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Bre Hance of InHance Interiors: “Don’t be transactional”

Cultivate and nurture relationships internally and externally. Don’t be transactional. Truly care about your people and clients. Don’t just leave it at the door. Let’s talk. Lines are blurred now and they should be. As part of my series about the “How To Take Your Company From Good To Great”, I had the pleasure of interviewing […]

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Cultivate and nurture relationships internally and externally. Don’t be transactional.

Truly care about your people and clients. Don’t just leave it at the door. Let’s talk. Lines are blurred now and they should be.


As part of my series about the “How To Take Your Company From Good To Great”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bre Hance, CEO and Founder of InHance Interiors, a boutique interior design firm based in Los Angeles that services clients worldwide including athletes, celebrities, homeowners, luxury home builders, and investors.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

My background is unconventional. Though I did grow up in the industry — dad was a drywall contractor, mom ran a large tract home development — I never knew it would end up being my passion and career. I think whether I knew it or not, I was being immersed in the industry from an early age. My daycare was sitting in the model homes of my mom’s developments, so I got used to homes being “dialed-in.” To this day, I always have to be dialed-in, organized, and set up, and I was lucky enough to turn this obsession into a career!

It wasn’t what I studied in school nor anything I did within my first several jobs. I’ve tried every industry — I was testing the waters to find my lane, and I found it because my husband started an investment/development company and needed design services. I started doing it as a pet project since being dialed in and creating spaces was something I was naturally good at. I got my feet wet with a few projects and realized I was really good at it and enjoyed it, so I took it and ran with it and haven’t looked back. I finally found my lane!

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Before I dive in, no, I never considered giving up. I knew this is where I was supposed to be, so I always just took it on the chin and learned from my failures to avoid making the same mistakes. Being the extremely competitive person I am, I used that mentality as the fire lit under me to be great!

Now for the specifics. Personnel and process. My two kryptonites when I started. Finding great people is hard. Finding respectful employees was hard for me, especially because I didn’t have the traditional schooling nor did I do anything “industry standard”. Ask anyone that works for me now, I hate that phrase. Clients don’t know what industry standard is, so why should we follow it? Break the molds! That’s something that was so hard for me at first. I felt like I had to prove myself to everyone, but I now see it as a blessing; it pushed me because I was determined to earn respect.

Next up, process. I just don’t think you can really grasp how to manage a project and client until you’ve done a few. I tried to proactively think about and define my A-Z process, internally and externally. As much as I hate making mistakes, they really do teach you a lot. Just roll your sleeves up and do the work!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

I painted an entire house purple! Ahhhh. The worst. It was supposed to be a nice blue color! Still scarred with paints because of it. Thankfully, I now a solid team and one of my employees in particular is the best at paints and undertones. I lean on her to buy samples and put them up now!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Our company turns a generally difficult process into a seamless and enjoyable one. The team is made up of people who are genuinely enjoyable to work with, and we operate with a very transparent and systematic process that eliminates the stress and confusion that is common in this industry. We also just like to have fun! This is an exciting time for clients — let’s enjoy it!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Dig deeper into your client’s personalities. Find out what’s important to them and brainstorm ways to reflect that in your work with them. Maybe they are interested in dogs — can you execute a built-in doghouse? If they have kids who are involved in sports, how can you craft a playroom that takes their activities into consideration? Doing this not only prevents burnout, but it shows the client that you hear their vision, which leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, and in turn fills your bucket!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My husband was my inspiration for my business. He started a construction business years ago, which drove me to start designing for a small group of clients within his network. Those projects made me want to start InHance, and being around his network allowed me to have a starting point for the business. However, I am beyond grateful for my parents and their support and encouragement. There is literally not a thing in the world they have told me I couldn’t do or conquer. I have the most confidence ever and with everything I do. I really attribute it to them making me always feel like I was the best and I could do it — They let me shine!

