We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Hackathorn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve had my own interior design business for almost 20 years. I started developing PLAN + ELEVATE as a sister company during the 2020 quarantine to help those who really want to have a beautifully designed home but can’t afford to hire a professional to do it for them.
What should our readers know about your business?
I felt there was something missing in the online marketplace that teaches and empowers people to do Interior Design for their own homes. It can be SUCH an intimidating process for people to try to tackle on their own. Before finding us, so many of our clients were overwhelmed with too many available choices, were worried that they didn’t know all of the “rules” of design, and were afraid of making expensive mistakes. Our series of short video lessons and tons of downloadable resources, such as worksheets, checklists and example furniture layouts teach the step-by-step process of starting a home décor or renovation project, getting through it, and pulling it together with finishing touches to really make it feel complete and intentional.
I also offer one-on-one video consultations for people who’d like even more personalized feedback and solutions. They can allow me to see their rooms in real time, bounce their ideas off of me, hear my custom suggestions, and receive answers to questions about their unique challenging areas, or the design process in general.
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.
When I have friends visiting the LA area, these are some of my favorite things to suggest: I’d spend a day at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. There is beautiful hiking in the area, as well as an easy walking path along the cliffs, and I love Nelson’s bar and restaurant because the view and setting are spectacular.
Next, I’d suggest renting bikes and riding along the beach strand anywhere from Redondo Beach to Santa Monica, or all of it if you’re feeling adventurous! The various beach towns and their piers have different personalities and attractions.
I’d also spend a day exploring Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice. It’s one of my favorite places for shopping in interesting boutiques, checking out the old and new bars and restaurants, and I love the whole overall vibe.
For a day or weekend trip, I suggest taking an hour-long ferry to Catalina Island. There is a tiny, cute town to explore on foot, and be sure to spend some time at Descanso beach club. It’s tucked away in a beautiful little cove that makes you feel like you could be in southern Europe. You can rent kayaks, cabanas, etc., and they have a great restaurant right on the beach. It’s so relaxing to have cocktails there and look out at all of the boats.
And, I always love a good Sunday morning flea market for vintage art and décor finds! The Rose Bowl and Long Beach are my favorites.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to 1) all of my clients over the past 20 years who have trusted me not only with their home design, but also in being open with me to share all of their fears around this topic. It has helped me to see how consistently the same types of concerns were popping up over and over among people with all different budgets, all different styles, and all different types and sizes of homes. I’ve noticed that a lot of people seem ashamed that they can’t just make their home look great on their own, but the truth is that anyone can create beautiful rooms if she has the proper tools and guidance. And 2) to my amazing group of local interior designer friends. To those outside of this industry it may seem like a cushy job, but to us small business owners we know that it’s anything but! I’m so grateful for the sharing, support and encouragement of these incredible women.
Mark Tanner, Wendy Ramos, or Jen Siska