Continuing Our Business Spot Light-
This week’s Feature is Extollo Design.
Extollo Design is a part of our Conscious Workspace Community.
Here is what Jeff Pielage, the founder of Extollo Design, had to say.
1. Why did you start your company?
I must admit my reasons for going out on my own were not to change the world or feed the hungry. Some companies promise and actually deliver on these respectable goals but my reasons were more self-centered. It was the tumultuous combination of being laid off, being totally disillusioned with my current work environment, and the desire to improve my lifestyle. The layoff was the best thing that could have happened to me. By brute force, it pushed me past any stress and uncertainties I had in starting my own business. Directly after the layoff I made a few phone calls and a few weeks later, Extollo Design was born.
I’ve worked for a few small commercial interior design firms before starting my business a few years ago. It’s a fact that commercial interior design firms are on the bottom half of the profit scale of all industries involved in getting a building or space constructed. Because of this the smaller firms have resorted to a sweatshop management style where the majority of the employees are low wage earning and overworked young people with 8 or less years of experience. I think the quality of this assembly line “Product” and the quality of service to the client, are negatively effected by this. The work environment was stressful, uncomfortable, with little long term benefit. I was tired of it and knew there had to be a better and more modern way of earning a living in this field while having the ability to make the time I need to enjoy life. Work to live, don’t live to work.
I can provide my clients with better customer service, more attention, less technical errors, and the ability to contact the person with 100% percent responsibility for the project at any time.
2. What has been the most surprising thing as you have grown your business?
Being in business for only a few years now I’m honestly surprised at the frequency at which new work comes in which, in turn, lowers the stress level. One would think it would be the exact opposite. At this point I only have a handful of repeat clients but they’ve kept me going for years. In those few years the total sum of my marketing efforts has consisted of taking two general contractors, who I already had relationships with, to lunch. To grow my business marketing will become an important factor, of course, but this repeat business is a testament to the benefits of what a little extra effort and attention towards clients can provide.
3. If you were to do it all over again what would you do differently?
I would have started my business earlier in my career. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but it’s only now that I realize that I had the skills to run and grow this business years ago. It’s boils down to confidence, risk, and technical skills. The experience of having your teeth kicked in a few times by the industry is also extremely beneficial.
4. Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
I want to maintain my lifestyle, continue to provide a solid “Product” with above average customer service, and eventually provide a healthy work environment and quality pay for a few employees that will handle my drafting work.
5. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I help out a few hours a week as a math tutor at a friends charter high school.
We are always looking to add new community members!
Do you know someone who is looking for:
Office Space with:
-Flexible lease terms- Collaborative work environment- Gym and Personal Trainer
Light Industrial Space with:
Ease of Access (truck bays, roll-up doors,etc.)- Climate Controlled Open Concept Work Spaces- Collaborative Community
Email Chrissy.Ballentine@mac6.com for more information or visit: