June 20, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Cathi Colla, Architect

Who are you and what business did you start?

Cathi Colla, Architect, and passionate about focusing design and renovations to obtain the perfect balance between value, time and efforts

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Years of practice, and learning form our own (family) renovation dramas and delays

Describe the process of launching the business.

A slow, steady business growth alongside managing young kids and husbands demanding job

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Understanding your client is the epitomy of project success – not just how they wish to live, but creating the optimum journey for them along the way

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Frankly, it’s been a challenging couple of years. I’ve had a number of health challenges, on top of dealing with own home renovation, teenage kids, Covid (redundancies), oh – and keeping our business afloat (without much job keeper/ grant assistance through the last 2 years!). It’s been a bloody hard road actually…

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Yes, be kind; be confident; stick to your core values; and be honest with yourself.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We are a Mac based studio, we use Archicad (drafting, presentation etc), Xero, Microsoft suite, Adobe suite, Mailchimp, and many other various applications for marketing and management

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I’m currently re-reading “Mindset” by Carol S Dweck; I love a hearty and inspiring biography such as Michelle Obama, or I might delve into something like E Goldratt’s “Theory of Constraints’. I’ll also dip in and out of authors like Brene Brown and Seth Godin. Ultimately though I love fiction (and belong to 2 women’s book groups) as this just carries me away from all the seriousness of life, work and the day to day.

I’ve just recently branched into podcasts, and will happily listen to anything from “Chat 10 Looks 3” to architecture, to business management, to people and to ideas and ways to look after your team.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Just start, be confident in you and your skills

Where can we go to learn more?