Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | April 7, 2011

Any Opportunity Awaits

Two young ladies in Vancouver set out to do something different when it comes to interior design. Their concept has proven a success, now the opportunity awaits some equally motivated women in Victoria to follow their lead.

Read their story below:

There’s a new chick on the block in Vancouver’s interior design world. Two new chicks, actually.

Jennifer Scott and Rachel Harrison are shaking up tradition with a unique take on style. Scott was first runner-up in the inaugural B.C.’s Best Young Designer Contest in early 2011, and one real estate client credited the pair’s home-staging skills as a significant factor in achieving a selling price of $80,000 over list in less than two weeks. Another said she’ll “never remove them from my speed dial.”

The seed of the idea came when Scott and Harrison asked themselves why no one was integrating conventional interior design principles with the edginess consistently found in that notoriously fickle industry – high fashion, a field in which both women had already thrived for a decade. In March 2010, they took an entrepreneurial leap of faith by launching A Good Chick to Know design consultation.

Like many start-up businesses, basic out-of-pocket expenses were initially covered from Harrison and Scott’s personal savings. Unlike many startups, however, basic expenses included attention to branding and an ability to differentiate between their own areas of expertise and areas such as accounting or public relations where they required professional expertise.

“PR and correct branding are key, especially in an industry like this where image is sometimes initially more important than reputation,” Scott explained. “You must get it right from the beginning, because you absolutely can’t be apologizing or trying to improve your branding after the fact.”

The Chicks’ ability and sassy-yet-sophisticated approach soon attracted attention outside the design community.

“In July 2010 we incorporated and a private investor agreed to provide a cash injection of $48,000 in return for a one-third interest in the company,” Harrison explained. She noted that while the investment allowed them the freedom to concentrate all their energy on the business, neither wanted to deplete the funds by drawing more than a minimal salary.

Looking ahead, Scott and Harrison have no hesitation explaining their ultimate goal. “We want to become the go-to resource for both fashion and interior design,” Scott said. “We see our small firm growing to include additional designers and perhaps delving into the realm of commercial design. But we will always continue to support and collaborate with other female entrepreneurs in order to grow the community of successful and creative women.”

Her smile exuded a contagious enthusiasm. “Who knows, perhaps one day we’ll even have our own series on HGTV.”

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