What is your name? Autumn Fuchs
What is your business? Fuchsia Design
Why did you start your business? I’ve always strived to be a leader in the design industry! After working for other design companies for 4 years, I developed a vision for an interior design firm that operated differently than others in west Michigan. I decided to turn that vision into a reality, and on May 1, 2014, Fuchsia Design was born.
How long have you in business? Just shy of 5 years!
What would you tell someone who wants to start a business? What advice would you give them? Interesting you should ask - I recently talked about this same topic while speaking at the GRBJ Women Mean Business Event! Throughout my life, I’ve been given a lot of advice about what I can’t and shouldn’t do. I shouldn’t pursue interior design because it’s a waste of a degree. I can’t study construction management because I’m a woman. I should never own a business because women face too many obstacles as business owners. It’s important to recognize that not all advice is good advice, and you should never allow what other’s feel we can’t or shouldn’t do determine where you go in life. No one knows your goals or capabilities like you do. Be confident in yourself and don’t let other’s opinions of what you can’t or shouldn’t do shape your future.
What is unique about you that helps you be successful in business?
Just because we can do everything in our business, doesn’t mean we should. Often times, as small business owners, we get stuck in a “wear all of the hats” rut, and we try to take on too much which leads to burning out.
In my business, I put a lot of emphasis on each team member doing what fulfills them most. For me, that means leading the design of spaces and being in charge of project organization and project details. I don’t love sitting in front of a computer drafting all day, but my team member thrives on being behind the scenes and has a background in interior architecture, so she loves that role. Similarly, 3D renderings are not my strength, but another team member can’t get enough of building digital models of the spaces I design, so that is what she focuses on. I find financial details and accounting to be extremely draining, so I hire out all of my tax and financial services. What this means is that the work and designs that we produce at Fuchsia Design are top notch because each piece of the puzzle is done by someone who truly loves what they’re working on. It also creates a team that is passionate and fulfilled in their work.
What sets you apart from every other business in your field?
My background in construction management paired with interior design is a huge differentiator in my level of expertise compared to most interior designers. In addition, I’ve achieved the NCIDQ certification which is the highest level of certification in the interior design industry. In order to be qualified to take this 3-day long exam, I had to complete 4 years of education and 4 years of industry experience. It is an extensive examination that tests on subjects like building regulations and codes, structural systems, barrier-free design, industry testing standards, sustainable design, mechanical and electrical systems, and egress to name a few. This certification paired with my educational experience is what allows Fuchsia Design to truly offer full-service interior design on custom homes.
What is one major thing you learned about business?
In the beginning of owning my business, I was excitedly taking on any project that came my way. After having been in business for a year, I was working on 17 homes and only 4 of them were the types of projects I wanted to be working on. I realized that if the right project did come along, I wouldn’t have had the availability to take it because I had overbooked myself with every home that came my way. While it was scary at the beginning, I started learning to say, ‘no’ to the projects that weren’t a perfect fit for my team’s skillset, and it completely transformed my business.
What is the one thing you attribute to your success? Grit. I don’t give up, and I’m fully committed to everything I do. Tell me I can’t – and I’ll show you I can!
What are your social links?
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fuchsiadesign/ (@fuchsiadesign)
What is your website? https://www.fuchsiadesign.com/