We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenneth Crawford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kenneth, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started working with one of the largest residential Interior Design Firms here in South Florida. When the economy turned in the early 2000’s, the firm ended up unfortunately closing.
While working with this firm, I developed relationships with several major realtors whom became friends and immediately introducing me to clients from the get go. So, I decided to start my own firm based on the premise of honesty and total transparency with everything pertaining to the project.
I wanted to make sure that every client received my personal attention from beginning to end and not be handed off to an assistant designer or officer person. I wanted to instill in my clients that I am “Kenneth Crawford Interiors” and I am the one that will be designing their space and collaborating with them. I make sure my clients know that this should be a fun experience and not to fret over things.
Also, if they ever needed a question answered or call about anything else, that they could reach me directly at anytime. I made sure however. parameters of times and days on not to call were also established. I do need my sleep. lol
So with this game plan, I have been very blessed with all the clients I have had over the years and some becoming repeat clients and that 99% of my business is referral. I remain the down to earth person that I am and continue to strive to make sure my clients are happy.
What should our readers know about your business?
Well, I do only take a certain number of clients so that I could give them my personal attention to their projects. This is a major key, like I stated in a previous response. Today, business are less personal and customer service is just lacking. I never want to fall into that.
I have learned with each client about how personal wants and desires play a huge roll in a design no matter how odd it is. I like a challenge when it is doable however, in a few circumstances there were times I had to pass knowing that I could not satisfy what they were looking for. Its hard to do, but I tell them upfront that I am not the Designer for them and they respect that honesty.
Interior Designers also do get a bad wrap due to some bad eggs but honestly, this happens in any profession. So I really focus on making the clients relaxed and get them to understand that with over 34 years of experience I have learned a thing or two when it comes to Design and that I have amazing references which I show them, I explain the process at nauseum since some clients have never used a designer. Professionalism is major for me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, depending on friends this is where I would focus my time:
I would take them to Viscaya Museum and Park (One of my favorites) While down there I would stop next to Fairchild Tropical Gardens and up Miracle Mile looking around at the shops and history of Coral Gables. If it is hot outside I would pack our swimsuits and hang out at Venetian Pool for a while. We would stop by the design district and eat at one of my favorites Itamae—-amazing and such great owners. Also, Salvage Midtown–awesome views, Portosole in coral Gables, Etaru for waterfront dining experience.
2) South Beach, perhaps a drive past the private islands and then drive through to see the Art Deco history, South point to see the Cruise ships leave and maybe Lincoln Road but its become to touristy so I tend to avoid that.
3) Palm Beach, love again the island with the manicured yards of the mansions, White Hall for history and of course the The Breakers for design and perhaps a cocktail by the pool. For dining there are some yummy places. Cafe Boulud (french), La Goulus Palm Beach, Cafe via Flora and for cocktails the Leopard Lounge or back to the Breakers.
4) Always an airboat ride in the Everglades. So many places to go to do this–so much fun and always interesting. I get a kick of hearing my guests freak out when a gator approaches the boat. lol.
5)) Finally my home, cocktails by the pool, and a home cooked meal from yours truly !!!! I make a delicious Caprese Chicken with stuffed mushrooms !!!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to go back to when I decided to become an Interior Designer. I graduated from The University Of Louisville with a Bachelor Degree in Architectural Interior Design. My professors pushed me and guided me in becoming who I am today. The first design magazine cover I got, I sent copies to my professors inscribing “Because of you, this is what I have become” It is true. Without the proper education which sets the foundation of what I do, I couldn’t do what I do.
Linkedin: Ken Crawford
Photography: Jerry Lang