Some people just know from a young age that they want to own their own business.
“I knew at the age of 13 that I would own my own business,” says Cheryl Beachy Stauffer, Principal and CEO of Crimson Design Group. “After working in the design industry I knew it was time to start my own firm.”
She launched Crimson Design Group in 2003 and this month, the business will be celebrating 11 years.
Stauffer studied business and interior design and then moved to New York City to manage a furniture boutique in Soho.
“I eventually moved back to Ohio and worked for another interior design firm here in Columbus before starting Crimson,” she says.
She and her husband Luis Stauffer opened a small office in Merion Village. “It worked for our needs at the time but we quickly out grew the space,” she says.
She centered her search for a new space on Gay Street. “I wanted to be right on or off Gay Street, so I kept driving around and saw this small space –which you could barely tell that it was there- but we had the vision to make it a great space for us.”
That was 2009 and the space was 51 N. Pearl Street, tucked on the alley.
“I loved the energy and vibe on Gay Street,” says Stauffer. “It was great to be part of a neighborhood that was continually changing and adding more businesses to the area.”
Being able to talk to the other business owners on the street, as well as stopping into Cafe Brioso for iced coffees were wonderful amenities of being in that location. Crimson Design Group continues to grow, and the Stauffers needed to find a new space for their expanding team. They also wanted to find a raw space they could put their image on.
“We needed at least 3000 square-feet and wanted parking that was convenient for our clients as well as the daily operations,” says Stauffer. Late last year, they completed their move to 15 East 6th Avenue, a 3,300 square-foot space.
“We love that this area is really being developed and being part of new businesses coming into the area,” she says. “It’s a great space to rent out for special events which we do at times.”
Brian Coovert of Brian Coovert Floral Design shares a part of the space.
“We love having fresh flowers in our office everyday,” says Stauffer.
The space was exposed brick and dirty concrete floors, which fit their idea for an open office concept. A storage room, conference room, and bathroom were added. Custom kitchen cabinets and doors were made by partners the company often works with for design services.
“I love how accessible to the rest of the city and we love to be able to walk to local restaurants for lunch and happy hour,” says Stauffer. “It’s fun to see the change happening daily, and being in an urban environment it feeds our creativity.”
The Stauffers have carefully assembled their team of people for Crimson Design Group.
“Luis does a great job putting our team together,” says Stauffer. “He has a good sense of who fits our culture and values –he finds the A players. Our culture is really a big part of who we are and believe in making a great place to come to work. We have been fortunate to find people referred by friends or business owners as well as on LinkedIn.”
It was a challenge to keep up with the growth of their company. They had to develop new systems and processes for their operations to continue to provide the best service to their clients.
“You have to be flexible as your role can continually change,” says Stauffer. “That will allow you to keep the culture you want.”
Stauffer also relies on the help of business coaches and Vistage, and organization that helps CEOs and Executives grow their businesses.
“It is great to meet with 16 other local business owners monthly,” she says. “I love having a board of advisors who can really impact my business and others.”
She works with Artie Isaac, and is also working with Gail Doby who has vast experience in the design industry.
“Our business has really been impacted in working with her,” shares Stauffer.
Stauffer recently completed a bucket list item, finishing a project in NYC. The Chelsea Square, developed by Preferred Living, also received a gold award by Multi-Housing News that she is very proud of.
The company just finished two luxury apartment projects, Clifton Park and Palmer by Preferred Living.
Ten percent of all design consultations by Crimson Design Group are donated back to organizations working hard to improve communities.
“I am so thankful for every opportunity that we have had and feel an obligation to give back to others,” says Stauffer. “We have partnered with ThirstRelief.org, an organization that is changing lives by providing clean drinking water. We have also provided design services to Gracehaven. They have a home that provides rehabilitation for victims of domestic minor sex trafficking, or as it is also known, commercial sexual exploitation of children.”
Stauffer often meets with designers who are just starting out and always shares to keep in mind ‘you are a business owner first and designer second.’
“You need to find the support and wisdom to develop good business systems that can be put in place,” she says. “I have had many business coaches and mentors along the way and I contribute our success to all the help and encouragement we have had on our journey.”
Photos provided by Crimson Design Group.
For more information about Crimson Design Group, visit CrimsonDesignGroup.com.