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Meet Kara Thomas of Studio KT

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kara Thomas.

Kara, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was raised in a small suburban town in South Jersey but I always craved more out of life so when my boyfriend at the time mentioned moving to LA to pursue his interest in the music industry, I turned our dreams into reality. I don’t think he was very serious about actually moving when he first bought it up in conversation but I knew that this was exactly what I needed in order to spread my wings…six years later and I never looked back! Although my relationship turned to shambles not long after moving here, I put on my big girl pants and survived some of the worst ass whoopings LA could give. Depression, homelessness, broke and surviving on credit…you name it, I’ve survived it!

I moved to LA to pursue my career in Interior Design and I attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Downtown. FIDM really pushed me and set me up with the entrepreneurial skills I needed for the real world. To get some experience under my belt while still in school, I worked at a high-end furniture store because let’s be honest…who can afford to do an unpaid internship in LA?? Retail was a great stepping stone for me to understand a different aspect of the industry and it also helped me hone in on my design eye. It didn’t happen immediately, but I’m also interested in creating my own furniture line.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My journey through my early twenties, moving across the country and trying to make something of myself in a highly competitive city has been nothing short of a shit show but I am extremely grateful to be thriving in LA and for all of the challenges that have pushed me out of my comfort zone and molded me into the person I am now. And to think, I’m just getting started!

Honestly, my biggest struggle has been myself. LA has been a mirror for me and I’ve been forced to face some ugly truths about myself and my shortcomings. Mainly the fact that I’ve never really been committed or passionate about anything so I’ve had to readjust my nonchalant attitude towards pretty much everything. I’ve always been known for being a hustler with at least 2-3 jobs at all times which was the case when I moved here but I started to notice a pattern of me mentally clocking out which eventually led to me getting fired. I’ve been let go from about six jobs which was a serious wake up call me for get it together. Lately, I’ve been focused on self-discipline and battling ADD without any medication, a constant struggle to say the least.

Please tell us about Studio KT.
Studio KT is a full-service interior design firm that specializes in residential design. As a designer, basically what I do is give your space more personality! 🙂 Every project and client is so different so I never really know what I am going to get myself into until the project starts. A project can be super detailed with custom furniture and renovations or it can be more of a makeover where we swap a few things out and add finishing touches like art and accessories.

I also offer a remote service called Room In A Box which is also known as e-design. This is an affordable and remote way to work with Studio KT. After sharing photos, measurements and inspirational images, Studio KT will deliver a detailed design package. Depending on your budget and needs, the design package ranges from a floor plan, furniture and paint selections, a shopping list for art and accessories, 2D renderings, 3D renderings or samples of suggested materials. This service is great for clients who are based outside of Los Angeles.
Although I’m blessed to have my own clientele, working in someone’s personal space can be tricky. Clients can be overly opinionated or scared to pull the trigger so I haven’t had many projects that allow me to get super creative which is why I am interested in transitioning out of residential and focusing on hospitality design. I would love to design restaurants, nightclubs and hotels. In addition, I want to create my own furniture and accessory line.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Absolutely! I wish I could say I have no regrets but you know the saying- if I knew what I know now…

I would love to go back to school and take my time. I rushed through a lot trying to make deadlines since I was also juggling a full-time job. Although I learned a lot, I wasn’t able to give school 100% of my time and attention but the good thing about technology is that there are endless outlets available to continue education without paying an arm and a leg for it. I’m always trying to keep my nose in the industry, read more and stay inspired.

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