We recently connected with Sunita Ritesh and have shared our conversation below.
Sunita, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Are you able to earn a full-time living from your creative work? If so, can you walk us through your journey and how you made it happen?
“What do you do for a job? I am an artist
That’s good! but what do you do for a living.. like money wise? ”
How many times have we all heard this conversation, which basically leads us to believe that artists or creators cannot make money. Lot of times, it is true though! People will bargain and heckle you to lower your prices and do it cheap for them. If you accept, then the consequence is compromised quality of work and the artist making no money. This is a reality for a lot of artists and creators. When I started out 3 years back, I was advised by couple of ‘well wishers’ to start working for free first to build my portfolio. To me immediately that advise did not make sense. I established my worth even before I found my first client. I was very clear free work is not something I will do even to get my name out there.
After a month or so of registering my Interior Design firm, I got my first client. I very well worked out my rates without any compromise. I will not lie, I was very nervous submitting those rates, but I took my chances and submitted.
My client went ahead and approved it and paid my charges in full. I did not have to compromise on my work neither my sincerity. They loved the project and since then have referred me to several of their friends. Infact they recently bought a new home and hired me as their designer.. paying 3 times more than what they had paid for their first project.
I know, when many people would read this, they would be like ‘Oh you were just lucky’. Here me out! You teach people how to treat you. You will attract what you put out, so if you put out anxiety, fear that is what the kind of clients you will attract. Instead if you put out confidence, sincerity you will attract those kind of clients. Of course my first client is amazing. She had the heart not to low ball me. I am always grateful to that. But before she hired me, when I told her that was she willing to be my first client, she answered ‘Of course! I see a passion in your eyes and I am confident you will give me the kind of house I want’. What she saw in my eyes was my willingness to work hard and passion to design. And I attracted the best client anyone could ask for.
Just finding good clients and earning money is not enough. As a business owner, you should have a proper financial planning and earning management. This is something I regret not doing in the beginning. But, I did catch up soon and get my financials on track. So yes, to answer your question, a full time living is very much possible in my field… so if someone asked me “What do you do for a living?” I reply “The same that I do for my love of work – Interior Design!”
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
My education is in Business. I have always loved the operations part of the business. As a corporate employee I found it very thrilling to work in the management part of the profile. I took a break for family and then when I wanted to get back into work force found my applications being rejected for reasons I never knew. It started to get frustrating and really demotivating. The job search stretched 2 years and nothing came through. In one such moment of being anxious of my job situation, while I was praying, I was guided towards Interior Design. Years back when I was on a break after my first kid, I had done a course on Interior Design. But completely forgot about, because even though I liked designing I never intended it to be my profession. I always just wanted to be a CEO in some company! After couple of signs and praying, I took a leap of faith and started my Interior Design Firm in Dallas. It has been 3 years and I have never looked back. I now get to design and be the CEO that I always wanted to be. My Lord’s plan for me was better than what I could ever dream of. We do not just design but we build as well. We have our own team of workers and experts who bring our design vision to a reality in our client’s spaces. We are very proud of the team we have built. We have improved processes which we have put in place to serve our clients and to earn their trust.
When you hire my firm to work with you, you do not have to worry about anything and we will take care of all the design, remodel and renovation work for you. This is what we are most proud of.. our customized designs with end to end solutions. We serve the DFW and neighboring cities and very proud that our clients are our biggest cheer leaders.
How did you build your audience on social media?
Even before starting out in business, I have used social media to form and communicate personal relationship. I love social media. It was an easy transition from using social media for personal use to professional use. To build an audience on social media, you should first narrow down who your audience is. This is a very important step that I see so many businesses skip. Your social media content is the second step. Once you know who your audience is, then creating and making content for them is easier. Your content must serve your audience. Ask yourself why should your audience follow your page? What are they getting in return? Are you serving them or just promoting your work to them? And then finally, let us all remember that it is called ‘social’ media for a reason… for being social. If you are just going to post your content and not interact with other businesses or network with them on social media, then you are not being social at all.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
Clients – that is my most effective strategy for growing! One happy satisfied client is equal four more opportunities. I give more than what I am paid for, and treat my clients with lot of respect. This does not mean that I let them dictate my business or my process. This simply means that I make everything clear during the contract phase and leave no room for doubts. I keep my communications clear and professional and ofcourse friendly. I always go above and beyond for my clients. I can happily say that in the 3 years of business, I have never done a paid ad. All my businesses are from references. I have a good pipeline of prospects and enquiries. I believe my clients are my biggest platform for advertisement.
- Website: www.mechkithhinteriors.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mechkithh_designs_and_decor/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mechkithhinteriors
Photography Credits: Leah Hardy Photography