We had the good fortune of connecting with Koren Owens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Koren, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
As a teenager running around the streets of Los Angeles, I never thought of the future. Yes, I was responsible and I had a steady job, but that was as far as I looked forward. Then I had two children. I was nursing my youngest one day, and I thought… I need to plan for the future. And that’s when I began plotting and dreaming of my own Interior Design firm. Nine years later and here I am. It began with an internship with the talented Ruthie Sommers where I fell in love with the world of interior design. After that it was one foot in front of the other… hurdles, moats, online Zoom school with my kids, I’ve tackled each problem and kept moving forward.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Edginess, style, and culture is rooted in my personality from my early years spent growing up in Los Angeles. I wasn’t the kid you found in the library studying the digestive system, I was the kid you found at the dive bars, hanging out in Hollywood, and sneaking in to go skinny dipping at Harvard-Westlake school. And that’s my brand – I ride the sweet spot between rock and roll and refinement. What does that mean in interior design? It means I have great taste! Hermes mohair chairs meets faux shagreen tables. My design business started from nothing but a dream, but I knew what I’d seen and what I liked. So I taught myself and I manifested my personal style into an aesthetic that I can bring and share with others. I got here by giving away my talent and working for free. I slowly built my portfolio and I proved myself. Still to this day, if I don’t know something I find out fast. If I need to resource something, I hit the ground running because I’ll always be learning. My most important lesson through all of this is that relationships are everything. That’s why I always put my clients first and I take care of them. It’s not just what you do, but also how you handle things.
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.
If I could do anything for 24hrs in L.A. I’d get a room at The Chateau Marmont and spend the day lounging, swimming, and drinking their homemade frosé. You can’t throw a stone in this city without hitting a great restaurant, but my favorites are Go Get ‘Em Tiger on Larchmont for breakfast, Sugarfish for lunch, and Mozza for dinner. I love Mozza’s bar so much I’m like Norm from Cheers. Another daiquiri please! American Rag is a go-to of mine for jeans and unique retro finds and right next door is Maison Midi, which has the coolest, imported French homegoods. As a designer I also love going downtown for inspiration – many of the old buildings are quite beautiful.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My daughters, Nellie and James inspire me. I don’t know if I would have pushed myself as hard as I have without my two girls. It’s funny because once you become a parent you also become a workhorse. Having children has completely recalibrated me. Now I get up at dawn to squeeze in a few hours of work and I don’t stop until I go to bed. My daughters have made me into the kind of person who can accomplish ten times more than I could have back when I was in my twenties.