Monday, May 27, 2013

A Life By Design: The Interview

Katie Hartzog is the owner of Hartzog Interiors.  She grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and as a child she would love to drive by and look at homes and was fascinated by the architecture.  In her younger years she would tell friends that she wanted to work in design.  Looking back now as she tells her story, she has no recollection of such dreams and ambitions in design.  As she recalls, she always thought she would go to school to study architecture. So her freshman year of college, she did just that.  

She started out as an architecture student at Indiana-Purdue University.  Yet suddenly her direction changed when she took her first design class.  For Katie, there was something about colors and textures that she could just look at and immediately start creating.  She could design entire rooms in her mind by just piecing together different design elements.  In her mind this was what made sense.  In her heart, this was what she knew she was meant to do. So she immediately changed her major to design.

After school Katie tried working in many avenues of design.  She worked as a designer for furniture stores, builders and a local designer.  With each job Katie discovered her own creative strengths and formed her own signature design.  As much as she learned working with the local designer, she knew she was ready to spread her wings and have total creative freedom of her work. 

This was no easy feat.  Although Katie knew she was ready to go out on her own, she also knew her full time job that was her financial resource for support, had to go as well.  She thought if she was going to have her own design business she was going to have to go all in.  So after much thought she did just that, she quit her full time job.  To Katie, it was all or nothing. "All I ever wanted to do was to be able to wake up and do what I love which is to build, design and decorate homes. The thought of going out on my own was so scary. But I knew if I was ever going to really do this for myself I had to jump in with both feet.  With that I knew either I would land on both feet and be successful, or it wouldn't work out and I would go back to what I was doing for work before.  Either way the jump had to happen."

Katie was able to take her years of experience of both building homes and interior design to launch her own business endeaver with Hartzog Interiors. Her business started small but soon through referrals and word of mouth her business gained popularity very quickly.  She is known for her signature custom style of clean lines, contrasting materials, and her customized abstract ideas.  Each home is unique and custom to every client.  Each client's home is built and designed with the client's own style in mind. Katie states, "It is very important to me to use my unique signature along with my client's style in order to create a custom look that doesn't exist for anyone else.  Once I use that particular design, I never use it again. It belongs to my client and their home at that point."

"The most important part for me with my client's is building trust," states Katie. "I am an artist but I don't have the ability to draw my ideas on paper for them to see.  So I talk them through the entire process step by step and have them know that I have their best interest's in mind.  A lot of my client's are able to see my work through projects of friends or family that I have previously worked with.  So they are able to get a sense of my design before working with me.  The greatest thing is seeing the look on my client's face at the finished project.  That is the greatest reward is to see their smiles knowing that they are thrilled with the outcome.  That is what keeps me going.  I become very close  with my clients and have been able to build lasting friendships through this process. I work with such nice people and feel so blessed to have the clients that I do. That is one of the greatest parts of what I get to do, I walk away with life long friendships."

Now five years into her business, Katie is now thinking about what the next step will be with Hartzog Interiors.  She is exploring the idea of opening a store, more building projects, and a business expansion from within.  Although these ideas are just that at this point, Katie is always looking ahead to what the future of Hartzog Interiors will be. She states,"I am excited about what the future will bring.  Right now I am just thrilled with where I am and the fact that I get to design and do what I love every day."

When asked what it felt like at the brink of her following her own dream, Katie replied, "It was definitely the scariest thing I've ever done.  I can still remember the day I made the decision and knew that I was going to follow my dream and not hold back.  I haven't regretted any of it." 

What is it that you want everyone to know about Katie Hartzog and her design?
"That I create timeless beautiful things for people. I get pleasure out of knowing that people enjoy their homes and their space. I just want to be known for doing beautiful work and building great relationships with people and producing awesome designs."

What advice would you give to anyone right now who is on the edge of living out their own dream?  "Just try it. What is it going to hurt?  If things don't work out you can always go back to doing something else.  If you don't at least try it you will never know and what is the sense in that?  Think about everything you could be missing out on."

It was a pleasure interviewing Katie.  It has been personally inspiring to watch her over the years build her business to what it is today.  Katie is a Spirit Launcher at heart.  You can never go wrong with taking a leap of faith and letting the Divine hand guide your way.  What could launch you to follow your own dreams?  Share with us we would love to hear from you!

Go to to see more of the beautiful designs that are the heart of Hartzog Interiors.

As always with love,


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Copyright 2013. Jennifer Fremion. All rights reserved.

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