Owner Spotlight: Donna J. Barr
Hi, I’m Donna J Barr, proud owner of Donna J Barr Interior Design.
Today, I look forward to sharing my story. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know me better.
What parts of your work do you find most enjoyable?
Donna: The best part of my job is working with my clients and seeing their pleasure in the final product. From a very young age, interior design has been my passion. I believe that a beautiful environment is necessary for well-being. It is my mission and desire to create an ambiance that suits each and every client.
Where Did you grow up? Go to School?
Donna: I am originally from Fort Wayne, IN. I attended Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana for Interior Design.
How long have you been in business?
Donna: I have been designing for 40 years. After college I started in the interior design studio of L.S. Ayres. In 1989, I opened my own studio. I continue to work with my wonderful clients, many have been with me for more than 15 years.
What are your responsibilities?
Donna: As the designer, it is my responsibility to create the best design solution for each client's particular needs and specifications. I provide the client with samples, drawings and photos of the items that together make up the full design. As needed, I research and recommend contractors and manufacturers. Once the customer agrees, I offer turnkey service. I gather pricing for estimates for the work and materials, order preparation documents, shepherd purchases through to shipment, confirm all materials for accuracy and application, and schedule and handle the deliveries. In addition, as the owner, I am responsible for managing my business, including advertising and marketing.
My design work includes everything from consultation on a single issue such as paint or fabric; all the way to the full scale remodelling of a room or home, or a new construction. My typical day includes communicating with vendors and clients regarding projects in process. I am often researching items for new projects, creating proposals, and writing up purchase order and invoices. I keep up-to-date on new materials and construction techniques (including environmentally friendly options). I’m always on the lookout for new samples, and interesting options from discontinued items as well. Daily, I stay on top of updates to my accounting records and my marketing projects. On average, I work about 8 hours per day.
What are the most important decisions that you face daily as owner of your business?
Donna: The most important decisions I make on a daily basis revolve around how I can best serve my clients. Their needs are my top priority. The skills which I regularly use are listening, diplomacy, and teaching. The teaching skill is key. This allows my clients and contractors to fully understand the reasoning behind each design decision. I attribute my success to my own hard work and the support of mentors, friends and family.
What has been your most satisfying moment in your personal life/business?
Donna: The most rewarding and satisfying part of my work is each time I hear a client say "this space is even more beautiful than what I imagined". Nothing brings me greater joy than knowing that a client feels happy, relaxed and productive in their new space.
What are you hobbies? What do you do in your non work time?
Donna: Away from work, I love gardening, entertaining and music, especially playing the piano. The arts are a form of beauty where I believe everyone can benefit. The visual and auditory art forms shape and share how we view and experience the world around us.
What are you personal values?
Donna: I believe in treating all people with kindness and respect. I hold these two personal values close to my heart. I consider them imperative in all aspects of life whether in business or personal situations.
I have enjoyed sharing my story about the things which matter to me and how they influence the way I do business.
If you, or someone you know could benefit from my expertise in interior design, I invite you to get in touch.