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BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES

Erin Designs

Erin DesignsErin O'Brien, owner of Erin Designs, is a lifetime Girl Scouts member and lives by the motto "leave it better than you found it." With over thirty years of experience in the interior design field, O'Brien has an in-depth knowledge of current building practices and materials that are green, sustainable and beautiful. Her commitment to understanding the environmental impact of her designs takes priority in her design development. She primarily advocates the simple common sense changes. By incorporating green practices, O'Brien helps her clients create safe, healthy and beautiful places to live and work.

O'Brien incorporates her passion for the environment with her commitment to her clients. Her goal is to give her clients the information they need to make an informed choice. O'Brien states that no product is completely green; however, products have shades of green that reflect their impact on the Earth. With the facts, the clients are able to make a conscious decision on how their choices can affect the environment.

"I see Erin Designs as a business that people would come to if they want a project that has the sustainability piece to it," O'Brien said. Over the years, clients of Erin Designs have greatly appreciated her expertise. And given the rising awareness of environmental issues and the health impact of construction materials, it is not surprising that Erin Designs has been successful. "Going green is more than a trend. It's a lifestyle," O'Brien said.

She credits the Western Dairyland Business Center with a significant portion of her success in recent years. Several years ago, O'Brien lacked confidence in her abilities to run a business and decided to attend the Women's Business Conference. She participated in some break-out sessions and worked one-on-one with a Business Development Specialist. In later years, O'Brien became more involved with the Women's Business Conference, serving on a panel, working as a vendor and being a guest speaker. "Not only did the Women's Business Conference help build my business on a marketing level, it also helped me gain confidence on a personal level," O'Brien said.

Through the encouragement of Western Dairyland, Erin Designs recently applied for and received certification as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. The program was established in order to encourage more equitable distribution of government contracting dollars in both the public and private sector. O'Brien says the certification will definitely be a part of moving her business forward.

To see photos of O'Brien's work, visit http://www.erindesigns.com.

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