How I Left Goldman Sachs and Commenced My Individual Inside-Design Enterprise

How I Left Goldman Sachs and Commenced My Individual Inside-Design Enterprise

  • Karen Livingstone Welstead left Goldman Sachs in 2008, emotion like factors were not performing there.
  • She started out transforming households and residences for pleasurable and finally caught the eye of realtors.
  • Here is her story of turning into an inside designer, as informed to author Claire Turrell.

This as-instructed-to essay is based on a conversation with Karen Livingstone Welstead, the 44-12 months-outdated founder of Interiør, about her career. It has been edited for length and clarity.

When I left Goldman Sachs in 2008, it was a scenario of “It is really not you, it is me.” 

When anyone else was reading The Financial Moments in the workplace, I was examining Elle Décor. I cherished my time there and was supplied a ton of options, but there will come a stage where you comprehend, This isn’t really functioning. When that time will come, you have to have to do some thing about it fairly than kick it down the line for one more 6 months.

For me, this arrived immediately after my honeymoon in Malaysia, the place I experienced some ‘me time’ to think 

I determined to target on finishing my learn of arts diploma in imaginative producing and figure out what I wanted to do subsequent. 

My partner, Matt, who sat subsequent to me at Goldman Sachs, and I made the decision to leave London and return to my household in Scotland. I established up a money-providers recruitment desk for my family’s recruitment business, and in the evenings and on weekends, I refurbished a couple of apartments in Glasgow, which Matt and I would lease out for a passive revenue. 

This wasn’t the initial time I would presented a dwelling a makeover

When I achieved Matt, we equally had apartments in London, so Matt sold his and we applied the funds to acquire a cottage in the Wiltshire countryside. I would structure the interiors when I was not at the office. 

Just after finishing that task, I might gathered ample encounter to operate on the residences in Glasgow. Even though I was making an attempt to catch the attention of opportunity renters, the apartments also caught the notice of realtors. 

One working day, I received a cell phone phone from a rental agent I understood who was in a little bit of a bind 

He advised me that he had a tenant who’d just moved into a large, luxurious apartment and they were not satisfied with the furnishings. He was nervous they would pull out of the deal.

He questioned if I’d be intrigued in giving it a makeover and explained to me that he’d give me a spending budget to go and get whatsoever I desired to make it glimpse incredible. Four hrs later on, he requested if I’d be in a position to furnish 4 other flats from scratch. 

I might often set a experienced foot forward when I experienced any conversation with everyone in company, but this happened just by probability. I decided to run with it and marketed myself as an interior designer in 2017. This was a thing I might always wished to do, and now I had the likelihood.

I figured out at Goldman Sachs that you ought to do the work before you get the career

When I was an analyst, I required the crew leader purpose, so I took on extra responsibility without currently being informed to do it. 

With interiors, I did not wait around to be asked. I called realtors and questioned if I could display them the condominium I would just refurbished. I might check with them to value it and give me their opinions. 

This is my tips for anybody: If you want anything, you should not hang back — go and do it. 

Though my new organization was proving profitable, I started out compact 

woman walking down the stairs to a dog

Karen Livingstone Welstead at residence.

Courtesy of Karen Livingstone Welstead


My pint-sized Mini Cooper became my function van. My husband would end by on his lunch hour to create Ikea-type cupboards, and our children bought employed to observing their sofas go lacking when they were being made use of to enable stage a demonstrate condominium. 

There were being lots of worries, such as when a assets in Edinburgh mounted a fire doorway immediately after I might measured it for the arrival of a couch. It was also much too windy to use a cherry picker to hoist it into the condominium, so I experienced to travel it 46 miles again to Glasgow and uncover a different sofa. 

My business enterprise has grown drastically considering the fact that then 

I have contractors who assistance me finish the get the job done. However, I continue to choose and monitor down all the objects that feature in my types — not only mainly because this is the part I delight in, but I assume it can be crucial I do that mainly because I’m the outward confront of the enterprise. 

The jobs that I operate on have also grown. I was just lately asked to acquire art for a attractive, large-conclude condominium in Edinburgh. For that undertaking, I was able to work specifically with artists and galleries in Scotland.

When I was hunting for investment pieces that would improve in value, it was a genuine satisfaction to be ready to help and perform with neighborhood artists. When I perform on a job, I’ll take pictures of it to share on social media or deliver to publications.

A article shared by Karen Livingstone Welstead (@interiordotscot)

When my reworked residence, the moment owned by the tutor for Mary Queen of Scots, was featured in Homes & Interiors Scotland, I didn’t know a Tv producer would see the article

a light pink home in Scotland photographed at night

Karen Livingstone Welstead’s home.

Courtesy of Karen Livingstone Welstead


When she named me and requested if we would like to be included in Scotland’s “Residence of the Calendar year 2021” level of competition, I agreed. Everything experienced been a bit grim and monotonous through the lockdown, so I assumed it would be a exciting detail to do. 

It took half a working day of filming and a few months of tidying. The judges pointed out approaches I didn’t know I was applying. It was just some thing I did by natural means. We have been delighted when we discovered out we might won

I was also questioned if I desired to be thought of for a function as a designer on a new BBC inside-style clearly show known as ‘Almost Household

I resolved to go for it. The clearly show destinations home owners in a 3D version of their own residence, and other designers and I exhibit them what it could glance like after a makeover. I ordinarily get the job done with company customers, so I beloved doing the job with folks on their personal residences.

Even though I you should not perform with a 3D established this kind of as this on a working day-to-day basis, I do work with 3D apps to demonstrate purchasers what I’m operating on. It helps so much with communication, as I’m able to clearly show folks what is actually going on inside my head.

When I was young, no a single ever said you can merge your enthusiasm with your profession. Now I do just that.