We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Crockett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
After working in commercial design (schools, corporate offices, healthcare, etc.,) for 7 years, I was feeling super burned out and as if all of my creativity was being stifled in designing rows of cubicles. As much as I tried to think outside the box, and create interesting spaces for employees to work, there is only so much you can do with a 6×6 box. The projects were 100% driven by tight budgets and the company owners cared more about bottom line than employee wellbeing. I worried that if I didn’t get out of the corporate design world, I was going to fall out of love with interior design. So while I was still working in commercial design, I decided to start my own side hustle which started as a small Etsy shop. My (now) husband and I both love estate sales and finding unique vintage objects, so we spent our weekends rummaging through sales and launching the Etsy. It was super rewarding and after a year, we were actually able to go to France solely on our shop profit! It really sort of opened the doors of my mind to realize that we could make a living on our own time.
My husband was also at a cross roads with his career so we decided to try our hand at starting a residential design business. He is an artist and has always loved interior design, helping friends and family with their spaces throughout the years. I reached out to a local residential designer to see if she might have an intern opportunity for me to learn more about how she ran her business. To this day, I am so thankful for her guidance and willingness to share her knowledge with me. I was still working my corporate job at this time to pay the bills, but it really felt like things were starting to move forward and there was a light at the end of the corporate tunnel. After a few months of interning, we decided to take on our first client (for free!). I knew the only way to get started was to create a portfolio with references. From that one pro-bono client, we slowly gained our confidence to take on more and more (paying) jobs. It took about 2 years for me to feel comfortable enough to quite the corporate world an step out into the world as my own boss!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Designers get a bad-rap for being expensive, pushy, out of reach for every day people, and maybe a little pretentious. We started our business with the hopes of breaking through that reputation, so we came up with the slogan “Good design is within reach for everyone”. We still stand behind that phrase! Although the big-budget clients are our bread and butter, we still make room for lower budget projects because we truly aim to help improve peoples lives. We have learned that we get the most satisfaction when we can help a client whos space just isn’t working for them (big or small). Whether its an organization problem, a space planning problem, a scale issue, or an outdated color palette, we always aim for simplicity, functionality, and timelessness.
“Curating spaces designed with purpose” is another catch phrase we came up with and stand behind! If we design a “trendy” space that looks tired in 5 years, we have failed at our jobs. Thinking about the long-game and sustainability is where we thrive. We want our name and our designs to stand the test of time!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We live in the beautiful pine forests of Flagstaff so the opportunity for interesting activities are endless! When friends are visiting, we have a formula for entertaining. We always do something outdoors, whether its an easy stroll down a dirt road, a more challenging hike like The Inner Basin, or warm fire in our backyard. Food is one of the most important factors when entertaining, so we have a few favorites around town. The Mountainaire Tavern (in our neighborhood) is one of my favorite places on the plant. They offer cheap drinks, delicious food, and a mountainy-warm vibe. For a night on the town, we love Flg Terroir Wine & Bistro’s elevated atmosphere. For happy hour, it has to be Historic Brew House. They have a great selection of unique and local drinks, as well as a bangin’ happy hour menu!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would not be where I am today without the help of my husband Chad. He is always my #1 cheerleader, encourager, partner, and collaborator. I also have to thank Michelle Gage Interiors, even if she doesn’t realize it! Just looking at her Instagram pushes me to be better every day. And LuAnn Nigara, whos podcasts are so jam-packed with important tricks of the trade that I feel as though I have completed a college course every time I listen.