Top 10 most inspiring women in the greater Delaware valley 2016

Day 1 – Jessica Barnak

Why We Chose Jessica Barnak

“When I met Jessica at the last Mascara and Mimosa event, sparks flew. She is lovely, bubbly, inviting and always composed. She continued to impress and inspire me as managing director for the networking group Polka Dot Powerhouse. Her positive energy is absolutely contagious. The biggest reason Jessica is on my list — her brand is absolutely on point: the perfect amount of professional, modern, and as creative as her interior designs. So, without further adieu, please find her interview below.”

Jane Clark, Creative Director & Owner, Teakettica

Jessica Barnak

Kindred Creative Interiors | Interior Designer/Owner | Visit Website

The Story
Tell us how it all started. Why? What’s the story?

I was a children’s photographer for years – 12 to be exact. I picked it up to avoid going back to corporate America when my kids were born, and by the luck of the universe it turned into a successful little business. But something wasn’t right. I was doing well, had a nice studio in Hockessin, lots of clients – yet I wasn’t very happy. It took a long time and a lot of soul searching to realize that while I was good at photography, it wasn’t my PASSION. In 2010 I decided to take the leap and shut it all down. I closed the studio, canceled clients, disappointed everyone and let it all go. I spent the next 3 years digging deep and discovered that all along my passion was something that I had buried a long time ago and one day I decided to pick it up, dust it off, learn everything I possibly could, and a few years later my interior decorating business was born.

Biggest Success
What is your biggest success so far?

Grabbing a global clientele. My services are offered to anyone and everyone no matter where they live, and I was super excited to cross the ocean and receive my first international client a few months ago. It was like my version of busting through the glass ceiling.

 

But! Other than that, my biggest success has been how often I retain clients and how often they come back for more work from me. That makes me so happy.

Biggest Challenge
What is the biggest challenge in your industry? What are you doing to deal with that?

Other designers are without a doubt my biggest challenge. When you’re an artist, other artists embrace your differences, quirks and methods that might not be like their own – because you’re an artist. Interior decorating is definitely an art, yet others in my industry are critical if you think outside of the box, use off beat methods or break the industry mold.

 

I am all about breaking the industry mold, so I’ve simply stopped reading comments, looking at other designers and their work, and sort of have horse blinders on when it comes to what I do. I like to first put my client’s needs front and center, making sure I’m addressing the root of their worry before I even consider whether my methods are normal or not.

Advice
What advice would you give to a business owner starting out in your industry that you wish you would have known going in?

Learn as much as you can and draw inspiration from every other industry besides your own. Creating a room is much like creating a painting and it can be inspired by fashion, literature, art, sports – so many different areas that I look to before I turn to an interior design site. Never compare your work to someone else’s work, but instead always ask yourself if your client is happy. In the end the connection you have with the client and the solution you’ve presented for their issue is all that matters.

Surprise Tidbit
What don’t most people realize about you or your company?

I’m a one woman show. I do absolutely everything from scratch and by hand. An average living room design can take me up to 15 hours. Most people assume that I’m using a point and click design program when in fact I’m using a program that allows me to be much more detailed and accurate. The drawback is the time. The benefit is the product I provide for my client is superior.

Tomorrow we will post another fabulous gal. Stay tuned…

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