NARI Member Feature: Zoe Kardasis Sturtz of Edit Design Build Studio, LLC
Content by Front Step Marketing
Since 2009, Zoe Kardasis Sturtz and her partner (and husband!) have served Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding suburbs at Edit Design Build Studio, LLC. A full-service design/build remodeler and contractor, Edit Design Build Studio does everything from kitchen and bathroom renovations to full additions. No stranger to family businesses, Zoe grew up helping out at her mom's Bed and Breakfast booking agency. After years of encouragement from friends and family, Zoe, and her husband are thrilled to be working together and following their passion.
Name: Zoe Kardasis Sturtz, CR, AKBD
Company Name: Edit Design Build Studio, LLC.
Area(s) of Service: Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding suburbs
Years in Business: Established 2009
Specialties: We are a full-service design/build remodeler and contractor specializing in kitchens, bathrooms, interior renovations, and additions.
- NARI MN CotY awards (4)
- NARI Regional CotY award
- NARI ACE award (2)
- Best of Houzz
What was your first job growing up? What did you learn from it?
I worked for my mom who owned a Bed & Breakfast booking agency in New England. I learned to be organized, on time, that family businesses can be great, and large mailings are simply no fun!
Tell us the story of how you started your business? And why?
For years, my close friends and family had encouraged my husband (my partner who also has a passion for design and construction) and I to start our own business. He was working as an architect, I was working for another successful design-build firm, and then the great recession became our unexpected blessing… I’ll leave it at that.
What three things have contributed the most to your success?
Discipline, time management, and learning from those who have come before me. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and they have taught me a lot. My grandfather owned a cap manufacturing company into his nineties and continues to inspire me years after his passing.
What aspect of being a business owner do you like the best?
I get to spend time with my young family and be in charge of my destiny. It is a challenge, a blessing, and an empowering thing to remember each day.
What is a personal strength of yours that's helped get your company where it is today?
We know what we do best, and what we do not do best, and we work every day to remain true to that. For our company, it is vital that the builder, the client, and the project are all a good match. It makes for much more successful projects for everyone!
Tell us about a hardship you’ve faced in your professional or personal life. How did you overcome it, and what did you learn?
My husband and I were both laid off during the recession. It was terrifying, but we put one foot in front on another and realized we had a chance to rebuild our careers from the ground up. It is those long, hard, early months that I still look back on when business is bumpy, and we are anxious about current challenges. We are all stronger than we think.
Do you see any big changes coming for the remodeling industry in the next ten years?
I am hopeful that there will be an influx of new young talent to replenish the still diminished trade fields. I hope this new workforce brings more women and minorities to our field. Technology is also bound to transform our work and projects in ways we can’t even imagine yet.
Why are you a NARI member?
As a self-employed partner in a small firm, NARI is one of the few places where I have the opportunity to engage with other builders, remodelers, and tradespeople.
How have you been involved in NARI over the years?
I very much enjoy the several RoundTables that I participate in, and I greatly enjoy both judging and attending the annual CotY event.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry?
Surround yourself with people that are smarter and wiser than you. Leverage your resources. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know, but I will find out.”
Favorite vacation spot? Crete (Greece), or any warm ocean.
Where can you be found on the weekend? The gym, the yard, or any number activities with my two extremely active young boys.
What age would you like to retire at? Retire? Not anytime soon! I truly love my work.
Favorite holiday and why? Christmas morning with my children and husband.