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Lead Designer Of Kitchen Designers NJ – Exclusive Interview With Remya Warrior

Remya is a space planning expert with over 15 years of experience & a master's degree in design. She is the owner and lead designer of Kitchen Designers NJ, a brick-and-mortar store located in Red Bank, NJ. She believes in collaborations where everyone wins. She has specialized in kitchen design for over a decade & helped many homeowners think big and achieve their dream home. Recently she was included in the one of NYC Journal's 50 under 50 entrepreneurs making a difference in their respective fields.

Remya Warrior, Kitchen Designers NJ

Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.

I’m Remya Warrior, and I am an interior designer who specializes in kitchen design and space planning. I was born & raised in India & came to the US when I was 23 years old. In 1997, I had an arranged marriage to my husband, who is a software engineer by profession & moved to the US. I could not work in the US for a few years due to my visa status and ended up being a housewife, which was a blessing as I got to spend quality time with my son during his initial developmental years. I’m also grateful for this time with my son as we managed to cultivate a very strong bond. Once we got the green card, I started working for furniture stores, initially with Storehouse, then later for Domain. There were a lot of furniture stores that closed during 2007-2008. I then started working at Direct Buy & ended up learning kitchen design because no one else wanted to design kitchens and be responsible for the issues associated with design inaccuracies, vendor management, and customer interaction.

When did you start your business and how do you help your clients?

I started my own business in 2012 because I was tired of businesses closing and wanted to find some stability. My business was called Remya Warrior Designs at that time & rebranded to Kitchen Designers NJ when I expanded to a showroom in 2019. Little did I know that owning a business would be a roller coaster. I help clients with their home remodeling needs, everything from a living room redesign, window treatments, or kitchen & bath renovations. I believe my superpower is space planning & making space more functional for families by redesigning floor layouts or opening up walls & helping my clients with open concepts.

What would you say is the purpose & goal of your life?

I think my goal is to strive to become the best version of myself and that's possible only when we can help others. My purpose in life is to bring people together and we do that in whatever we do. When designing homes, it's always about creating ideal spaces where friends and family can come together. We also belong to a spiritual organization where we are constantly trying to bring people together. We are also members of the Monmouth pickleball club where my husband was the 1st President and we were trying to bring people together there also. As one of my friends & mentor told me recently, “If we all took care of our own little world, then this world would be a better place”

Tell us about your greatest career achievement so far.

Opening a brick-and-mortar store was a dream of mine. We opened our store in the middle of 2019 in spite of Covid and we were able to finish building our home in spite of Covid and the contractor cheating us out of more than $200k of our money. Entrepreneurship is definitely not for the faint at heart. When you are able to achieve your goals no matter what gets thrown at you, the feeling is exhilarating.

What are the current challenges you are facing with your business?

The building where our store is located is being sold to a new owner and he wants us to vacate the building even though we had initially signed a lease for 3 + 3 years. It's not even 3 years since we set up our store. It takes at least 5-6 years to get back your investment since we had to redo that entire space. So we are trying to see what will happen when the new owner comes into the picture.

What would you like to achieve for yourself and your business in the future?

We have a 2nd business where we buy properties that have not been maintained and rehab them in order to raise the value of the house and neighborhood. We got into a sub-division and built a new home on one of our projects and I really love building the homes. This way, we are able to do things the right way from the start instead of having to correct mistakes. I would love to build new homes and make them more affordable for the newer generation.

If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be and why?

We don't seem to have any standards in the way we are supposed to charge. So it creates a lot of confusion for young designers as well as the clients. While taking the design courses, we were never taught business basics. I’m hoping this has changed in the current times.

Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today.

I started interviewing my clients after we were done to really find out how they were benefiting from what we had done for them. Their answers really gave me an understanding of how we were serving this world. One of my clients said that they started cooking more at home, so they were eating healthy. Because they were so happy with their space, they couldn't wait to invite people over & hang out during weekends. This meant more playtime for their kids, who got to socialize with other kids & just be able to be around people whom they really love. I remember before their renovation, they said they hardly had anyone over because they were embarrassed by their home.

I have heard similar stories from so many of my clients, it's not just a bigger, better kitchen that we end up giving people. It's an entirely different lifestyle.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!



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