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Overnight Success; 20 years later

Trade Mark Interiors, Inc., Tracee Murphy

Title / Role: CEO/Principal Designer
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Formed in: 2000
What do you do?

We are experienced, down to earth & versatile Interior Designers specializing in creating beautiful spaces that reflect your style of living and working. We work with busy professionals on all stages of residential and commercial design projects. Through our 20 year proven process and our unique design psychology background, we take time to thoroughly get to know our clients so we can recommend the best design solutions from plans to pillows!

What inspired you to start your business?

My passion for design grew from owning my first home and working through the interior design process. Once I fell in love, I went back to school with 2 small children to get my degree. Once I had an education and some experience under my best, I went out on my own mainly to allow me to have control over my schedule to while being a single mom with 2 kids under 6.

What's special about your business?

We are a unique design firm that does not work towards 1 particular "look" - we design to our clients vision - or help them create one!

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner?

Wow - over 20 years, there have been many. This year has been a definite high - keeping the business on track, having signed the biggest project ever and feeling like a finally have a grip on being a business owner. Thanks to Jory Berkwits, my SCORE mentor. Lows... hate to talk about them... but having to take a break from the business several years ago due to not making ends meet. But I never gave up.

What is your relationship with SCORE? SCORE client What influenced you to seek help from SCORE?

I always wanted help with business advice but never knew where to turn nor could I afford to hire someone to help. I finally was tired of not turning the corner with the business where I could feel more secure on my track and ask the questions I was afraid to ask before. I wanted to fully embrace learning what I didn't know. FINALLY.

How SCORE helped.

Several ways!! He helped me to understand financial reports and financing. How credit works, how to get it, and what to use it for. He gave me confidence to move forward even when things were shaky. He helped me to understand the power of connecting and talking to people about what I needed.

What's great about my mentor?

Jory Berkwits has been an amazing sounding board, advisor, and teacher for me over the last 1.5 years. He was so easy to talk to, always reminded me to slow down, and gave me confidence in myself as an entrepreneur. He slowly reviewed and discussed any topic I had a question about and gave me real-world examples of how to apply those principles to my business. He basically held my hand like it was a new business without any judgement and then gently pointed me in the right direction!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?


What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner?

I have learned that fear and fluctuations in business are normal. That building a team is constant but rewarding work. I have learned that paying attention to your financial statements goes a long way to a successful business.

Additional media
Ben Rollins
2801 Fruitville Road, Suite 280
Sarasota, FL 34237
(941) 955-1029

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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