The Interiors Remembered Story
by Athena Vigil, Design Director
Interiors Remembered began in 1991 with a $1500 loan from my father and a 3-month contract for a tiny 500 square foot office space. We jumped into business with one client, a 10k budget, and only one other project on our books. Our budget contained absolutely no money for advertising so to spread the word, we printed up a brochure at the nearby Kinko’s on invitation paper. I remember walking the neighborhoods, placing our advertisement on front doors and at local businesses. Soon realtors discovered us and through their networks and increasing word-of-mouth referrals, our business started to grow.
The first five years contained many struggles for Interiors Remembered and since we did not have a bank loan to keep us afloat, we had to reinvest the profit from one job to the next. With the decline of the economy after September 11th, I decided that in order for us to move forward, a working capital loan would be the best option. I dressed up in the only suit I owned and visited several banks, being turned down by the first few, until finally the last bank said yes. We obtained the loan, grew, and were able to repay it in five years. Throughout our growth we maintained our grass roots motto: to treat people fairly and provide a service that goes above and beyond, and to always be thankful for the relationships you make along the way.
When the economy collapsed in 2006 we faced new and difficult decisions. With much heartache we had to scale down our staff, which included cutting members of our firm that had been with us for over 12 years. In one particularly frustrating venture, we contracted a marketing firm that we paid over $20k for services and ended up with zero results. Luckily we were able to maintain a good standing with our vendors and fulfilled all of our bills and contracts, but we were back to square one in terms of operating budget. We had zero marketing and advertising budget, and two staff members left in our business office and studio.
Again, we took on the challenge of re-building one client at a time. We spent long hours and many late nights dedicated to pursuing our dreams. Now in 2013 we have managed to not only salvage our business, we have been able to establish a firm that produces beautiful environments for our clients. Even when times are tough, what we do impacts people’s lives and makes a positive impact through their enhancing their environments. Interiors Remembered has proudly produced commercial and residential interiors and provided other project management needs for numerous high-end projects throughout Arizona and the entire U.S.
Throughout the ups and downs of our long journey with Interiors Remembered, we have maintained the integrity of our business by always providing high quality designs and services. We have strived to continue the model that in America, success comes from innovation, a lot of hard work, and a big heart. Our business has become the go-to for many different levels of customers and we have loved every minute of it. We have maintained an A+ service rating with the BBB for several years in a row now and our association with the American Society of Interior Designers illustrates our continued commitment to our profession. We know our business very well and look for the best ways to produce fantastic Interior Design results and spread good will along the way!
Our story is one of survival and positively impacting people’s lives.