Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in design services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Meme Brooks, Founder of Meme Brooks Design Inc., located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are an Interior Design and Home Renovation company located in the heart of Vancouver's colourful East Van neighbourhood Commercial Drive. Our clients are home and business owners who have a story to tell; we listen to their story and turn it into a beautiful space. They are also looking for a full-service team to complete their renovation project from start to finish. We have coined what we offer as a "Design it, Build it, Style it" service; this means your project never gets passed from designer to contractor to decorator. We are a one-stop shop taking care of all the details from tip to tail.
Tell us about yourself
I started my interior design journey with a tool belt on; I worked with a home builder over 20 years ago, helping to design and build out projects. I loved it so much that I started a small business helping women to learn how to fix their homes and empowering them to do small projects on their own. This turned into a lot of design questions every day; I decided this was a skill I needed in my tool belt. Graduating interior design in 2006 and starting Meme Brooks Design in 2010, I've never looked back. Combining my knowledge of home building with interior design and now a 13-year business owner, I've created this wonderful team who takes service to another level.
I'm motivated by the vision of spreading joy to everyone who crosses our path, and making spaces beautiful while transforming the way renovations are completed makes my heart glow every day!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is my team; they are a reflection of how I operate my business with an open heart. I've always taken risks in my business, including a furniture line designed by myself and manufactured overseas; I traveled to China alone to make that venture happen. Of course, our client's happiness is truly Meme Brooks Designs biggest accomplishment; it was amazing to hear how happy they were to be trapped in their beautiful spaces over the pandemic. I'm also very proud of how we've opened our very first storefront; we've pivoted (I know everyone is sick of that word!) to be a full-on supporter for local home goods, including custom cabinetry + furniture, locally made throw pillows, hand made faux greenery arrangements and in house art framing. It's more important now than ever to support local manufacturers. This shop is our heart as well as the face of Meme Brooks Design.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is, well. Being a business owner! I am a born entrepreneur and creator, not a boss; all the business stuff that comes with being an owner is a skill I work on constantly! Feels like I'm in business school every day; I want to design and build; I'm very hands-on. I'm also very thankful to have a team that can help with all those "other" companies' details that I'm not so great at!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be prepared to dedicate your whole life to your company; it's like having a baby. Your business needs constant care and becomes a part of your every day.
- Start a business you are extremely passionate about; if you do not absolutely LOVE what you are doing, it will be painful to go to work.
- Keep your head up and always think on the bright side. There will ALWAYS be ups and downs in your business, no matter how long you've been running it. If you love what you are doing, your positivity will carry you through to the bright side!
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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