Throughout history, most of the home building and design industry professionals have been men. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than 10% of the construction industry is made up of women. But while women may not be gaining ground in trades like carpentry and plumbing, many of thee traditional glass ceilings are being shattered by women on the construction industry’s entrepreneurial side.
Last fall, designer Sara Bovee-Hines made the successful transition from employee to entrepreneur with the purchase of Kitchen & Bath World, Inc., Albany, New York – one of the few companies providing design, retail showroom and renovation services in the Kitchen and Bath remodeling industry. “I think it was always the plan, but I knew I needed the experience to learn how to run a successful business” said Bovee-Hines.
After receiving an associate degree in interior Design from Sage College, Bovee-Hines spent a little more than a year working for a company as a design assistant that supplied kitchens for new construction homes. Craving more of a challenge, Bovee-Hines joined Kitchen & Bath World as a designer in 2003, found a mentor in the company’s owner and spent more than a decade designing and learning everything from job-site supervision, retail sales and marketing, and management.
Q. What advice would you give young women?
A. Be prepared to work hader than your male counterparts. The workplace has shifted for the better, and women are gaining ground, but we still have a lot of work to do to catch up. It is up to you to make sure your talent and hard work are recognized. You shouldn’t wait for an opportunity to present itself; you should create it.
Q. What have you learned about leadership entrepreneurship and mentoring others?
A. Just as you own a part of your employee’s successes, you also own a part of their failures. As a business owner, you need to be a teacher and mentor to your employees. You need to invest in them, and they will in-turn invest in your company.
Q. How has the industry changed since you started?
A. HGTV has influenced the market. Homeowners are more savy, and more up to date on trends. Many come into the showroom already having a vision in mind. A good designer needs to be on their toes, understanding the current market and trends.
Q. What changes can previous customers of KBW expect?
A. Expect to see us applying our talent and knowledge to other rooms throughout the home such as closets, laundry, mudrooms, home office and entertainment centers.
Q. What are your plans for KBW?
A. I want to continue to grow our client base through exceptional design and craftsmanship and be an industry leader in customer service
Kitchen & Bath World, Inc. is a full-service design, sales, and installation remodeling company serving New York’s Capital Region