An interview with Carol Carani, co-owner of Leggy Bird Designs.
Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
Leggy Bird DesignsAddress: 406 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, IL
Owners: Victoria Lidstrom, Carol Carani, Kelly Murphy, Laurie King
Year business started: 2009 design and architectural firm was launched, November 2010 store opened
Web address: leggybirddesigns.com
A: Leggy Bird Designs was started by Victoria Lidstrom and Carol Carani as an architectural and interior design studio. They quickly gained accolades for their designs. They were featured in one of the top show houses in the US, the Lake Forest Infant Welfare Showhouse with the kitchen and master bathroom. It was featured in the Daily Herald and the kitchen was the cover of Beautiful Kitchens and Baths last May. Since, they often do entire houses from the architecture to choosing the plates on the table. In 2010, they partnered with Laurie King and Kelly Murphy in Leggy Bird Designs Store. It is an eclectic store in historic Libertyville with a huge following by other designers and clients. A virtual store is opening soon on V&M (Vintage and Modern).
Q: What made you start your business?
A: Vicki and I did some projects together and people just kept trying to hire us. We had to form a business together. The synergy of our talents is spectacular. I had been in emergency medicine for 23 years and doing design for 14 years. Vicki had a construction company and had been designing houses for 20 years. She also has been a Realtor. She has a great understanding of land values and what a client wants. Together, we design homes.
Laurie King, a talented furniture designer, asked us to open a store with her for the holiday season in October 2010. Instead, we decided to team up with Laurie and Kelly Murphy (with an unbelievably talented knack for finding interesting one-of-a kinds) and three weeks later Leggy Bird Designs Store was born. The community embraced us and we have a fabulous following.
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?
A: Accounting. Without a fabulous bookkeeper you trust it really isn't a business.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: I love the people I work with. My life is filled with laughter, joy and incredibly satisfying work.
Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young?
A: No, when I was 4, I thought I was a boy and wanted to help my Dad on our ranch. When I was in eighth grade I decided to be a doctor so I could help people. Now I am changing people's environment and somehow, magically changing their lives.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Before switching careers, I would wake up with 'houses in my head' and feel compelled to get up and draw them. I still wake up with inspirational ideas and solutions for projects we are working on. I was 'called' to design.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: Hire people who are smarter than you.
-- Kim Mikus
Every Monday we feature a small suburban business. We want to hear about yours. Contact Kim Mikus at email@example.com.