Bre Hance began her career in interior design out of a passion for the field, having grown up with a father who owned a drywall business and a mother who managed a homebuilding company. During her childhood, she spent many hours with her parents as they visited job sites, where she also played in model homes.
As she grew up, Bre Hance also became a Division 1 volleyball player, and she gained a background in “boutique hospitality events, entertainment ad-sales, and development for a non-profit.” Throughout her experience in the industry, she has learned the value of “leadership, hard work, organization.” She has also gained the necessary skills to develop and maintain relationships, where she builds trust and consistently exceeds expectations placed on her.
Bre Hance says she has always had a “keen eye for design,” which she uses to transform every workspace and home she has worked on into what she calls a “’dialed-in sanctuary.’” It took her many years to make her hobby into a profession, and a vision of starting her own business, as well as a passion to help others.
With her vision and passion, Bre Hance finally made her dream a reality and surpassed her own expectations. She has built InHance Interiors into one of the top design firms in Los Angeles, constructing a network and thriving off referrals. Her portfolio includes design, construction, and home furnishing. She has worked on every type of home, from “Craftsman, Cape Cod, Modern-Zen, Tudor, Mid-Century Modern, Venice Modern, Beach House, Silverlake Chic, Beverly Hills & Palisades Mansions, to Mid-City Moderns.”
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Jerome Knyszewski: 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?
Bre Hance: 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!
Jerome Knyszewski: 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?
Bre Hance: 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!
Jerome Knyszewski: 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?
Bre Hance: 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!
Jerome Knyszewski: 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.
Bre Hance: I’d say:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Be a strong, caring and positive leader. Lead by example.
Just like we do as moms. Set the standard.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Bre Hance: You can find me on:
Facebook: InHance Interiors
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
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