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Meet Phoebe Kimble of IRIE Smart Home Design in San Fernando Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Phoebe Kimble.

Phoebe, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have been for other people since the age of 13. I have always been inquisitive and interested in architecture and building structures. I received a BA in Interior Design and MBA in the ’90s. I took time out to have my three beautiful children and then decided to pursue what I really desired. I got my General Contractor license and opened my own business.

Being in the almost predominantly male industry of construction, I am pushing forward to follow my dream. No, it is not easy. Yes they work is hard. No, I do not know the answer to every problem that occurs, and yes, I have a loving family and friends who support me 100%. The projects are most fulfilling when you help a client improve their living space and beautify their surroundings. I am looking for other tradeswomen and work with me. I am also looking forward to networking with minority and women-owned businesses. As an intrapreneur, there are learning curves. I use my intuition and pray over the decisions I make, for that reason there are some projects I do not take. I enjoy calling the shots and being in charge, I mostly enjoy earning what I’m worth.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The main barriers in this industry is people trusting that a woman knows what she is doing. As a designer, most clients are ok with me “decorating”, but demo and rebuilding is usually what we do. I face this stigma daily.

What helps is that I am licensed and bonded and have projects under my belt. I am very respectful to men because they need that, but don’t get it twisted, I hold my own and won’t be pushed around.

Please tell us about IRIE Smart Home Design.
What sets my company IRIE SHD apart is I have the expertise of being a designer and I know how to build the space to make it beautiful. Most GC have no Design skills.

My company finds economic ways to improve living spaces with energy-efficient and environmentally friendly materials.

We specialize in smaller projects and working within a budget. Lately, we have been upgrading bathrooms. I am most proud of the kitchen and bath projects we have accomplished.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I have many childhood memories, one of my favorite is hanging out with my Dad in his workshop as he built little projects. I would talk for hours with Dad about his experiments, my Dad is an electrical engineer.

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