Even though my business properly started in 2013. It was in January 2010 that I received my registration as a building designer and subsequently registered the business name Gruen Eco Design.
Thanks to Linkedin reminding me about my 10-year anniversary, I had totally forgotten ?
I want to take this opportunity to thank our amazing clients, my family, our team and everyone else who has helped me get me to where I am today and allowed me to follow my passion doing what I love most; Designing beautiful energy efficient and sustainable homes for future generations.
Even though I don’t talk about it often enough. A huge thank you goes to my amazing business coach and mentor Paula Bailey. Without her I and Gruen Eco Design would not be what we are today.
In the early years I was mainly doing energy ratings, and some tiny renovations / extensions, while still working full time for other design firms. My biggest milestone being a new sips residence in 2012 that reached 9.4 stars. And in the same year I was a finalist for the 10 Star sustainability design challenge.
In June 2013 I left my 9 to 5 job behind, with big hopes and dreams of creating an amazing business and winning lots of new projects. Only to find out one week later that I was pregnant with my first. Rather than brimming in new projects I stayed home for the next 4-5 months all day with terrible morning sickness… Anyhow, our first daughter was born in February 2014 and our second 19 months later. Meaning up until August 2017 I was basically a work from home mum, working part time, while having a couple of contractors helping me with projects.
At that time, I met the amazing Paula Bailey. I originally signed up for a 3 month coaching program with her which literally changed my life.
I rented my first small proper office, my first full time staff member and with the kids being almost 2 and 3 I was able to work 4 days per week. From this point things changed rapidly.
I started working on my vision, my purpose, my intention, my aims and goals for the business and how my business could help others to live a more sustainable life. I continued to write blog posts and articles about sustainable living and construction. Concentrated on marketing. Set up lots of processes and systems. Lots of strategic planning sessions and getting clear on what I wanted to achieve and what steps I needed to take. I don’t want to sugar coat it. There were hard times as well. Doubts. Times where I barely slept and worked way too many hours. Things that didn’t go to plan. But, like the amazing Paula taught me. “There is no failure, only feedback.” If something does not work out, review it, learn from it and make it better next time.
Now, 2.5 years on I am living the dream. We have an amazing, bright and light filled office. Just 5 minutes from my home (what a luxury, right?). I have an amazing team of 6 designers and a business manager behind me. With another senior draftsperson to start next month.
The most amazing projects and clients and finally some more time to not only work in the business, but also for the greater good and contribute more of my time to the passive house association and doing talks and or writing about sustainable design. As most of you probably know by now, I am extremely passionate about sustainable design and I think it is really important to spread the love and make others aware on how you can make a difference. All the little things you can do in your home, in your day to day life and during the construction that can have a big impact. No matter how big or small your budget. There are always ways of making your home more energy efficient.
Education is the key. We need more informed consumers to demand better and more resilient homes. But that’s a subject for another blog post.
So again. Thanks to everyone!
I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years have in store for us. Especially with several certified passive houses that will start construction this year. So exciting.