McGarr Fall | November 29, 2021
Salisbury, North Carolina – When Sara Lee started her design business in Salisbury, North Carolina, she knew exactly what to name it: SISU Home Designs. “SISU is personal to me,” says Lee. “It’s a word used by my grandmother and my mother of Finnish and Norwegian origin. In short, it embodies determination, potential, courage, freedom, courage, preparation, strength, community and heart. She adds: “In design, there is an inherent potential for what is possible.
This inherent potential of design has, according to Lee, always been part of what drives it. “I have always enjoyed arranging rooms and drawing house plans, even as a child,” she says. “Design school was a natural decision, and I especially fell in love with the design of kitchens and bathrooms. There is so much technicality, more creativity. It’s problem solving, communicating and wonderfully stimulating.
Mark a trip
Like most in the industry, Lee rose through the ranks from the bottom. “My first opportunity was with a large cabinet maker, and I worked in marketing and sales, designing displays for Lowe’s stores nationwide and ‘The New American Home’ projects. After a subsequent stint at a small dealer in order to gain more sales experience, she moved to Washington, DC to get a feel for the luxury market in an upscale showroom.
“A move to North Carolina in 2013 gave me new opportunities to serve unique southern customers,” she continues. “I blossomed and felt a new confidence in what I could do for people and their spaces. “
When it came time to release his own shingle, Lee was careful to factor in his personal journey in the industry, working with an expert to create a cohesive narrative across all of his digital channels.
” The brand [for SISU] was created by a lovely woman in London – we communicated a lot about who I am and what SISU stands for, ”she says. “The brand experience engages the senses and the imagination through a visual narrative that is timeless, elegant and full of intentional detail – a visual identity that speaks with poetry and textual appeal to communicate inherent possibility and expertise.”
She adds: “Consistency is important. The brand is spreading through social media and, I believe, sets a standard of credibility. SISU’s Instagram presence in particular strikes a balance between crisp and beautifully staged project images, personal touches, anecdotes, and graphics featuring the company’s logo-inspired sprouting plants.
Like the little seed in the SISU logo, Lee carefully cultivates his relationships with his customers. “I get to know my clients through lots of meetings, calls and even text messages,” she notes. “I have the privilege of going to people, and that takes trust, and I honor it. Our welcome package actually covers the entire process from the start of the consultation to the day of the photo shoot! It gives my clients a nice roadmap of what is going to happen over the next few months. “
Looking ahead to the new year, Lee anticipates the growth of his business. “Plans for 2022: I would love to hire some help and continue to grow into a fantastic showroom. »▪