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Name: Kimberly Lacy

Business: International Flair Designs , interior design

Industry: Design

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.

Reason for starting: I launched my design firm, International Flair Designs in 2008, focusing on interior design, residential, commercial renovations and project management. Since that time, I have been able to solidify my brand by landing partnerships with national powerhouses such as Kirkland’s, William-Sonoma, The Pottery Barn, Sherwin-Williams (Pro-Advisory Panel), Goodwill Industries, Overlay’s and most recently The Bass Pro Shop. I have been featured as an interior design expert on ABC, CBS, and conduct a reoccurring interior design segment on FOX 16 Good Day Arkansas. Lucky Magazine, Heart & Soul, and Women’s Essence magazine have dubbed me as a rising philanthropist, interior designer.

Related: Read about another interior design entrepreneur here. 

How do you define success? My greatest successes have come from not so glamourous experiences and challenges that I’ve encountered in life. I’ve learned to utilize those challenges as “teachable moments” and as opportunities to grow personally and in turn to help others.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? One of the biggest challenges that I’ve had to overcome was the stigma associated with becoming a teen mother. I was never transparent about that part of my life until I met a teen mother that needed to hear my story of overcoming. Shortly, after I told my story I was approached by a national teen advocacy program to be a spokesperson and an advocate for other teen mothers.

At an early age, I learned that challenges are often the way a difficulty is perceived. I am a problem solver and an analytical thinker and I always strive to approach a difficult situation knowing that there are numerous solutions to one problem. I live life striving to be the solution to problems that others may face.

Related: Amid Recession, Women Gain Momentum

Who is your most important role model? Besides my parents, Oprah Winfrey would definitely be my most important role model. Before the days of TiVo and DVR’s, I can remember rushing home from elementary school to watch “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” I viewed Oprah as a mentor and teacher. My mother’s living room was the classroom. Instead of just watching I would take notes, study, develop a plan of action, and use her advice as a catalyst to fuel the gifts that were instilled inside of me. As a student of Oprah Winfrey, I was able to dream outside of the limits that rural Arkansas had to offer. I developed a “limitless mindset.” Ironically, none of my classmates knew my love for Oprah or of the impact of the message that she poured into my life. But I was nicknamed Oprah Winfrey in high school. One of my older brother’s still refers to me as Oprah Winfrey to this day.

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Edited by The Story Exchange