FACILITYCalgary publisher Mark Kolke, in conversation with Sharon Martens
November 20, 2012
My recent conversation with Sharon Martens at Martens Group Interior Design. We talked about her firm’s view of the market place, what drives their success and explored what motivates this woman who melds soft and strong better than most leaders of creative firms . . .
I began our conversation by asking where she sees the market, her firm and the interior design business more generally, going in the near term.
Sharon says …
On the future of the practice . . .
. . . the future of our firm, 23 design staff at present will expand over the next 5 years – see steady growth in our specialty – corporate office design, helping clients re-size and re-configure for efficiency. The challenge, for large tenants right now, is the short supply of large blocks of contiguous space.
The workplace of the future is more social, flexible, modular, collaborative – clusters and teams are the norm … A mix of new and old-school in many firms presents challenges to design to incorporate technology, amenities, image and brand to support employee productivity and retention. Work places work best when our clients are more agile in how they make changes . . .
Why do clients choose you, your firm – over your competitors?
. . . a gifted design team, good looking work – and chemistry, ability to partner effectively in our client relationships. Loyalty is produced by earning the right to do the next project based upon performance on the last one . . . a loyalty that works both ways.
What does she look for in suppliers?
. . . energy, enthusiasm, high quality service and products – connecting and fitting people and project, staff and client – usually produces most effective results.
What does she worry about?
. . . managing and motivating a team, managing work flow, maintaining client relationships – work-life balance
Where are your roots – early influences, driving her career?
. . . grew up in Morden and Baldur, Manitoba – middle child, two brothers. Mom’s hobbies, crafts and artistic interests, dad’s mechanical contracting business meant plans and drawings were always around the house . . .
A few other things:
. . . her enjoyment, the drive comes from, in some ways, making a difference
. . . a BMW X-5 … her 2nd . – 5th car lifetime ..
Thank you Sharon, for giving our readers a glimpse inside your shop . . . to get a sense of you.
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