Marta Mitchell: Empowering Women to Succeed in Business and Design

written by Kendra Byrd, Interior Architecture Student & Intern

Last week, I had the honor of interviewing award-winning, local interior designer, Marta Mitchell. We discussed her story and I discovered how she got to be where she is today, being a woman founder and CEO in the interior design industry.

Kendra: What made you decide to open your own business, and more specifically, why interior design?

Marta: I have always had a passion for design and loved doing the design work as well as learning about the business too. I liked making my own decisions and having freedom, so what better than to open my own business? Working in a team-based environment and managing others sounded like the perfect plan for me.

Kendra: Has design always been your passion or did you have another interest first that led you to interior design?

Marta: My mom was very creative and talented; therefore, design was exposed to me at an early age and has always been my passion.

Kendra: Did you have a mentor or role model who inspired you to follow your passion?

Marta: My mom was my role model.  She was strong, independent, and inspired me to follow my passion. I believe that we are influenced by the people we meet and our experiences that we encounter and these experiences helped me throughout my career.

Kendra: What does it mean to you to be a female founder and CEO of Marta Mitchell Interior Design?

Marta: I am proud of what I accomplished over the years, it was hard in the beginning but the final results are completely worth it. I love gaining client’s trusts that come back time after time for more projects. Mentoring and supporting young women in the industry is always offered at MMID with internships and shadowing opportunities for anyone wanting to learn more about the business, design, etc.

Kendra: What are some challenges you have faced as a business owner?

Marta: In the beginning, it was only me and I was doing all the work, I was exhausted working day and night. After recruiting and hiring some designers to help me I struggled to let go of the control I had; however, I finally let it go and let my designers take more responsibility for their projects and it made a huge difference in the outcome. After delegating projects and tasks I was able to do more of what I loved, design and manage.

Kendra: What makes your business and/or expertise unique from others?

Marta: We design for the client and do not have a company aesthetic. After creating a space we learn about the people that will be utilizing the space to accommodate the user.  

Kendra: How do you maintain a work-life balance as an entrepreneur?

Marta: It is very difficult and I can’t pretend like I have the right answer for everyone. I work a lot-weekdays, weekends, evenings, and nights. To maintain balance I try to travel as much as possible which often leads to work by visiting design centers! I also exercise daily and spend time with my family.

Kendra: What piece of advice or words of encouragement would you give a new or aspiring interior designer/ business owner?

Marta: Don’t be afraid to ask for help and never give up, even during the challenging times. Have passion and trust your instincts. Perseverance and a “can do” attitude will take you far. As designers, we are the problem-solvers for our clients.

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