In Spring of 2021, I started working with local kitchen designer, Robert Kramer. I have since had the pleasure of helping work on the website for his latest endeavor, The Cabinet Coach.
The Cabinet Coach is an innovative alternative to traditional kitchen design and cabinet showrooms. His fully equipped, studio-on-wheels, brings the full experience and fun of a showroom directly to your door. His studio offers full kitchen design services as well- offering a relaxed, convenient, and pandemic-friendly experience.
Based on his years of experience and creative business model, I asked Robert if he’d be willing to sit for a short Q+A as part of my client showcase series, read on below!
How did you first get into kitchen and bathroom design?
In a roundabout way. I went to school for theatre design. I received my MFA from Brandeis and spent years freelancing as a set & props designer and scenic artist. During that time I got a job with an interior design/architect firm as a model builder. When that contract was up, I found employment as a trade show designer. When 9/11 happened, the industry dried up and I needed to find something else. I started working for a custom cabinet maker producing shop drawings and gained enough experience there to land a job in a kitchen showroom. I’ve now been in the remodeling industry for almost 20 years.
What inspired you to create a mobile design studio?
I read a book called The E-Myth Revisited and had what they call an “Entrepreneurial Seizer”. After being in the industry for so long working for others, I really wanted to do it on my own. The problem I saw was that there were so many showrooms already in the area- I would be just another one. They say to be successful you need to do a common thing in an uncommon way. And this is what I came up with.
Do you have a favorite project that you’ve worked on and what was it?
My favorite is usually the one I’m working on right now. It’s new and it’s exciting to create something that isn’t built yet. The past projects that stick in my mind are the ones where it was fun working with the client and not necessary what the end product is. It’s the journey, not the destination.
What do you love most about kitchen/bathroom design?
Knowing the people living in the space are happy with the results is what’s important to me. There are many designers who will tell a client what they are supposed to like. I come from theatre which is an entirely collaborative design process. I prefer to collaborate with my clients, so they have ownership in the design process. It’s their home, they should be making choices that are best for them. I am a guide for them and will not let them make a bad decision.
What makes your services and studio unique?
Remodeling is a stressful experience. Many people only do this once in their lifetime, they don’t know what to expect, and don’t want to make costly mistakes. I truly see myself as a guide, or a Coach, through the remodeling process. My goal is to make this as easy and stress-free as possible. The Cabinet Coach (the vehicle) is the ONLY showroom that comes to you so you can make selections safely at your own home. The showroom has everything you need to make selections for cabinets, countertops, hardware, and backsplashes without the overwhelming feeling you get walking into a big box store or high-end boutique. While the space is limited the selection covers all styles, finishes, and budgets. Most people are amazed when they step into it and see how nice it is. It exceeds expectations.
That’s it for this client showcase! Check back soon for more small business inspiration, tips, and success stories. In the meantime, read more about Robert’s mobile showroom on his website here.