We caught up with the brilliant and insightful David Klein a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
David, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today One of the things we most admire about small businesses is their ability to diverge from the corporate/industry standard. Is there something that you or your brand do that differs from the industry standard? We’d love to hear about it as well as any stories you might have that illustrate how or why this difference matters.
Industry standard is for an interior designer to impose his or her own design aesthetic onto the client’s project. Where I differ is I believe each client has their own design style and I collaborate with my clients to ensure their unique personality is reflected in the final design.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
David Charles Klein Design is about disrupting the traditional world of interior design by making great design available to all. It’s also about my passion for design, unique ability to connect with my clients and a desire to support them in creating their own beautiful, sacred spaces. I believe each person is his or her own design aesthetic and that interior design is an outward reflection of who you are on the inside. When you go out into the world every day, people challenge and question who you are, so you get to come home to a space that reminds you of your identity and reinforces who you are.
When I’m not working. I believe Iin giving back to my community and am very proud of my participation in Design On A Dime Miami. As one of 25 Miami interior designers asked to participate, I helped to raise over $250,000 to end AIDS in the US.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
My career in retail and wholesale fashion merchandising spans over 35 years culminating in a position as VP of Group Planning for a $20 billion dollar global corporation. I had a team of 12 and nearly $750 million in responsibility and was making well over 6 figures: and I hated it. I had studied English Literature but rose higher on the business ladder than I ever imagined I was capable of. But I finally hit a wall and realized how unhappy I was doing the work: it lacked the creativity and freedom I craved and after working with a career coach for 6 months, decided to take a huge leap of faith. I quit my job, sold my apartment in NYC and moved to Miami Beach to reinvent myself and eventually start an entirely new career in interior design.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
I had to unlearn the traditional role of interior designer by not imposing my own design aesthetic onto my clients project. Instead I had to trust my own instincts and keen eye for design to support clients in creating their own beautiful, sacred spaces. My personal design aesthetic is mid century modern and yet I have worked with my clients on modern farmhouse, modern coastal, transitional and organic modern projects. Each as unique as the client.
- Website: davidcharlesklein.com
- Instagram: @davidcharleskleindesign
Kim Mancuso Photography Gabriel Rosario Photography Brett Hufziger Photography