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Name: Allison Jaffe

Business: Allison Jaffe Interior Design LLC, a full-service interior design firm

Industry: Design

Location: Austin, Texas, U.S.

Reason for starting: In 2003 I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Neuropsychology. Not knowing what direction to go, I returned to Austin and found myself working for an architecture firm which led me to going back to school for interior design. After graduating from Texas State University in 2007 with a degree in Interior Design, working for an interior firm for four year and earning my license in Interior Design led me to opening my own firm in 2010.

As a entrepreneur, I am helping to set the tone of how a new generation of women in the work field are perceived. Owning my own business has given me the freedom and flexibility to change what people know and think about the world of interior designer and that is more than just bows and pillows but advocating for the of health, safety and welfare both in commercial and residential settings.

Related: Read about another design entrepreneur here.

How do you define success? Although I have been awarded multiple awards regionally and locally and have also been published regionally, locally and nationally, success to me really comes down to customer satisfaction. The testimonials that my clients provide me is feedback knowing that I made the right decision going down this career path of Interior Design. Their happiness and satisfaction, knowing that I helped them achieve their design goals at the end of a design project is a huge measure of success.

Biggest Success: I have had so many success over the four years of owning my interior design business. Each project I complete is a success because I get to see a clients vision turn into a 3 dimensional reality. The 7 awards that I have received in four years, from local and regional Texas interior design competitions are wonderful pats on the back. Peers judges from around the country judge the entries entered I enter and are proof that they value my work by honoring me with an award is a big success.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? A couple years back, I was working on a kitchen remodel when the client decided to let go of the contractor working on the project. As an interior designer working on new construction and remodel projects, I must know the sequence of installing a project. I was able to rise to the challenge of not having a contractor and finished the job on time by brining in my own subcontractors and finished the job myself, on time and on budget.

Related: The High Note

Who is your most important role model? My father who I am very close to is my most important role model. Although he is in an industry that is far different than my industry, his guidance, knowledge, and love throughout the past four years and beyond of owning my own business and proving to be successful at entrepreneurship and interior design has been indispensable. He is always there to answer my questions in time of need and help me navigate the world and my business at its most poignant times.

Twitter   @allisonjaffeid

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Edited by The Story Exchange