“I find I’m learning everyday whether in the design or business aspect.”
From an expatriate childhood, to formal design training in Italy, and opening a London studio, Keeley Green of Keeley Green Interior Design (KGID) is quite the world traveller. And as an interior designer, this introduction to a range of architectural and design styles has influenced Keeley’s own sophisticated design aesthetic.
Keeley first started in the family property development business under the mentorship of her in-laws before pursuing her own passions in design. After founding her studio overseas, she has since settled in Brisbane.
Now as the Lead Designer at KGID, Keeley creates bespoke interior design services for clients in Australia and internationally. Her projects range from residential designs to retirement living, boutique commercial projects, and even superyachts. Keeley is also the co-founder of Ailanto, a luxury hand-designed wallpaper and fabric brand.
Not surprisingly, Keeley is passionate about travelling and different cultures. But closer to home, she also enjoys tending to her garden, cycling, practising Pilates, and working on self-development. In fact, this passion for self-development has led Keeley to join the HerBusiness Network.
Keeley is especially keen to meet a community of female business owners and find accountability so that she can scale her studio into an international boutique with a talented team.
Who’s your favourite entrepreneur and why?
Tamara Mellon. Inspiring for her resilience when she was outmanoeuvred at Jimmy Choo. She went on to create her own brand in a then new direct to consumer market.
Aerin Lauder. The lifestyle brand she has successfully created. Some may say easier as the daughter of Estee however I imagine still difficult in her shadow.
Why did you start your business and what gave you the idea?
I was mentored by my incredible in-laws from the age of 21 in their family property development business. When my marriage broke down after 19 years, it seemed natural for me to create my own business in the development area that I’m passionate about…design. I upskilled in Italy with a Masters in Interior design and established my own studio in London. For me family will always win over business so I returned home to Australia and have now established my own studio in Newstead, Brisbane.
My ex husband has been my biggest supporter along the way…business was never the problem :-)
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
Without a doubt it’s creating a business that my team enjoys coming to everyday, a collaborative creative hub with a culture of excellence. We work on incredible projects.
Learning is another. I find I’m learning everyday whether in the design or business aspect.
What three pieces of advice do you wish you’d been given when you started?
- Focus! There are so many wonderful ideas. Pick on and do it exceptionally well. Maybe you can add more from there.
- Be sure to understand basic financials before you start so that you can monitor progress for more clarity in decision making.
- Be an expert in scheduling your life – work & personal. Balance and health are important for your energy long term.
What advice would YOU give someone thinking about starting a business?
Take the time to prepare with your knowledge base and systems as much as you can because once you start it’s hectic! I imagine starting as a side hustle with a gradual transition would be ideal.
What skills and knowledge areas would you recommend those starting out in business get acquainted with quickly?
- Basic finance or get a business advisor if you’re not great with figures.
- Sales & marketing for your customer base.
- Don’t forget about CPD in your own industry so that you remain an expert.
What does your IDEAL business look like? Even if you’re not there yet, what would it look like if your business was ideal?
- A talented team with a creative and supportive culture of excellence.
- An international boutique full turn key interior design studio with a maximum of 15 people as well as a project management and building division.
- Continue to specialise in high end residential and boutique commercial projects with a special interest in superyachts and aviation.
What problem does being a Member of the HerBusiness Network solve for you and your business? And, how?
I am relatively new to Brisbane and the business community here. I am keen to meet like-minded inspirational female entrepreneurs.
Accountability, learning and scaling the studio.