We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassidy Coleman Lily Noordyk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassidy Coleman, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking comes with fear and the unknown but without risks you’ll never know if you could get to the place you’ve always dreamed about. Taking risks dares you to dream and step outside of your comfort zone. Stepping out college and into the work world, we both wanted as low of risk as possible with stability and consistency. Yet after working for several years at different professional firms, we realized we wanted more out of our careers and lives that could never be fulfilled by working for somebody else. We decided we wanted to build our own dreams rather than fueling somebody else’s. With this goal in mind, we decided to take the risk to create a future that gave us freedom in every aspect of our lives.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We want to help Airbnb hosts make the most out of their investment. Our focus is to design spaces that create meaning, are functional in every way, will hold memories, and reflect the lives we all wish to live. Looking to the future, we want this business to be a way to serve the community’s design aspirations and do it well. We aspire to be creative, unique, and inspire the design world. We’re most excited to produce work that inspires us as much as it inspires others.
We are best friends, turned business partners, with a shared passion for creating beautiful spaces. We met in college during our time pursuing our Architectural Interior Design degrees, and have been inseparable ever since. After college, we both pursued different career paths in the Interior Design field and still felt like we were missing the mark on our purpose. So we decided to ditch the nine to five life for something that brought greater meaning to our future. A business where we can serve our clients more freely, as well as create that freedom in our own lives. With that said, Savvy was born. The road has not been easy for us, but no entrepreneurial journey is. We’ve overcome the challenges that we’ve faced by staying connected to our support systems, not giving up and relying on google as needed (a lifesaver). There have been a million lessons we’ve learned along the way, but the biggest is that hard work outweighs talent. While we are both talented, if we would have waited until we had every aspect of our business figured out to start, we would not be where we are. Hard work and consistency has been a key component for us as well as refusing to compare ourselves to others on similar journeys. The biggest thing we want people to know about our story is that you don’t have to have it all figured out to take the risk and to be in charge of your future. Our brand parallels that idea for our clients to create their own freedoms too.
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 are from the greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area and there are plenty of fun things to do! In Grand Rapids, our favorite food spots are Donkey Taqueria if you enjoy Mexican or Divani to enjoy high end meals. Stop by Sparrows for a delicious cup of coffee in a beautiful location and then head to Wealthy Street for shopping. You can find Jean Stoffer’s home store on Wealthy Street, Stoffer Home. For an afternoon event, check out the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) and for the evening, Fowling is the way to go, which combines bowling and football. The lakeshore from Saugatuck to Grand Haven holds beaches on Lake Michigan that have a similar feel to the ocean. Head to Rosy Mound State Park for trails to hike by Lake Michigan in Grand Haven. Downtown Grand Haven is nearby and holds plenty of shopping and dinner spots as well as downtown Holland and downtown Saugatuck. Downtown Holland has street performers on Thursday evenings in the summer and Tulip Time is a well known event that happens in May. Poquito is our favorite dinner spot in downtown Holland and is small meals (tapas) of incredible food.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, both of our husbands were supportive of us and encouraged us to leave our 9-5’s to put our dreams into action. We also had individual mentors that had started their own businesses before us and helped us navigate the beginning steps of starting a business. For Lily, that person was Sarah Glidewell of Karwell Design and for Cassidy, that person was her dad who has been an entrepreneur for the majority of his life. In addition there have been countless friends and family members who have been an immense source of encouragement throughout our journeys.