We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen Soo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristen, what do you attribute your success to?
Authenticity. In order to create living spaces that my client’s love, I have to listen to and understand their story and how they use their space. If I require that of them, I have to lead with that same vulnerable authenticity as I work to create something they love. Home is a passion project, and one that is full of emotion. The emotions are often joyful, but sometimes painful as clients are moving, selling or redesigning after loss. It is a powerful experience to walk through those transitions with someone and that journey is what fuels my desire to design. The beautiful furnishings and finishes are a sweet final note, but the heart of what I love to do rests with my client relationships. I am not in the business of creating spaces that work for me and my taste, or that would simply look good on my social media. My greatest success is creating an environment where my client can use the space in a way that brings them joy and design it so that they can share that joy with the ones they love. That spirit of authenticity spreads to conversations about budgets, pricing and timelines. I hear often that my process or rates seem “too good to be true”, but I’m honored to do what I do for clients that choose to work with me. I would much rather my business be structured to allow for me to help ten families, than just a single one. Striving for an authentic experience has led to great relationships and rewards.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have created a design consulting business unlike anything on the market. I structured the business to meet all budgets, scope of projects and do a vast majority of the work virtually through eDesign, making it Covid safe. The world of interior design is often an intimidating one, leaving people feeling defeated, out of budget and overwhelmed. My goal is to make every client feel heard, involved and thrilled with the final product. Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, my fees make design affordable to everyone…even if it is not your forever home. I love to use what a client has for a quick room refresh. I source items for just one room of furnishings. I consult on plans for whole home remodels. I select paint colors. I don’t require that you meet a minimum amount of spaces or have a certain budget. I am all for taking it one room at a time as your schedule and budget allow. Sometimes, just getting that one corner of the room spruced up can change the feel of your whole living space. I’m delighted to work on just that one area! Clients share that in the past they have been turned down by designers for not having a large enough project. That will not be your experience with Kristen Dena Design. I’m here to help, no matter the size! Everyone deserves to come home to a home they love.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I was born and raised here in San Diego, which seems to be more and more rare! I would definitely take a hike at Torrey Pines followed by dinner in La Jolla for a day all about views. Coronado is my favorite place to take a long walk and fall in love with homes…every day there feels like a show stopping home tour. Strolling through the Hotel Del Coronado and walking the beach is a must do as well. The week wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Balboa Park followed by lunch at my favorite…El Indio for rolled tacos. San Diego really does have it all…one week is simply not enough!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
All the credit goes to my family and friends, as cliche as it may sound! Without them, there would be no Kristen Dena Design. They encouraged me to see that my careers in education and business fit perfectly with my overarching skill and passion for home and design. Once I took the leap to go out on my own, I haven’t looked back. They have supported me with kind words along the way and by sharing my business with their own friends and family. I am truly fortunate to have such a supportive crew!
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