Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Kourouniotis, Owner of CKDESIGN Licensed Interior Design Inc., located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Since 2008, CKDESIGN Licensed Interior Design Inc. has earned a solid reputation for innovative design excellence across many commercial design sectors, including Hospitality and Corporate interiors. As the principal, I have completed over 1650 projects and built over 4.5 million square feet of space, both locally and across Canada and the United States. Our core purpose is "to contribute to our client's success as a valued partner."

Imaginative yet timeless design excellence is at the core of every successfully executed project. The Licensed Interior Design, AAA team, has built our business success and reputation on a refined and repeatable process. It serves as a basis for inspiration, creativity, and overall vision. The design results are guaranteed on target and appropriate to each client's needs - one hundred percent accurate to each client's design brief. An Alberta-based small business - we believe in supporting local brands, startups, and, more importantly, all the new QSR chains Alberta is known for!

Tell us about yourself

As Principal of CKDESIGN Licensed Interior Design Inc, I started my Edmonton-based commercial interior design firm in the summer of 2008. Today, I have over twenty-five years of design experience across North America and Overseas with a wide range of project experience ranging from Workplace Interiors to Large Scale QSR franchise design development.

With my family's background in hospitality operations and armed with a Bachelor of Interior Design from Toronto Metropolitan University - I decided to move to Edmonton in 1997 and bring my unique design dynamic & concept development work back to where I was born. Starting at Unigroup Architects in 1997 after graduating in Toronto, I was able to get my feet wet for two years in Hospitality Design - soon after that, I spent seven years with Marshal Wolski at his eponymous Edmonton workplace design practice. Under his watch, I developed all my Corporate Design skills, working on a wide range of Tenant Improvement Projects.

Last, in 2006 I was hired as Design Director at Kasian Architecture Edmonton - I spent two years designing and project managing large-scale Hotel and Institutional work in addition to various Corporate and Tenant Improvements Projects. From there, I went on to start my very own boutique Licensed Interior Design firm in Downtown Edmonton. Today, I share my design vision daily with a design team of six while bringing my design passion to every project I am involved in. I am very motivated by the "next" generation of commercial designers. Therefore I try to mentor and provide as many critiques annually as I can to students at the NAIT School of Interior Design School, amongst other Design Schools across Canada!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

By far, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been the opportunity to carve my own career path in commercial interior design - all while training and mentoring a long list of amazing "next-gen" interior designers!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

This varies from business owner to business owner - definitely, the hardest for me has been the sacrifice of both personal and family "time." All in an effort to build long-term financial support for our children - for anything they decide to do with their choice of sport, music, education, and travel.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Market your differentiating factor.
  2. Surround yourself with experienced mentors.
  3. Take care of your clients!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

My Grandfather once told me that if you want to succeed in your own business - you must go out in the evening after work to do your BD...Put in this extra effort daily - to meet new people, make yourself visible and focus on developing new client relationships that will transform your business!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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