We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaitlyn Wolfe and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kaitlyn, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
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 the 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 rebranded in 2018). I worked on my own for the first few years and gained an assistant in 2019. I now have a team of 14 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.

 Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
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 feel that we are shaping the direction of design in our industry as well as being a role model for young entrepreneurs. We are prioritizing functionality yet designing it in a way that feels so natural and beautiful. I feel that what we do improves the mood of those using the spaces we design by optimizing our client’s lives and workplaces, and providing opportunities for our clients to be their best selves and achieve their goals. We also value sustainability and incorporating vintage pieces into our designs. We have a purpose behind what we design and I think with social media, that can be lacking at times. I find most of my inspiration from nature and hospitality spaces. I absolutely love to travel and spend time outside. I’ve found that the more time I spend in nature, I allow space in my brain for a new creative project. I’ve found some of my best color palettes from nature. Because of this, we incorporate so many natural materials into our projects, such as terrazzo, concrete, wood, steel, plaster, and more. In addition, I love visiting boutique hotels, restaurants and coffee shops all over the country for inspiration on materiality, lighting, and more. This inspires us to use materials in a new way. The most common feedback I hear from others who are fans of our work is that it feels fresh and new. All of the cabinetry we design is completely custom and we also design a ton of custom furniture and lighting for our projects, this allows us to really put the Iconic look and feel in every space.

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?
I have to give credit to my parents who moved us to England when I was 8 years old, I really feel like the exposure I had to European architecture shaped me. Maybe this isn’t the answer you’re looking for but when I initially wanted to pursue interior design as a career, I wasn’t supported. I was told that this was just a hobby. I ended up not going to interior design school because I didn’t feel like it was an option. A few years into getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Neuroscience, I had the realization that I didn’t care what others thought anymore and that I would pursue design. I decided this my senior year of college, however, I felt it was still important to finish my degree. From there, I decided to get my Master’s in Business Administration. I had always dreamt of owning my own business one day. At the time, I was also in a very toxic relationship and didn’t have supporters. Years later, again, I realized that I would be missing out on my dream because of other people’s thoughts. I decided to remove anything out of my life that wasn’t good for me or wasn’t supporting my goals. This led me to grow my current business exponentially and chase after my dreams. Later, I met the love of my life who supports me each and every day. Now that my parents see that I was able to make a career out of design, they are so happy to see me follow my dreams. I think what I would want people to learn from this is that you should always listen to yourself, and if you don’t have supporters in your life – find them!

Image Credits
Portrait = Jennica E. Maes, Interiors = Kevin Brost

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.