Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Blima Ehrentreu, the visionary founder of The Designers Group. In this compelling conversation, Blima shares her remarkable journey from a childhood captivated by construction to the establishment of a highly acclaimed interior design firm.
Her deep-rooted passion for architecture and design led her to co-found The Designers Group, which has since flourished into a powerhouse firm with an extensive portfolio of projects spanning diverse sectors.
Driven by a commitment to making a positive impact, Blima attributes the success of The Designers Group to her exceptional team and their unwavering dedication. Through philanthropic initiatives and community investments, they strive to create spaces that inspire and uplift others.
In this interview, Blima provides invaluable insights on employee happiness, adapting to evolving workplace trends, and overcoming the challenges that businesses face today.
Join us as we delve into the world of interior design, entrepreneurship, and the transformative power of creativity with Blima Ehrentreu.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Blima Ehrentreu: From a young age, I was captivated by the world of construction, witnessing the transformative process of demolishing and reconstructing my childhood home. This experience ignited my passion for architecture and set me on a path to pursue it as a career.
After completing my graduate studies, I partnered with another talented designer, and together we founded The Designers Group. What started as a collaboration between two women has now flourished into a firm with a dedicated team and a large portfolio of projects.
We are proud to have expanded our expertise, catering to a wide range of sectors within the interior design industry, including commercial, institutional, educational, retail, and healthcare projects.
The success and impact of The Designers Group can be attributed to the dedication and commitment of our exceptional team. Their passion and hard work drive our ability to make meaningful contributions to the communities we serve. We are constantly pushing the boundaries of design, striving to create spaces that inspire and uplift others.
In the past year, what is the greatest business achievement you’d like to celebrate with your team? Please share the details of that success.
Blima Ehrentreu: I strongly believe in the transformative power of design to create positive change in the world. Through my business, I channel this belief into community investments and support for women in the construction industry.
Over the past year, I have been grateful for the opportunity to engage in impactful initiatives aligned with our mission.
TDG Gives Back offers pro bono design services to nonprofits and charities, TDG Furniture Exchange facilitates the exchange of used furniture to those who need it, and TDG Insider provides aspiring designers with real-world experience through a carefully curated internship program. Knowing that my efforts have contributed to making the world a better place is what continues to drive and inspire me.
What advice do you wish you had received when you started your business journey and what do you intend on improving in the next quarter?
Blima Ehrentreu: When I embarked on my business journey, I wish someone had advised me to embrace failure and view it as a valuable learning opportunity. Starting a business is filled with ups and downs, and it’s important to see setbacks as stepping stones to growth.
In the next quarter, I intend to improve my delegation skills and empower my team to take on more responsibilities. By trusting and empowering my employees, I can focus on strategic planning and scaling the business.
Here is a two-fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Blima Ehrentreu: One book that greatly influenced me is “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. It taught me the importance of leaning into challenges, taking risks, and embracing leadership opportunities as a woman in business.
The book also highlighted the significance of supporting and empowering other women in their professional journeys. The book also emphasized the significance of mentorship, sponsorship, and building a supportive network of peers to empower women in their professional journeys.
In terms of the book I have gifted the most, it would also be “Lean In.” I have shared this book with many aspiring female leaders because I believe it provides valuable insights and practical advice that can help them navigate their careers with confidence and resilience.
By gifting this book, I hope to inspire and empower other women to embrace their ambitions, challenge societal norms, and strive for leadership positions in their respective fields.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Blima Ehrentreu: One of the primary challenges in the design industry right now is hiring and retaining the right people while adapting to a hybrid and remote work culture.
With remote work becoming more common, attracting top talent has become highly competitive, as geographical limitations no longer apply. Finding individuals who align with our values and possess the required expertise has become more challenging.
Maintaining collaboration, creativity, and teamwork in a hybrid work environment is another significant obstacle. Design relies on in-person interactions and shared spaces, making it necessary to implement effective communication tools and foster a strong virtual work culture.
Retaining talented employees in a remote or hybrid setup also requires creating a supportive and inclusive environment that promotes growth and engagement.
To address these challenges, I am refining our recruitment strategies to attract diverse talent, investing in technology for seamless collaboration, and creating a strong remote work culture that fosters employee well-being and growth.
These efforts are essential for overcoming obstacles, seizing opportunities for growth, and ensuring our company’s success in the dynamic world of design.
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?
Blima Ehrentreu: In my experience, one of the most underestimated parts of running a company is the power of leading by example, especially when it comes to how we deal with clients.
Honesty and integrity in client interactions are often undervalued, but they are crucial in building strong and lasting relationships.
By consistently practicing open and transparent communication, providing accurate information, and delivering on promises, I set a standard for ethical conduct within the company. This not only earns the trust and loyalty of our clients but also instills a sense of integrity in the team.
When leaders prioritize honesty and integrity in their dealings with clients, it sends a powerful message to the entire organization. It establishes a culture of trust, professionalism, and ethical behavior.
Team members are inspired to follow this example, ensuring that our client relationships are based on mutual respect, transparency, and delivering value.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Blima Ehrentreu: Success in 2023, both personally and professionally, means achieving a sense of fulfillment and making a positive impact in my life and the lives of others.
On a personal level, success means finding a harmonious balance between my work and personal life, nurturing meaningful relationships, and prioritizing my well-being. It involves continuous personal growth, pursuing passions and hobbies, and creating lasting memories with loved ones. It also means living with purpose and embracing a positive mindset to navigate challenges and setbacks.
From a business perspective, success in 2023 entails achieving our growth objectives and making a significant impact in the industry. It means expanding our presence globally and diversifying our portfolio of projects.
Success is also measured by the positive outcomes we create for our clients, delivering exceptional design solutions that contribute to their success. Moreover, success is reflected in the happiness and growth of our team members, as they thrive in a supportive and empowering work environment.
Overall, success in 2023 encompasses a holistic view of achievement, where personal fulfillment, meaningful connections, and professional growth come together to create a fulfilling and purposeful life.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Blima Ehrentreu for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Blima Ehrentreu or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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