessie began her career at home, but even as she grew, even as she thrived, even as she hired, she remained working from her kitchen table for the first four years in her business. And as she grew her business, she did so very deliberately. She knew that she wanted to open a studio eventually. But she was strategic about the decisions she made on that path and what she prioritized first. Today, she’s sharing her insights into how she built her business with clarity and strategy.

Pick It Apart

[2:01] Bessie shares her story of how she started, and grew, her business from her kitchen table.

[8:47] LuAnn and Bessie discuss the strategic side of growing your business and making decisions like opening a studio or leaving your job.

[10:23] Bessie talks about her company culture and workplace flexibility.

[24:15] Bessie and LuAnn unpack what goes into finding and building a team that functions as a well-oiled machine (without being micromanaged).

LuAnn Nigara and Bessie Seeley’s Ah-Ha Moments

“There are so many capable designers out there, but it’s not just about creating beautiful functional designs. That’s a huge part of it. And that’s why clients come to us—our general aesthetic that people are drawn to. But for me, it’s really about that other thing, which is that I want every client to feel listened to and cared for.” -Bessie

“That is the huge lesson of what you’re talking about and how you have six women that sit around you, and everybody is just in concert together. Because you have identified what is the most important thing for you in the building of your team. And you don’t deviate from it.” -LuAnn

More About Bessie Seeley

Bessie Seeley is the founder and Principal Designer at Kardinia Interior Design, a full service boutique interior design firm based in Winter Park, FL. Kardinia Interior Design’s design style can be described as timeless, curated, and bespoke, and our aesthetic seeks to balance beauty with functionality. Our collective interest and passion for creating beautiful spaces, our streamlined design process, and the white glove service and experience we offer to each and every one of our clients makes Kardinia Interior Design the coveted and creative boutique design studio it has grown to be. Bessie launched this business alongside a corporate finance career in 2018, and today, Kardinia Interior Design is a team of 6 and designs homes nationwide. Bessie lives in Orlando with her husband Jason and son Harrison.

Connect with Bessie Seeley





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Other Shows Mentioned:

#786 Meredith Huck: From Corporate to Interior Design Business: 3 Insights to Succeed


#291 Cheryl Luckett – From Side Hustle to Full Time Interior Design

What Level is Your Design Business?