By Ronald D. White
Los Angeles Times.
The gig: Leura Fine, 29, is founder and chief executive of Laurel and Wolf, which specializes in residential and commercial interior design. Fine is also one of Forbes’ 2016 selections for “30 under 30,” young entrepreneurs who are rapidly climbing the ladder in their business sector or completely redefining it.
Finding your space: Redefining is what Fine has done, describing the traditional model of the interior design business as “broken. It makes no sense. And 99% of the people who want to use it can’t afford it. It was always something for the very wealthy.”
The Fine way: “There is a massive market of designers here who are usually struggling to find business and can’t get connected to clients,” Fine said. “And there is this huge demand from potential clients who can’t afford it. What I wanted to do was bring interior design to the masses, online, and empower designers to do the work they love to do.”
Digital design: Working with a cadre of about 800 designers, Fine offers a Classic option for customers ($299 a room), and Premium ($499 a room.) Customers are quizzed about the space they want to design. The designers review that online and an average of three to five will offer options on what might work. Once a design and designer have been selected, customers work one-on-one on the projects.
Diverse clientele: Fine’s company has worked on projects for fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff and actress Christina Applegate. Current projects include work for Night + Market chef Kris Yenbamroong as well as actress and model Jaime King.
Fast start: Fine launched her business at her home in 2013, running Leura Fine Interiors for a year before opening Laurel and Wolf. To date, she has raised $25.5 million in venture capital to build her business. She’s gone from one assistant to 55 employees.