We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Witmer Olrik and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I first started in the interior decorating business I got an opportunity to work with an established well-known Houston designer. She taught me the basics and let me have a lot of freedom to be creative. Back then the Interior design business was not what it is now and designers in Houston were few and far between. I took my new found knowledge and started experimenting on friends and family. The initial response was overwhelming and my fledgling business took off.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We here at Cindy Witmer Designs are a boutique firm with six employees. Many have been with me for ten years or more and all of my team are dedicated and work well together and most of all are supportive of me. I started on my own but as my business grew I was lucky enough to find the right people to grow with me. I have a creative group of woman and each with their own talents. I could not do this alone.
As most do we had growing pains and have had to deal with times of too little work and luckily more times with too much! I have learned this is a business with very little room for error. Since much of our work involves new construction sand remodeling there are a lot of little details where one wrong measurement could be a disaster.
I think our strength at Cindy Witmer Designs is our ability to listen to our clients and determine what their needs and desires are. We want to draw on their thoughts and ideas and especially the needs of their family and mesh them with our vision and experience to create a home they will love and be proud of.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is a lot to see and experience in Houston. We have wonderful museums including the MFA and the Menil, two of my favorites. The Rothko chapel would definitely be on the list and while over there I would have lunch at Bistro Menil.
I would take them to my favorite shops in Houston which would include my own, CWD Studio+Home, Back Row, AREA, FOUND and Shabby Slips. Other great place to eat and drink would include Ninfa’s on Navigation, Armando’s, The Annie, Rosie Cannonball and The Federal Grill. There are lots of fun places for a drink in the Heights as well as the Montrose area.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
From the beginning I had the ultimate support in whatever I did from my late mother, Susie Jamail Benes. Always my cheerleader, she jumped right in and encouraged me to use her home as a starting point. When my friends saw the transformation they began to hire me to do the same for them.
Along the way I was supported by many friends and family members and ultimately was hired by others through word of mouth and even landed some publicity through magazine and book publications. Speaking of books I would definitely attribute much of my success to Leslie Sinclair of Segreto fame who always included me in her fabulous coffee table books.
Other: Pinterest: pinterest.com/cindywitmerdesigns
Green study/home office: Claudia Casbarian of Julie Soefer Photography Rest of the images: Kerry Kirk of Kerry Kirk Photography