Raluca Racasan

Raluca Racasan is an Interior Designer.

She tells us that, “It’s not easy to manage work and personal life when running your own business. I think it’s important not to put pressure on yourself to be perfect, and accept that while you strive for balance, there will often be times when either work or personal life will have to take priority. And that’s ok. I try to stick to working regular hours from Monday to Friday, however owning my own business means that sometimes I have to work on some evenings, or even weekends. I try to make it the exception, not the rule. Doing what I love for a living helps as it never feels like a chore. Also it helps being very organised with my daily schedule, not procrastinating, and just getting things done. This way, I stay on top of my tasks and can enjoy time off when I’m not working without worrying about things on my to-do list.”

When faced with unexpected hurdles in your business, how do you stay strong?

Again, it’s about accepting that perfection does not exist, and there will be times when things don’t go to plan. It’s how we respond to hurdles that is important. I always try to respond from a calm and rational mindset, as opposed to reacting from an emotional space. Taking a second to step back, assess what has happened, and strategically set the steps to solve the issue helps. I also always tell myself that hurdles happen because I am actually doing something that is complex and worthwhile. It’s a good sign that I am active, and always seeking out new challenges.

How do you determine the success of your business beyond financial metrics, focusing on factors like customer satisfaction and community impact?

For me one factor that I measure my success by is how the clients feel in their homes at the end of our projects. If they tell me they love being at home, and finally feel happy and calm in their space, it will make my day. Also, another metric is the referrals I get from clients. So far, almost all my clients have recommended me to someone they knew, which to me is a true testament that my work is successful. My clients are talking about me in a positive light, and are happy to recommend me to others.

Can you recount a pivotal moment in your business journey where you saw remarkable growth or witnessed a transformative change, showcasing the impact of your products or services?

The pivotal moment for me was when I found my ‘why?’. The reason why I chose this line of work, and what I actually wanted to say. For me it’s all about the impact of our home on our mental wellbeing. Having experienced the effects of my environment on my own wellbeing after dealing with both burn-out and depression, sharing this message with everyone, that the home is a tool to support wellbeing, is the driver of my practice. This has proven to be my USP, and once this was clear, my business took a new turn.

In your view, how crucial is mentorship for the success of small businesses, and how have mentors influenced your own entrepreneurial path?

Mentorship is very valuable, and it can come in many different forms. What I found interesting was listening to successful people that were not part of the same industry, and hearing their perspective on things, which will often have a fresh angle you didn’t see before, looking at things from a different angle.

What is your business focused on, and how does it contribute to making a positive difference in the world?

My business is focused on creating interiors that my clients love coming home to, using the home as a tool to support wellbeing and becoming the versions of ourselves we want to be. Our environment affects how we feel, think, and behave, and our home is the most intimate of environments. As such, why wouldn’t we use this personal space that most of us have some control of, to create a space that helps us, supports us, and works for us? We can have a home that both looks good and is good for us, and this is something that is at our fingertips. Regardless of budget, there are many ways in which we can improve our home environment and make it work for us. I think everyone will benefit from knowing this, and applying this concept into their homes.

What special ability do you wish you had to make your job easier?

I’ve worked in quite varied jobs before I set up on my own, and learned many different skills that make me a good all rounder. I think fortunately I have the abilities required overall to understand what things need to happen and how to run and market my business, however when I do feel I need more in depth knowledge on a topic I will seek the advice of an expert professional in the field, i.e. accounts, or SEO. Nobody knows everything, but nor should we.

If you could invite three fictional characters to help you plan your next project, who would you choose, and why?

I would invite artists: Henri Matisse, Picasso, and Monet, for their use of colour.