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Designing Her Own Success

Jeryl Mitsch Leads a Team of World Class Interior Designers

Writer / Kara Kavensky
Photographers / Anne Buskirk & Andrew Kung

The recent recipient of the National Association of Women Business Owner’s (NAWBO) 2016 Woman Business Owner of the Year, Jeryl Mitsch started her business with determination and sheer will more than 25 years ago.

“Larry had a lot to do with it,” shares Jeryl, of her husband’s encouragement to open Mitsch Design, “He helped guide me along the initial process.”

With little to no background in business, Jeryl considered herself solely a creative interior designer. However, with Larry’s support, she and a couple partners established their independent business. Using the Mitsch home as their initial office location, the women set to work. They landed a few major accounts almost immediately.

“We faked it a bit,” confesses Jeryl, “We had confidence and the skills, but were new to being independent.”

Early on, during one meeting in Chicago, they were asked how many locations their business had. Jeryl confidently replied, “One downtown Indianapolis, one on the north side and one on the west side.” Unbeknownst to the interviewer, Jeryl was speaking to the locations of where she and her partners lived. This is indicative of how business culture has changed, with home offices being far more acceptable now than they were 25 years ago.

It took only 18 months for Jeryl and her partners to outgrow her home. Her team was utilizing the dining room as its conference room, a spare bedroom, living room space, and her company dominated even the kitchen.

“We had tape running the length of the refrigerator to divide it for my business and my family. One day, during a very busy meeting, the girls came home off the bus and I had to send them to a neighbors for a few hours in order for us to finish up an important meeting,” confesses Jeryl, “If that wasn’t a clue that we needed to move the business out of my home, I don’t know
what was.”

Larry and his partners in his advertising agency had an office on the northwest side of Indianapolis. The space next door became available and Larry urged Jeryl and her team to move in.

“It was ideal because if we needed to downsize, his business could take over some space, and vice versa,” she explains.

Understanding the early significance of being a woman-owned business, Jeryl joined the National Association of Women Business Owners and is a past president.

“Such a great organization,” gushes Jeryl. “The support and friendships I’ve made through NAWBO have been amazing.”

Mitsch Designs is celebrating its 25th year in business. It now has 20 employees and is located inside the Indiana Design Center in Carmel.

“Since we moved the business out of our home, we have leased space in a corporate office building,” says Jeryl, “As creative design people, we were always in elevators with business people wearing suits and carrying briefcases. Then when we were in the process of moving to the Indiana Design Center, I noticed this guy getting out of his car with a large orange piece of sculpture and thought to myself, ‘I have found my home.’”

Truly a national design firm, Mitsch Designs has a map dotted with the outreach it has created across the country. Locally, it has made an impact as well. Focused on corporate design and multi-family and senior care, its portfolio is impressive and extensive, including Angie’s List, Eskenazi Health, The Depot of Fishers, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, to name a few. One of its newer projects involves the design of the new addition to the Delta Faucet headquarters.

For more information, please visit MitschDesign.com

About Kara Kavensky

Kara Kavensky lives in the Geist area with her family. In addition to writing, she owns Geist Pilates.

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