We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Oberholtzer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erica, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea for KO Design started about ten years ago. I have always had a passion for decorating and home organization, but the timing was never right to even think about starting my own business. Ten years ago, having a professional organizer come to your home wasn’t really a thing yet. So, I pursued other careers but never found myself truly happy in my profession. I had been working in property management for three years when the pandemic started. Our office went remote for a few months, and the whole dynamic changed within the small company. By the end of 2020, I had made up my mind that I didn’t want to work for someone else anymore. I realized that I needed to take charge of my own happiness instead of waiting for it to just show up in these careers I had been pursuing for over a decade. Professional organizers were now in demand, being popularized by Joanna and Clea of The Home Edit, and Marie Kondo. After months of families being unexpectedly home together, bedrooms becoming home offices, and classrooms being set up in basements, the need for a home organizer was stronger than ever. In November 2020, KO Design was officially born.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
​KO Design is a home organization company specializing in turning cluttered chaotic rooms, into organized functional spaces. Whether it’s a bedroom closet, office, play room, or kitchen pantry, KO Design creates an individualized organization plan with judgement-free solutions to tackle the clutter once and for all. Clients decide how hands on they’d like to be, and are in control of what stays and what goes. The end result is an organized, functional, beautiful space!

Throughout my working life, I have always strived to be happy in my career. I am proud to say that with KO Design, I have achieved that. I am beyond grateful to offer clients my knowledge and expertise of a subject I truly am so passionate about. Getting to this point involved taking risks that were scary and uncomfortable; I left a full-time career to create KO Design. Thankfully, there aren’t a lot of up-front costs with a business like this, so I wasn’t going into debt pursuing my dream. In the process of creating this company, I learned how to build a website, create a logo, make business cards and brochures, and did everything myself. I saved a lot of money that way, and am so proud of the outcome.

The biggest hurdle I have encountered over the last two years is maintaining a consistently full schedule. Some weeks I am working with clients for 40 hours, and other weeks it’s more like 15. Most of my clients are moms, so cancellations happen frequently with sicknesses in the family. I have also discovered that summer is my slow season, which I did not initially anticipate. It makes sense though; kids are home from school so families are vacationing and spending time with each other, not organizing their homes. In response to this, I decided to offer an additional service of organized packing and unpacking during a move, since moves happen in the summer more than any other time of year. This past year I have also helped families unpack and reorganize their homes after the Marshall fire. As more people have discovered KO Design, these hurdles have become smaller as my clientele grows.

I have found my niche with families, especially working moms, (which I am as well). With everything going on in life, an organized home gets put on the back burner for many people. When it comes down to it, many of my clients have the motivation to get organized, but don’t know where to start. Most people just need someone to guide them through the process, and support them along the way. That’s where I come in. I help my clients make rational decisions about what should stay and go, give them budget friendly ideas for organization products, and create a beautifully organized and functional space.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since moving to Colorado in 2016, my husband and I have lived in Boulder, Longmont, Firestone and Loveland. All of our family and friends live out of state in the midwest, so we have visitors quite frequently. Many of our visitors are in awe of our scenery and beautiful mountains, so my two favorite (easy) spots to visit are Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder, and Estes Park. Both of these spots have beautiful views that you can easily drive to. It is also entertaining to drive around Estes Park to find elk in big herds just hanging out!

For entertainment, I always try to get out-of-towners to visit Red Rocks Amphitheater. It is unlike any music venue in the US, and is an unforgettable experience. Other favorite venues includes Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Pearl Street in Boulder, and Horsetooth Reservoir (love renting a boat there in the summer).

Favorite eateries:
Longmont- Pumphouse, Dickens Opera House, West End Tavern
Boulder- Corrida, River and Woods, The Sink
Loveland- Pourhouse, Origins

Favorite places for drinks:
Denver- ViewHouse
Lafayette- William Oliver’s Publick House, Acreage by Stem Ciders

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The “KO” in KO Design represents the first initials of my husband’s last name (Kamerad) and mine (Oberholtzer). My husband, Jeff, had been pushing me to start KO Design for many years. He believed in me and recognized the natural talent I had when it came to organizing and decorating. He has always put my career first and has supported me with everything I have chosen to do in life. He moved with me to Utah from Michigan when I got my first teaching job. When I wanted to pursue real estate afterwards, he moved with me to Colorado. He encouraged me to leave my job in property management because I was burntout and just not a happy person anymore. In 2022, he left his career and became a stay at home dad so I could make KO Design a full time profession. He has always believed in this business, and in me.

Professionally, I have been so inspired by Joanna and Clea of The Home Edit. Our personalities and organizing style are SO similar. They make organizing simple, fun, beautiful, and effective, and I always strive to do the same. Their process of taking everything out of a space, making groups of like items, and then paring down, is an essential part of organizing that I use with my clients as well. Joanna and Clea’s book, The Home Edit, is organized by room, so if you’re just looking for pantry ideas, you can skip right to that chapter. The book even comes with some fridge labels to get you started!

You can find Erica at:

Website: www.kointeriordesign.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/KOinteriordesignCO/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KOinteriordesignCO

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