Today we’d like to introduce you to Mollie Ranize.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Mollie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My design life really started when I attended the College of Design, Construction and Planning at the University of Florida where I earned a Bachelor of Design in Interior Design. Having been born in Santa Monica, but raised in Florida, I always had a feeling I would end up back in Los Angeles. I did a few summer internships in San Francisco, but ultimately, I packed up and headed to Los Angeles immediately after graduating from UF. Shortly after arriving, I met Betsy Burnham and was able to get a crash course in creative, detailed, high-end residential design. The experience working with Betsy was life-changing. I was able to learn how to run a small business, how to trust your gut, and how to provide thoughtful design to discerning clients. After that, I was able to gain a whole new perspective of the design world while working for Dodd Mitchell Design on high-end hotels, bars and restaurants across the country.
In 2006, I took a leap of faith and created Dmar Interiors (Design by Mollie Ann Ranize). Nearly 12 years later, I can say that it was the best risk I’ve ever taken. It hasn’t all been easy, fun, or creative, but it’s been worth it. I’ve seen myself grow as a business owner, designer, professional and person. I’ve been fortunate to work on a wide range of projects from high end residential to gyms, bars, corporate offices and even a comic book store. I pride myself on building relationships that lead to many years of work. I like to enjoy the process and the people we work with, despite how busy we typically stay!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My one wish is that college would prepare you to be a business owner, rather than an employee with a solid skill set. Starting a business with no real business experience has been a challenge. It’s a constantly evolving process, and each year, I tweak how we do things on the business side of the company. To say that it’s been a smooth road would certainly be deceiving. Interior Design is absolutely a creative business, but in order to be successful, things have to be organized and efficient. There also needs to be clear communication about expectations – with vendors, clients and employees. Juggling that process with about 15 projects at a time can be… interesting! Aside from logistics, the toughest thing I needed to learn is that I am not right for every client and I cannot solve everyone’s issues. I innately want to be the problem solver, but there are some relationships that just aren’t meant to be. That’s a tough pill to swallow when you want to be a successful professional. You know what else has been a struggle? Sales tax! You think income taxes are confusing, try mastering sales tax!
After meeting my now husband in 2014, I’ve finally begun figuring out work/life balance and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me (and to our clients since I am now more sane!) I really value evenings and weekends with him and our 2 awesome pups, who I could go on all day about.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Dmar Interiors story. Tell us more about the business.
We are Dmar Interiors and we love to shape space. A successful interior is welcoming, functional and thoughtful. It’s so much more than color and comfort. We truly listen to our clients and then challenge them a bit aesthetically. We primarily specialize in high-end residential, but we thrive when we mix it up with commercial and TV projects. I think what we are most known for is our 3-T Rule. We always strive for our projects to be Tasteful, Tailored and Timeless. You won’t see a lot of avant-garde tricks or crazy color palettes for shock value. We really want a space to feel livable (even commercial projects) with a California modern vibe. Everything we design is usable and fit for real life with families and pets. There are currently 3 of us that work full time in the office keeping all of our projects moving. We all have our own strengths and we make a great team.
I’ve also been able to design for over a dozen episodes of makeover TV shows, like House Crashers, House Hunters Renovation and Flip or Flop. These projects are a highlight of my career because it’s typically a fast-forward version of our real projects. There is always a huge element of surprise that is exciting and rewarding!
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t really believe in luck. I think that with a certain amount of focus, organization, relationship building and action, you create your reality. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in fortune, meaning I put things in motion and hope that things have positive momentum, and when they do, I’m grateful. I would say, looking back at the past 14 years in Los Angeles, I feel extremely grateful. Of course, there have been challenges where I think “if that person pushes me one more time, I may go to jail (kidding)”. But I try to keep moving, re-write that to-do list and keep checking boxes.
- Website: www.dmarinteriors.com
- Phone: 323-436-0036
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/dmarinteriors
- Facebook: facebook.com/dmarinteriors
- Twitter: twitter.com/dmarinteriors