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The title of this series is “How to take your company from good to great”. Let’s start with defining our terms. How would you define a “good” company, what does that look like? How would you define a “great” company, what does that look like?

A good company is average. They may be half in/half out, unwilling or unable to learn from mistakes, never taking risks or valuing internal or external relationships, not operating as a team nor communicating well, and most importantly lacking vision and follow through.

A great company is the exact opposite — clear vision, open communication, encouraging collaboration, following through and sticking to their word, accepting feedback and truly implementing a better game plan, taking calculated risks, and really investing in company culture.

Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to lead a company from Good to Great? Please share a story or an example for each.

I’d say:

  1. Hire slow, fire fast.

As soon as one door closes, another opens. Don’t wait to get rid of someone that is not in the right position and doesn’t enhance your culture.

2. Hire team members to master each department and learn to delegate, so you can focus on your highest and best use.

When I first started my company, I was trying to learn programs such as AutoCAD and quickly realized that wasn’t MY highest and best use, so I hired the pro!

3. Cultivate and nurture relationships internally and externally. Don’t be transactional.

Truly care about your people and clients. Don’t just leave it at the door. Let’s talk. Lines are blurred now and they should be.

4. Leave your ego at the door. Take the feedback, learn and grow!

I’m a control freak. I used to have a hard time getting feedback internally or externally — I now know that I don’t know it all and I need input. I learned (and am still learning) how to not take it personally.

5. Be a strong, caring and positive leader. Lead by example.

Just like we do as moms. Set the standard.

What would you advise to a business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth and “restart their engines”?

Never stop believing. Put all your energy and power behind it, pivot if you have to, invest in it — whether marketing or people, you have to spend money to make money.

Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?

Doubling down on the customer experience has been the most important strategy, especially during COVID-19. Many prospective customers are economically strained or have doubts about the industry from bad past experiences. Repeatedly showing the customer that I am here to make their vision a reality and that I understand what they are looking for gives the customer a slightly higher peace of mind in a time of heightened uncertainty, and makes them feel comfortable knowing they are going to get their money’s worth.

In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?

Doing it right and well! I think everyone has a vision, but it’s hard to execute. You have to be quick on your feet and a thoughtful, critical thinker in order to build it out as fast as you grow, in order to create a wonderful customer experience, which is our mission.

Can you share a few ways that a business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?

Follow through and stick to your word. There is nothing more important than being a reliable company. Following that, deliver. Exceed expectations. And always communicate. We operate extremely transparently and our clients feel way more comfortable that way.

Great customer service and great customer experience are essential to build a beloved brand and essential to be successful in general. In your experience what are a few of the most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience?

Continually restate your client’s vision and goals in communicating with them to prove that you hear them and understand what they are looking for. This habit inspires a client relationship built on trust and communication — every client wants to feel unique, so make sure they know that they are.

What are your thoughts about how a company should be engaged on Social Media? For example, the advisory firm EisnerAmper conducted 6 yearly surveys of United States corporate boards, and directors reported that one of their most pressing concerns was reputational risk as a result of social media. Do you share this concern? We’d love to hear your thoughts about this.

There are many different approaches to navigating a social media presence — I tend to prioritize showcasing InHance’s personality. In between project update posts, I give our followers a glimpse into being a mom entrepreneur, wife, and all-around multitasker. By approaching social media with openness and vulnerability as opposed to the more refined/corporate layout, I worry less about hurting our reputation and focus instead on giving my followers a comprehensive (and potentially inspiring) view into our work and lives as businesswomen.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

Getting in their own way. Know your strengths and focus on your highest and best use, and delegate the rest. Trying to do all of it is going to take a long time!

Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would want to find a way to give more resources to inner city kids. Help even the playing field a bit. Whether it’s the YMCA type facilities, internet for everyone, and/or access to after school programs that allow these kids to be introduced to an entire world of possibilities.

How can our readers further follow you online?

IG: @inhance_interiors

Facebook: InHance Interiors

Website: www.inhanceinteriors.com/

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!


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