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February 29, 2024 at 8:47:08 PM

You are your own designer in your storybook of life!


Design your story

Published on:

February 29, 2024 at 8:47:08 PM

Ignite Business Insider shares the stories of businesses that are making an impact in their local markets. We highlight their stories in order to inspire entrepreneurial growth and to let readers learn more about businesses across the world that are growing and scaling.


Theresa Glatfelter

Founder | Principal Designer

Parker Mason Designs

Thank you for taking the time to sit with us and share your story. Can you share a little bit about you and your company?

I'm a single mother raising two teenage boys in Newport Beach, California. Parker Mason Designs, named after my sons, operates as a full-service design studio in Orange County. We cater to commercial, multi-family and residential clients, offering a range of design services.

On the commercial/multi-family side, we're privileged to collaborate with one of the largest apartment real estate investment companies, as well as new apartment developers. Our role involves overseeing design projects for common spaces in apartment buildings, such as leasing offices, game rooms, and rooftops, across Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties. Additionally, we've partnered directly with apartment developers, providing design services for ground-up construction projects in Utah.

On the residential front, we assist homeowners in updating their interior spaces, whether it's a complete new build construction or smaller-scale projects like kitchen and bath remodels or furniture selection.

A question so many people are interested in, is how you got started. Can you share a little bit about what you were doing before this, and what that moment was like for you when you decided to start this new journey?

Before launching Parker Mason Designs, I worked as a buyer for a major retailer and later transitioned into a role as a designer for new construction production homebuilders in Southern California. Unfortunately, due to the volatility of the housing market, I was laid off. Around the same time, my personal life underwent significant changel as I fought for full custody of my children following a traumatic incident involving their father.

During this challenging period, friends and acquaintances began seeking my assistance with interior design projects. What started as a few design favors quickly became a few design clients which turned into many. I quickly recognized the potential of this opportunity by the need for flexibility to prioritize my family, I decided to establish Parker Mason Designs. It was a leap of faith, but one that ultimately led to the fulfillment of both personal and professional "work life balance"

Let's take a little bit of a detour, and rewind the clock a little bit. What did you want to be as a kid? And how did that influence the person you are today?

As a child, I dreamt of becoming a teacher and artist. While I may not have followed a traditional path in either of these fields, "Art" and "teaching" continue to influence my work today. In many ways, I see myself as a teacher, sharing knowledge and guiding my team in their professional growth. Additionally, my background in art has provided me with a unique perspective and and the ability to use my eye in design project.

Have you fully let go of that childhood dream? And where do you see yourself going in the next ten years?

While my childhood dreams of becoming a teacher and artist have evolved, I wouldn't say I've entirely let go of them. Instead, they've manifested in different ways throughout my journey. Looking ahead, I see myself delving into larger-scale projects, such as designing hotels or restaurants, over the next decade.

Now, I have found that with successful people, there is always someone pivotal as either a mentor, parent, teacher, or someone that you look to for advise, that helped set you on this path. Could you share who that person was? And what impact that had on the person you are today?

My mother and a dear family friend named Janice Markley, whom I affectionately call "Aunt Jan," have been instrumental in shaping my professional journey. My mother instilled in me a strong work ethic and resilience, teaching me the value of perseverance and the belief that anything is possible with determination.

Aunt Jan, on the other hand, provided invaluable guidance and support during a critical time in my career. Her belief in my abilities and her willingness to entrust me with significant design projects instilled in me a sense of confidence and self-worth. To this day, I continue to seek her counsel and draw inspiration from her often.

What was one take away that you learned from that person? And how did it translate into your business today?

From my mother, I learned the importance of resilience and maintaining a "sky the limit" motto, no matter what. Her words of wisdom continue to resonate with me, serving as a constant reminder to stay true to my goals.

Aunt Jan gave me invaluable lessons in self-confidence and recognizing my worth as a designer. Her mentorship instilled in me the confidence to venture out on my own and establish Parker Mason Designs. She has helped me see the significance of delivering exceptional value to clients and staying true to my vision. These lessons have extremly influenced my approach to business, guiding me to prioritize integrity, excellence, and client satisfaction above all else.

