Venegas and Company
617.439.8800 | venegasandcompany.com
Donna is the owner of Venegas and Company, a design firm specializing in custom cabinetry for the luxury market and the leader in custom kitchens that is recognized for varied, unique, and innovative design and unparalleled customer care. Independently owned and run, Venegas and Company continues to expand and recently opened a 5,000 square foot showroom in Boston’s South End Design District.
Did you always want to start your own business?
The formation of Venegas and Company was very organic. It started with an act of doing the right thing by my clients who would have otherwise lost their deposits to my previous employer. The firm that employed me was a partnership, one that dissolved precisely at a time that my client base was exploding. I created Venegas and Company LLC in order to complete my clients’ projects and then purchased the assets of the partnership, and took over the remaining lease on the showroom. Venegas and Company would not have succeeded in the early days without the support of the design community who responded so positively to my venture by referring their clients and others to Venegas and Company. That was nine years ago, and I never forget the lessons that experience taught me. Opportunity goes to the prepared. Save your money; liquidity affords you options! Be your clients’ biggest advocate. Strong relationships are the core of every successful business. I am so thankful to the architects, interior designers, and builders that continue to bring us work today. In every year since inception, I re-group with the team, redefine goals, and set the bar higher so that each year feels like the beginning of a new venture. It is important to reinvigorate your company and yourself as a leader.
What inspires you most in your work?
That’s an easy one! Witnessing the women within the company grow and develop as professionals and leaders within the design industry themselves. Design was my second career, behind technology. I overcame a lot of challenges in my early design career. With Venegas and Company, it has been my goal to eliminate those challenges for others and build an environment that retains and cultivates talent. It is very important to me that Venegas and Company be a place where one can thrive, learn, build a personal brand, and build a family. The environment and culture that I offer to my employees is as important as the environment we give our clients. Ultimately, it is my aim that each designer in my firm will be experienced, knowledgeable, and equipped to successfully lead her own business one day.
Why is location important to the success of your business?
In 2016, we chose to build our new showroom on Harrison Avenue in the South End. We wanted additional space to expand and reorganize our displays, improve our clients’ experience, and accommodate our growing team. I targeted the South End for its art galleries and locally owned shops, boutiques, and restaurants. More importantly, the South End has a welcoming and creative energy that we identify with. Clients and other designers love visiting our showroom, often dovetailing it with a visit to another neighboring business!
If you could give advice to other women hoping to start a business, what would it be?
I would tell other women what my favorite coach repeatedly told me at practices and swim meets, “Donna, swim your own race!” That phrase has so much relevant insight; he meant to develop my own stroke, breathing, and rhythm, and that I shouldn’t look at what others are doing around me, but instead visualize my individual race and run it.