We had the good fortune of connecting with Willie Tarver III and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Willie, what do you attribute your success to?
I would have to say that there are two major factors in the success of my brand.
The first would have to be Jesus. It was the Holy Sprit himself who told me to step out on faith, trust him and leave my old firm to start my own company. My faith is very important to me with regards to how I operate. I trust and believe in my heart that if the Holy Spirit tells me to do a certain thing, he will lead and guide me through it and will not let me fail.
The second factor would have to be determination. So much of a company’s success is based on how dedicated the owner is to making things happen. This also comes into play when things do not go as planned or when people tell you to quit or implement Plan B. When you have determination there is no Plan B or quitting. Running a successful business is not about immediate satisfaction of success. It is about how many times you fail or get knocked down, and are you willing, determined to get back up and keep going.
Actually, there is another factor. How to release. What I mean is, how to trust other people to get a job done. When I started my business I did everything, answer the phone, scheduling, accounting, taxes, ev-ery-thing! But once I started to grow, I had to start to release those tasks. Let me tell you, as an owner, that is very difficult. It’s like a parent giving over their child to someone else hoping that they treat them with the same love and care that you do. I had to learn that in order for optimum success, I had to give up a few hats to other people so I can wear the hat that I am intended to. This allows me to focus on what I was meant to do, and love to do, design high-end luxury homes. And I must give a shoutout to Asana for now successfully wearing those hats.
What should our readers know about your business?
My firm is simply about personal touch, your identity.
We know that our client’s home is their refuge. So, we take time to understand our clients, listen to them to make sure they are getting what they truly want. And not just listening to what they say, but their tone, facial expressions, body language. To know what they are excited about, and what they are not too excited about. This is one huge lesson that experience has taught me.
Now, of course, there are times when we have to “direct” them, “reel them” in so to speak. Like when we get picture and example overload from Pinterest boards, Google images, and magazines. They seem to want everything at first, but we consolidate and categorized their ideas. And what we find is that it is a particular aspect of an image that they really like. A certain type of window style, material finish or even a certain color.
Additionally, when designing the home, we involve the builder interior designer and landscape architect during the initial planning stage. When designing high-end, custom homes, all the players need to be at the table from soup to nuts. It is truly a partnership.
From our inception we have been blessed to work with some high-profile clients including producers, entertainers, developers, business and community leaders, etc. With these and all our clients, we keep to our purpose to invest that personal touch to every home that we design.
Also, a part of that personal touch comes from my international travel. I have traveled to multiple countries, for relaxation of course, but more so to study the many architectural concepts and designs that are unique those countries. In fact, I spend hundreds of dollars on trade books when I travel and take thousands of photos. This allows me to integrate the old with new when designing homes, creating unique styles and teaching my staff how to incorporate the old with the new. Now, this has been very helpful when a client it not really sure what they want, but will say they know it when they see it. I will pull on my travel experience to give ideas or even combine two different housing styles which can sometimes be challenging but affective for the client.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
With a week, lots to do. First and foremost, a tour of IntentID homes is top on the list…lol! We would hit restaurants from high-end like Oceanaire, Bones, Fago de Chao to basic including Atlanta staples, Chick-Fil-A and Waffle House (a favorites since birth). Then, of course, we would hit some of the key tourist sites, those that represent the ATL, World of Coca-Cola, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Georgia Aquarium, High Museum, etc. Check out some sports, an Atlanta United match and Braves’ game (eat at the Battery). I have some folks I would want them to meet, or reconnect with, parents, my Uncle Joe and Aunt Jackie, and my coach/mentor Simon. And of course, hit some of the clubs, cigar bars to relax and catch-up. Now, if they want to go shopping, something I wouldn’t plan, we will hit Lenox Mall, Phipps Plaza, Ponce City Market, and for a real shopping experience, Little Five Points.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would have to say my mother. When I was a child, I saw my mother make things happen with very little at times. My mom never let us give her excuses on why something could or could not be done. If it did not work one way, she would ask for another way it could be done. Looking at all the options was instilled in me from a child. So as I got older, when I wanted to commit myself to a specific task or objective, I knew that I had to see it though. And make sure that I did it with no excuses. She showed me that no matter what life throws your way, you must persevere.
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