Sansa Interiors Inc. is a boutique interior design studio that specializes in creating tailored residential and commercial spaces with a holistic approach. In this interview with Ownr, Founder of Sansa Interiors, Jude Kamal, shares her business story and how she is helping bring a sense of “awe” into people’s spaces and fulfill the design individuality that people crave.
Jude, introduce us to Sansa Interiors.
Sansa Interiors is a boutique interior design studio that specializes in creating tailored residential and commercial spaces with a holistic approach. We mainly design homes from top to bottom, to bring people a well-designed space for them to grow in.
We take projects from concept to completion to solve functional problems and enhance our client’s interior experience. We do this through utilizing design principles and hand-picking suitable finishes. Our goal is to bring a sense of awe into one’s space and fulfill that desire of individuality that everyone craves for.
Tell us about how got started… what made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I always had side hustles, sometimes 3 or 4 side hustles at a time (on top of a full-time job). I have this drive that makes me want to constantly create and build. It was a natural decision that I needed to start and build a business, so I eventually did!
Since I am obsessed with creating new things, launching my own interior design studio just made so much sense to me. In summary, I get to design, create and generate new ideas and innovate on the daily. I knew deep inside that I had to follow my passion and dream, so starting a business is the first step towards that.
The whole decision did not come overnight, I deeply thought about it for a whole month, I wrote down my fears, my worries, my accomplishments, why I would succeed or fail. I slept on it. Then one day, I decided that I need to travel to clear my mind, and bam, I had a light bulb moment: I found Ownr and knew this was a sign. I said to myself: “I must do this, and I am not scared to live the life I love.”
When you were making your business official, what did you tackle first?
I probably tackled three or four things at once. I kept going back and forth between finding a name, a domain that corresponds to the name, and creating a logo that suits that name plus looks good on the website (you can call me an overthinker). In all honesty, I was so indecisive with the name, and the brand image, I bought 100 domains (literally) and liked nothing. I guess none of them spoke to me and the vision I saw for Sansa Interiors Inc.
At that point, and before even having a proper registered name, I had a fully functioning website on a “test” domain and I started sending it to people to hear their feedback and see if I have a “valid” business. I sent a different logo and name to each person. I drove my friends and family crazy.
After all of this, I did not end up using any logos or names that I got feedback on. Everyone was telling me that this is a dumb move, but to me it was a smart move because I had settled (in my mind) on the name Sansa Interiors Inc.
That’s what I tackled first, perhaps I should have found a more efficient system to my madness.
What has been your biggest success in running Sansa Interiors thus far?
The earliest celebratory win was the day I incorporated the business, I was personally so terrified to do it but I must genuinely thank Ownr for making it easy and such a happy moment!
Our biggest success is landing projects even in the midst of COVID-19, we did not anticipate the amazing response and demand for our services. It makes me truly happy to know that people love the Sansa Interiors brand that I once created and the design aesthetic we are bringing them. It was a ground-breaking moment, when a client of ours, called me and said: “Thank you Jude for making my house into a place I can finally call home”. That to me was a major WOW moment.
I also love to celebrate all small wins, because it grounds you and makes you more grateful for what you have. We celebrated launching our website, we celebrated sunny days, we celebrated the launch of our virtual design services and we celebrated our community and the people that shared their love with us! I am probably celebrating something right now.
What is one of the more challenging aspects of being a business owner, that people wouldn’t necessarily expect?
Just like having wins, all businesses have challenges. I would say, the top challenge so far has been managing all the moving parts; like the accounting, seeking new projects, ensuring all projects are well taken care of and getting to design and do the work, which all need to happen simultaneously. I must admit it gets lonely at times, and you can’t help but get lost in your thoughts, I am not saying it is necessarily a bad thing, but the advice I give myself is be aware and mindful of those thoughts.
Can you share some advice based on your experience with aspiring entrepreneurs?
1. Try to find a way to make all the challenges you face fun. Know that they will be resolved so it is not worth stressing and burning yourself out over an email.
2. Find people that you can connect with, there is nothing greater than having a community that is supportive and you can bounce ideas off.
3. Set yourself daily goals (2 or 3) so that they are achievable and treat yourself when you achieve them.
4. Your office hours, should be your office hours. Don’t let them sneak into your “you time”. Obviously, some days we work longer if we have a deadline, but it is so important to give your mind and body a break.
5. Have fun. The reason you started a business was mainly because you wanted to work for yourself, so be the best and most fun boss to yourself.
Where can people learn more about Sansa Interiors?
Instagram: @judekamal | @sansa.interiors
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