Raelyn Woltz is the principal designer and owner of West End Interiors // Follow West End Interiors on Instagram & Facebook
There’s a reason West End Interiors is one of the most in-demand interior design studios in Western New York – they’re great at what they do.
West End Interiors is a full service interior design firm here in Buffalo that specializes in modern, classic, timeless design. They assist clients with a wide range of design solutions and help design and decorate functional and beautiful spaces in high-end residential projects across the United States.
“When starting West End I really wanted the design process to feel approachable and less stuffy,” Raelyn says. “I wanted it to be fun for the client and myself.”
Raelyn started West End Interiors from her dining room table in 2018 when she noticed there was a missing link in Buffalo for a full-service design firm that does everything – from measuring to designing, ordering, project management, and install. “I cleared out our spare bedroom to make room for a printer, some client folders, and a few baskets of samples. I was driving all over WNY for meetings, lugging things back and forth.”
Fast forward to today and now West End Interiors is busting at the seams at their Main Street office. “[We have] 6 employees, a full sample library, and thousands of square feet of inventory. It’s been incredible and humbling how quickly West End has grown, and I owe all of that to our amazing clients and my awesome staff who never settle for ordinary. That combination has allowed us to create an expansive portfolio and take on clients nationwide.”
We asked Raelyn to share some of her biggest business tips for other local business owners and entrepreneurs she’s learned throughout her journey, here’s what she had to say:
Business Tips from Raelyn Woltz:
1) What advice would you give a local business that’s just starting out? Or is there something you wish you knew along your journey?
“I think it’s important for anyone who is starting a small business to know that there are successes and failures everyday. I’ve accepted the fact that a business will never be perfect, and that every new client is going to teach us something new or help us change the way we work. Especially in this industry, every situation is so different from the last. It’s easy to forget that social media is a high-light reel and sometimes you can look others and compare yourself but you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. Focus on what works for you and your business – the systems, your contacts, your clients. Everything falls in place from there.”
2) Where do you find motivation? ie. specific podcasts, books, blogs, events, social media accounts, etc.
“In our industry motivation and inspiration is everywhere. It’s fun to follow favorite designers on instagram and see what they’re up to. We also travel to trade shows which pushes us to be better designers and find new products. I listen to endless podcasts for motivation – one of my favorite ones is NPRs “How I Built This” which is a bunch of interviews with Entrepreneurs from (now) huge companies that tell their starting story. It’s a lot of figuring it out as you go and a bit of luck, and it’s reassuring to know that everyone starts like that.”
3) What’s your strategy for creating content on social media?
“I’ve tried so many different things when it comes to social media, but I’ve found that people like the rawness of a BTS photo, or interested in knowing what the team is up to in a day-to-day. I always laugh when I spend money on a photoshoot and hours styling a space for a picture picture, and it doesn’t get nearly as many interactions or likes as a messy iPhone photo.”
4) What’s your best advice for growing a business’s revenue?
“I’ve found that for growing our business – we really had to stick to one thing and be the best at it. In the beginning I was saying yes to everything – paint consults, window treatments, furniture – you name it. Now we’ve really cut back and limited the work that we take on because we know that Kitchens and New Builds are our specialty and we can really knock them out of the park. When you drop the things that take up time but aren’t super profitable, or you just don’t like doing them, it opens the doors for the projects you want, which for us lead to higher revenue.”
5) What advice do you have for hiring people?
“Hire people who are a compliment to your skill set. I am a designer and by nature I’m not numbers oriented and I’m (sometimes) chaotically unorganized. I needed someone to help balance that out – someone who can make a killer spread sheet, place orders, track them, help me with invoicing. I didn’t need another me that would leave that administrative side still hanging. I would take a hard look at what you’re not good at, or what you don’t like to do, and hire someone who loves those tasks.”