I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up.
After high school, I hopped around and tried out different majors and different colleges for almost four years. It wasn’t until I was helping some friends move, space plan, and renovate their first homes that it clicked – this was FUN and it came naturally to me…I loved it! My mom recommended I go to art school, and I discovered, “Wait…you can enjoy learning?”
I prayed to find my passion, and I received my answer when I found and fell IN LOVE with interior design.
Graduating with my interior design degree wasn’t the start of a glamorous design career – I worked my ass off. In my jobs after I graduated, I stayed at the office until midnight most nights. I was a young mom – I actually got pregnant with my daughter my first year of art school – and my husband would drop her off at the office at eight o’clock at night on his way to work. She would sleep under my desk until I finished my day. The phrase “work from home” didn’t exist at the time, and no grace was given to working mothers. When I had my second child, I had to breastfeed in a storage closet because there was no dedicated mother’s area and no flexibility in my schedule to be with a newborn at home.
It was when I was pregnant with my third that I realized, “How much of my personal life am I going to lose if I continue like this, even as much as I love design?”
I had no control over my schedule. I didn’t feel like I had a voice. I didn’t feel like I had a long-term path at the firm I was dedicating so much time to. It felt like I had to make a choice between family and career.
So, it was time for a change.
I had BIG ideas – I wanted to expand the verticals I was working in, to choose the clients I worked for and serve them in an even bigger way. I wanted to include purchasing within an interior design firm, and eventually build a procurement agency. I wanted a place to grow and thrive as a woman, as a mom, and as a big thinker. A FUN work environment with energy and personality.
And in 2014, Banko Design was born.
I knew nothing about running a start-up business, but I knew I had the heart and talent to make it happen. I sought out smart people who could fill the gaps, and built a team who believed in the vision.
We started this company with all the hopes and dreams of creating a truly unique work culture, of creating a unique design process and new way of doing things, and of designing inspiring spaces for all to enjoy.
We built a company on doing things differently. On building all the things I wish I would have found early in my own career.
What started in a spare bedroom in my starter home has grown so much over the past 9 years – not only into a thriving interior design business, but has also expanded to include a procurement agency and a portfolio of interior design studios within BD Studio Collection.
It’s been our mission to serve people, support families, and constantly grow and improve. To be an interior design studio that takes a “resi-mmercial” approach to design with unapologetically smart designers who execute top-notch, next-level deliverables.
To be a place where everyone has a voice and a long-term path for growth, and a place where work-life balance is truly valued.
To be a lively studio full of energy and laughs, a place where dogs can roam, beer taps were responsibly used (yes, there’s one in our breakroom), and where bread was broken together.
We bring spark to our teammates and passion to our projects, and are invested in our clients’ and our brands’ success.
We are Banko Design. And I’m incomprehensibly grateful for every person who has helped us get to where we are today.
I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way. This past year I was reminded that no matter how much you “plan”, you have to take life and business one step at a time. Growth is a process that comes with ups AND downs. We had some major “ups” – like catapulting into product development, building some of our best projects, and adding amazing women and studios to our portfolio! We were also met with some heartache and growing pains, but through it all we’ve learned the value of true partners, amazing clients, and finding your “right” people.
We have SO much on the horizon for this year! We are overjoyed with excitement, will continue to stay positive and strive to be a “light” in this industry, and we will work together to become stronger and stronger. It’s a “we” culture that brought us here, and together we’ll continue to succeed.
I cannot wait to see what 2023 brings.
Your Grateful and Enthusiastic Founder,
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