When we work with businesses, we focus a lot on their "Why?". What is your "Why"? What is the driver behind your company, and why you and your team wake up each day and give it your all?

At the core of Parker Mason Designs is the commitment to our clients and a passion for creating spaces that tell they're unique stories. Our vision starts with a desire to exceed expectations and deliver design solutions that resonate with our clients. Our goal is to translate our clients' visions into reality and to make a tangible impact on their lives through our work.

Let's dive deeper into your products and services. You already gave an overview, but how do your products or services help your customers? And what makes them different from your competitors?

Our approach to design is centered around our clients' preferences and vision for they're space. By actively listening to their needs and desires, we're able to tailor our services to suit their individual tastes and lifestyles. From conception to execution, we provide full support, guiding clients through every step of the design process and ensuring a seamless experience.

What sets us apart from competitors is our commitment to client satisfaction and our ability to translate their vision into their finished design plan. We prioritize transparency, communication, and collaboration, creating strong partnerships with our clients built on trust and mutual respect.

Let's unpack that even further. Let's pick one aspect of your business. What makes it so unique? And how does it change you or your customer's experience?

One of the key distinguishing factors of Parker Mason Designs is our client-centric approach to design. Unlike traditional firms that adhere to a specific style or niche, we prioritize our clients' preferences above all else. By listening attentively to their needs and desires, we're able to provide design solutions that reflect their individuality and resonate on a personal level.

This emphasis on personalized service not only enhances the customer experience but also creates a sense of trust and collaboration. Clients appreciate our dedication to understanding their vision and our ability to translate it into reality. Ultimately, our unique approach ensures that every project is as distinctive as the clients we serve.

Let's dive into your customer's journey a little bit. Can you share with us, how do your customers discover you and your brand? What are their next steps? And what is the experience you would like to see your customers go on, when working with you and your brand?

Our clients typically discover Parker Mason Designs through word-of-mouth referrals or by witnessing our work firsthand. Once they reach out to us, we begin by conducting a thorough consultation to understand their needs and preferences. From there, we collaborate closely with the client to develop a design plan that aligns with their vision.

Throughout the design process, we prioritize clear communication and transparency, keeping the client informed every step of the way. Whether it's selecting materials, coordinating with contractors, or managing the installation process, we handle every aspect of the project with attention to detail.

Our goal is to provide clients with a seamless experience, resulting in a design that exceeds their expectations. We strive to create spaces that not only reflect their unique sytle but also enhance their quality of life and bring joy to their everyday story in their storybook of life.

Let's rave about your customers for a minute. Can you share a story about one of your clients or customers, that either touched your heart, or made an impact with you and your team?

One client that stands out is Jodie, a successful businesswoman and CFO of a major car dealership in Orange County. We were tasked with renovating several areas of her home, including new flooring, cabinets, bedroom decor, and bathroom remodels. Despite encountering a few challenges along the way, such as delays with contractors, we remained committed to delivering a flawless result.

Upon completion of the project, Jodie left a heartfelt message expressing her gratitude and admiration for our work. She conveyed how our design transformed her living space and brought her immediate joy. Hearing her words of appreciation reaffirmed the impact that our work can have on our clients' lives, motivating us to continue exceeding expectations and creating meaningful connections through design.

Everyone likes an inside scoop. What detail or secret about either you, or your company, is something most people might not know?

One detail that may surprise some is that, despite my profession as a designer, I currently do not live in my "forever home". Life's circumstances have led me to prioritize stability and flexibility for my children. I have rented in areas for lifestyle and had temporary housing arrangements over the past few years. However, I remain committed to creating beautiful spaces for others and look forward to the day when I can design my own dream home.

Final thoughts. What feeling or benefits would you like your customers or clients to take away when working with you and your team?

At Parker Mason Designs, our ultimate goal is to empower our clients to realize their design dreams and create spaces that reflect their unique identity and story. We strive to instill confidence and trust in our clients, reassuring them that their vision is in capable hands. Above all, we want our clients to walk away from the experience feeling inspired, uplifted, and deeply satisfied with the story they are trying to tell.

Last question. How can people find out more about you and your company?

You can find us at (or) on social media via Instagram & Facebook.

Thank you so much for sitting with us and sharing your story.

Thank you so much for allowing me to share my story!

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