Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Shiwlall.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Anna. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
When I first started the company, it was actually during the recession in 2009. I had printed out flyers and literally dropped them off door to door on my bike because I didn’t have gas money to drive around. I was chased off by neighbors and yelled at for being on their property. I didn’t know how else to get business but to get out and pound the pavement. At the beginning, I thought that the responsible thing to do was to get a job and work while I got my business off the ground. I had been in retail all my life, so getting into medical sales seemed like it would give me the flexibility needed to work and continue building my business. My friend worked in medical sales, so she got me an interview where she worked. The night before the interview, I remember feeling sick to my stomach. I had so much anxiety at the thought of doing something that wasn’t my true passion. I have never been able to do something I didn’t enjoy. My philosophy has always been if you’re not happy, then you’re not doing something right. So needless to say, I went into the interview and totally bombed it. I couldn’t fake it on this one.
So I continued to do my work and try and get clients with my flyers. There were a few that gave me a chance. Once, I got so desperate, I even designed a whole smoothie shop for $100. At that time, I had nothing to lose. I had no money, but I had a lot of time to give. So, I used that time to learn and talk to people and keep exercising my talents.
A year later, I remember sitting in my tax guy’s office and barely being able to pay my corporation fees. It literally wiped out my account. I felt so defeated and sad. I called up my friend and said, “I think I need to shut down. I don’t think I’m going to make it.” When I went home, my husband said, “Don’t worry about anything. We will find a way to pay the bills. Just put your head down and keep working. Don’t overthink it and just keep doing it.” For some reason, it really hit me hard and I took his advice. I finally let go of all of the doubts I had about myself and I kept working on designs. I advertised on small sites like Craigslist and Angie’s List in order to get more leads. After a few months of this, I got to the point where I could comfortably pay the bills and have some leftover.
One day my friend approached me and said, “Let me advertise online for you. I’m learning how to do this and I think it could work for you.” Of course, I took her up on her offer and within 6 months, business started to really pick up. I had enough business that required me to hire an assistant. I must also mention that somewhere in the middle of all of this, I got pregnant with my first child. So by the time I got an assistant, I was already 7 months pregnant. I would get up at 7:30 am and work until 3:30am. My client book was completely full of appointments. I learned to juggle 30 projects and all while still enjoying the joys of pregnancy. I worked up until the day I gave birth and even took client calls on the way home from the hospital.
Afterwards, business just kept growing exponentially at a rate that I couldn’t keep up with. I kept hiring more people to help with the workflow. I am now surrounded with the best team of 25 people. They are the most dedicated and hardworking people I couldn’t ever ask for. The work ethic in the company is like none other and we continually strive to see where we can be better and give clients the best experience possible in a stressful situation. I’m excited to see where this journey takes us.
Please tell us about 27Diamonds.
As an interior design company, there are definitely a lot of moving parts. We specialize in residential design, but have also had many commercial projects that have been really fun to do. I’m so proud of the work we have put out through the years. I have always been over the top, opulent and wanted to really create an experience for people when walking through our designs. I think we’ve done a pretty good job with that. We always strive to provide the best service, even in a stressful situation. Remodels are not easy and the client’s world is turned upside down during the period of remodeling. We try to be there to educate our clients on what to expect and take care of problems when they arise. It’s an ongoing learning process, but the clients we meet are amazing and we want to make sure they receive the best service as possible.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I would have wanted to slow down and really dig into some of the processes instead of figuring it out along the way. It’s hard to really say I would do that because you never know what to implement until it’s right in front of you. As much as I pride myself on being a hard worker, I think that work/life balance is important for the longevity of anything you want to create and I wish I was more present to things in the beginning.
- Gold Package – $995 per room
- Diamond Package – $1995 per room
- Construction Package – $4500 per room
- Website: www.27diamonds.com
- Phone: 323.433.0082
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/27diamondsinc/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/27diamondsinteriordesign/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/27-diamonds-interior-design-los-angeles-2
- Other: https://www.houzz.com/pro/27diamonds/27-diamonds-interior-design