Creates Cosiness in Clients’ Interiors

After having established her own design studio “Ideas for home” more than a year and half ago in the old town of Vilkaviškis in Lithuania, Irma Žilinskaitė is happy with her business. She has now connected to the Network of Entrepreneurial Women in the Marijampolė region. The designer herself tells us about newly discovered opportunities and freedom after establishment of business.
Having worked as a designer/drafter in the furniture manufacturing enterprise for almost ten years, Irma felt one day that the current work did not satisfy her and her aspirations. Irma left the job and then joined the Labour Exchange. “And this has led to the one of the most exciting periods of my life: to create a business idea. In the very beginning it was quite difficult. In a small town like Vilkaviškis it is most likely to get a job in the typical industries, food, clothing trade or to employ as a hairdresser”, – says Irma.
After having gone to several job interviews the designer began to participate in seminars organized by the Labour Exchange. “I became interested in how to develop myself, I started to communicate with lecturers of seminars. I made myself a plan – I realized that I wanted to create interiors but I did not know where to start “, – says the designer.
During one seminar, she started to develop a business plan in interior design. First, she worked from home but such an environment did not suite the business. Then Žilinskaitė‘s husband joined her and helped her to find a suitable premises for a studio.
“We were looking for a working space that is not dependent on the district heating system, and an abandoned space was cheaper so we started to look for that. We calculated carefully the costs and income so we could see if we could maintain the premises“, – says Irma. After one month, she found suitable premises.
Then the young woman asked their parents who are farmers for help. Seeing their daughter‘s passion and disposition to achieve her dream, they assisted her to acquire the premises. It was a space with partially destroyed walls and without water supply where no one has lived for a decade and she turned it into a cosy design studio.
Žilinskaitė who is currently receiving clients from all over Lithuania calls her self a craftsman working with a increasingly popular activity in a country. “Although a half of the clients are residents of Vilkaviškis, some of them come from Vilnius, Kaunas, as well as from Marijampolė. As an interior designer, I have my own style but first I talk to the client and try to understand his/her needs,” – says Irma.
She does not hide that recognition and expertise achieved at previous work helped to earn trust and get clients. “We are happy to communicate with all the people who are coming, even if they come only to find out what we do here. Maybe that will lead to business, the next day the curious neighbour can visit to ask for help with home renovations. The word of mouth is very important in this situation”, – notes Žilinskaitė.
Describing her design style, Irma says she wants to combine minimalism and classical elements of a design. The functionality of the design is especially important for her. As a result, the designer creates the essential interior accents and uniqueness through bright accents.
“Every client gives me self-confidence. I do not consider myself an entrepreneur, I feel myself more as a craftsman. I think that in business it is important to attend to yourself and purposefully go your own way according to a plan. It is also important not to criticize surroundings, not to envy the business arising around, not to flaunt if something succeeds”, – tells the young woman about her business credo.
After having joined the Network of Entrepreneurial Women (FREE) coordinated by the Kaunas Science and Technology Park, Irma is actively involved in the activity of the network and helps other women to develop business plans and is also looking for inspiration.
Women entrepreneurs as well as those who just began to implement their business plans meet for joint activities once a month. “We speak, express our ideas, and share our experiences. Women’s support and networking is very important, we can help and support each other”, – says Žilinskaitė.
Participation in the project helped expand and consolidate the circle of suppliers of interior decoration materials. The designer prefers to work with local small businesses; clients have a possibility to get aquatinted with displays of tiles, wallpapers and floor of suppliers in her studio.

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