Stephanie Purzycki Combines Design Services With Her Innovative Offering

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Hi, Stephanie! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

I’m Stephanie Purzycki, the Founder and Creative Principal of The Finish, a unique offering that provides the services of a professional interior designer, one hour at a time. At The Finish, we combine traditional design services with e-design—unlike traditional design services, there are no budget minimums, and we love small projects (like styling a bookcase, accessorizing new furniture, or choosing window treatments) as much as the big ones (hello, floor plans and moodboards) and, unlike e-design, the projects are personal and offer a one-on-one experience to clients. Clients will work with the designers in their home (or via FaceTime/Zoom) to solve specific problems in the space, whether it’s a floor plan that’s not working, or a blank wall needing art. You simply describe the project and your style, and we’ll schedule a one-on-one consultation, either in-person if in one of their existing markets, or virtually nationwide. Currently, The Finish has a network of more than 50 burgeoning designers in Austin; Greater Boston; Charleston; New Jersey; Washington, DC; Fairfield County, CT; Cincinnati; Greater Chicago; Pittsburg; New York City; and Westchester County, NY, with plans to launch in more cities next year, and offers virtual services nationwide. The company was created for the everyday consumer who might not have the money to completely hand over their home to an interior designer but still wants their space to feel polished. The name of the company speaks to the kind of projects the company offers: let’s finish your space.

Wow! You offer services that are definitely needed in the space. What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

Being an entrepreneur is hard and lonely. I love that Entreprenista provides community and meaningful connections with women that just get it.

We’re all about support and community here! What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I created The Finish in 2019 to fill a void I experienced whenever I visited friends’ homes and was asked for my decorating advice. I saw a niche market of people who may not want to hire a designer but want someone with a trained eye to help finish their spaces. Simply put, I created The Finish to give people the chance to ask a professional the design questions they’ve always wanted to ask.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Prior to The Finish, I gained invaluable work experience in both residential and hospitality design at top design firms: ICRAVE, Mark Hampton LLC, and Mark P. Finlay Interiors. With a life-long passion for hospitality and travel, I have my Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Administration at Cornell University and after working in hotel operations for several years, I went to work as a Project Manager and Owner’s Representative at Hospitality 3 LLC. While at Hospitality 3, I worked on large-scale renovation and redevelopment projects, such as the W Vieques Resort and the Study at Yale hotel. Inspired by the unique visions and thought-provoking experiences created by the designers she worked with on these projects, I then left Hospitality 3 to pursue my MFA in Interior Design at Parsons, the New School for Design. At Parsons, I won the Kalil Endowment for Smart Design fellowship funding my hospitality research in Manizales, Colombia. My design work has also been selected for publication and exhibition at the University of Austin, Texas, and my portfolio includes work for Westin Hotels, Tishman Hotels, James Hotels, Sixty Hotels, Thompson Hotels, OTG, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Dallas Cowboys Club, Greenwich Medical Spa, and Trinity Forest Golf Club.

Quite the resume! Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Not really, I started dreaming of entrepreneurship in my 30s. I loved my old company but the hours were crazy. We had zero work/life balance.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

We held small focus groups with our target market. These women helped spread the word and some became our first clients.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?

We were very worried about scaling quickly and made several mistakes along the way. Scaling without having a solid foundation was a huge challenge. We have since focused on solidifying our processes in all aspects of the business to be able to handle scaling.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Getting into House Beautiful was a huge accomplishment!

An accomplishment, indeed! Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Yes, but it’s not typically what you think of work/life balance. I work a lot, but my kids will always come first. I prioritize showing up for my kids (practices, school activities, etc.). Then I fit in work when I can, so you’ll sometimes find me answering emails at midnight.

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

Really take advantage of the Entreprenista networking community and find a support system of local entrepreneurs. Go to the monthly meetings. Try to learn as much as possible. These women will keep you motivated to keep going and will help when you get stuck.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

Launching in Austin! We are so excited!

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

We are looking to grow in other key markets in Florida and California.

Learn more about the Entreprenista League and join today!

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