When does the dust really settle? You might not realize it, but you’re building something. Maybe not a physical structure, but instead a career, a ‘home’, a family, the courage to do something new…
If you were to ask Tyler Karu, real estate investor turned designer and renovator, she’d tell you ‘the dust never really settles’ – and it’s not a bad thing. She’s been building her career and the foundation for her life day by day, detail by detail for years, and it’s really something marvelous. Her mother, an eclectic, fun woman, is one of her biggest supporters – Tyler has always wanted to be just like her.
Portland, Maine is home and the foundation of her fem-pire; Landing Design. She grew up among renovation dust, and plethora of different homes under construction as her family developed and renovated their way through life; and that’s where it all started. Dust in the air, the random plastic covering newly painted cabinets, and the smell of stain as it dried on old wood. It was her natural habitat, and what unknowingly cultivated her future.
“We were never in the same house for very long and I became very comfortable with the construction process. I always enjoyed watching the evolution of our new houses. I suppose construction, renovation and design felt very natural to me...Now I own my interior design and renovation firm. I work with clients on residential and commercial design, new construction and large-scale renovations.”
Her accomplishments in business are very impressive. As a young woman, she’s followed her dreams and made practical decisions which led her down this path – she didn’t just land there by chance. She tested out the real estate market in New York City after college, but discovered her passion wasn’t in traditional real estate…she was meant for something more.
“…I realized I liked checking out people’s apartments much more than the real estate transaction process. I immediately enrolled in New York School of Interior Design. Once I finished design school I moved to Maine, and as inexperienced and young as I was, I transitioned into house flipping without really knowing what I was doing, but I learned so much from my years in real estate development…
When the economy tanked, I saw it as an opportunity to make money in real estate, so I bought the cheapest house listed in Portland and flipped it and sold it fast. I suppose that first deal gave me the confidence I needed to keep going. I think finding success as an entrepreneur is always a combination of hard work, confidence and good timing.”
“Confidence” – that’s one of the things I’d like to point out about Tyler’s success. If she hadn’t taken a risk and jumped into her passion when she did, would she be where she is now? We’ll never really know.
But take note – sometimes you have to take a risk and be confident in your ideas and abilities to reach your peak...Tyler’s moves paid off and she was able to springboard herself into her future career.
All of that sounds easier said than done - women in her field don’t have it so easy.
"Being a woman in design/construction is TOUGH. For the most part I am treated with kindness and respect, but occasionally that isn’t the case. In those situations, I find myself wondering if it’s because I’m a female? Or if there are other personal reasons. I remind myself that small minded people are insignificant to me at the end of the day. I haven’t had too many folks doubt me, and I owe nothing to those who have. Personal success and fulfillment speak volumes to negative people."
Amen sister. But you can’t keep a good dog (or designer) down… After making her way in the flipping business, Karu eventually found herself back in design with a lot of support from family and friends. She landed some good press, and TV time on HGTV’s House Hunter’s Renovation. She’s thriving. Her designs are warm and inviting, and her business is headed to even newer heights in the new year.
Another standout feature of Tyler’s character is not her investment in her own business, but in other women; young women to be more precise. Once a week she meets with high school girls and mentors them on their future, their interests and the importance of financial independence. She’s taking her gifts and sharing them with other women who are destined to build the future.
AND did we mention Tyler is a dog mom to these cute pooches?:
When we asked what was next for Tyler Karu, she replied, “That’s a very interesting question…I have a couple of projects in the works that are quite outside the box for me, but I think it’s always good to diversify.”
Spoken like a true Entrepreneur.