Welcome to our Spark! Meet the Founder series, where we introduce you to the amazing entrepreneurs who are participating in our 2022 Fall Spark! program with a quick Q&A!
Spark! is a small business accelerator that puts the right people, opportunities, and access in place for local entrepreneurs in Arkansas to take their venture to the next level.
Please meet Marisa Cahill, founder of Cahill Exterior Design , a new age of property renovation!
The Venture Center: Tell us about Cahill Exterior Design!
Marisa Cahill: Cahill Exterior Design is the new age of property renovation! We plan, edit and create the visualizations for your renovations well before there is any physical work done on your property. Increase your curb appeal & put your mind at ease with Cahill Exterior Design!
Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur?
I chose to become an entrepreneur because of the freedom running your own business creates. You get to do things exactly how you want to do them & success or failure is completely up to you. It’s a high risk/ high reward type of career & I love the hustle! If you work hard and your business is a success then you can reward yourself. I chose to start this business because there is a HUGE demand for virtual exterior designers that work one on one with clients. There is an interior designer around every corner but what about the exterior? My business being virtual adds another element to the equation & really lets clients customize their needs. We are helping clients create the space of their dreams while helping them save potentially thousands of dollars!
What are your biggest challenges as a business owner?
Staffing is our greatest challenge at Cahill Exterior Design. Finding someone trustworthy, talented, USA based and affordable has been very difficult for us. Another challenge for us is marketing. Our greatest setback is the fact that nobody knows we exist. We aren’t on google, we haven’t paid for ads on Pinterest and we haven’t advertised in local magazines so far. We are 100% Instagram based & we rely heavily on word of mouth advertising. We struggle with where to put our earnings & how to spend it.
What do you hope for the future of your business?
I want Cahill Exterior Design to grow into a multi-million dollar company. I hope to have a team of sales-people and designers and a physical studio space in Little Rock, AR where we conduct business. I hope to be in a few large nationwide magazines & I hope we get big enough to be a household name.
What are you proudest of so far?
I am the most proud of myself & how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time. I’m proud of myself for diving into a category that I knew nothing about or had no formal training on. Starting out as a 22-year-old female with no capital backing & just sheer determination to make this work is another thing. I’m proud of risking my time & money to try something that I knew might be a total waste of time. A special thanks & shoutout goes to my husband Collin Cahill for pushing me to get outside of my comfort zone. He has encouraged me to do things that might make me uncomfortable at the time but they always end up paying off in the long run.
What do you hope to gain from Spark?
I hope to gain knowledge about how to run my business in the most effective manner. I want to learn how to manage my business’ finances, how to spend money in the best way & how to scale my business to be a multi-million dollar company. I want to learn about tools I’ve never heard of, I want to hear other people’s successes & failures & I want to learn from someone who has successfully run a large business to hear what they did right/ wrong.
Huge thanks to Marisa for participating in Spark! We can’t wait to see your business grow!