This is the third edition of our woman-owned small business spotlight series. For this edition, we take a look at SPACE, Inc., a company focused on workplace interiors. The company’s Dealer Principal, Kathie Fuce-Hobohm, gives an inside look on SPACE and gives advice for other woman-owned small businesses.
Can you provide a brief overview of what SPACE does?
SPACE is a WBENC-certified, woman-owned small business (WOSB) that specializes in designing, selling, and installing beautiful and functional workplace interiors. Incorporated in 1995, we have a professionally trained team of interior designers, product specialists, project managers, and installers focused on developing productive and sustainable working environments that enhance productivity and meet the project mission. Our projects are monitored from beginning to end to provide each customer the finest in turnkey services.
SPACE is passionately committed to impacting the work lives of everyone we touch by crafting brilliantly creative, highly efficient, and sustainable workplaces for businesses and federal agencies. Our clients look to us for more than providing products; they rely on us for interior spaces that meet a triple bottom line—people, profit, and planet.
What inspired you to start SPACE?
I am what is known as an “accidental entrepreneur” and opened SPACE when the company I had previously worked for closed their doors in October of 1994. I knew I did not want to work for anyone else, so I opened SPACE, Inc. 90 days later. It was quite an adventure.
What is your proudest moment for SPACE?
I am always proud when one of our team members steps firmly out of their comfort zone, “finds their voice,” and grows professionally. That is immensely rewarding. From a business standpoint, when we won the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch and being named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to work for every year from 2017 to 2020.
What is the biggest challenge you have overcome with SPACE?
It would have to be learning to lead the business. I did not have any leadership experience or business acumen when I started SPACE, Inc. Being able to lead an organization is massively different than owning a company and learning to lead is a daily challenge.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
You must be able to understand and use all your financial data. Someone once told me that learning to read financials is like learning to read music. I agree. The better you read and interpret the information the better you can run your organization.
Do you have any suggestions on resources that women-owned small businesses should use?
I love the Aileron organization in Dayton. Their mission is to help small businesses grow and their courses/information are extremely helpful. Also, the Edward Lowe Foundation sponsors CEO roundtables using a technique called “Peerspectives.” And finally, The Small Business Association of Michigan, or SBAM, has an Owner to Owner program that connects small business owners and facilitates peer learning.
To learn more about SPACE, Inc. visit their website at http://spaceinc.net/