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  • Writer's pictureChristine Schumacher

Press - Entrepreneur of the Month: Meet Christine Schumacher – an Interior Designer and Creative Visionary in Switzerland

An Article about Christine by PRAGATI SIDDHANTI of My Swiss Story (Click here to see the Original article shared on February 12th 2024)

Christine Schumacher Interior Designer Wangs Localia Interiors
Christine Schumacher, founder of Localia Interiors (photo credit: Zori Portrait Photography)

Let me introduce you to our Entrepreneur of the Month – Christine Schumacher, an Interior Alchemist on a mission to empower women in business (you know we’re all about that too ;))

With a passion for turning homes into love letters and a unique life that embraces challenges – Christine brings strength and creativity to every space she transforms. Here’s to starting the year on an inspiring note with this fantastic feature – our first of 2024! I can’t wait for you to read her journey!

Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself

Hi, I’m Christine Schumacher, and you can call me an Interior Design Alchemist. Switzerland is my homeland, and these days, I’m soaking in the beauty of the Sarganserland area (nestled between Lake Zurich and Chur/Grisons), often called ‘Heidiland’ by travelers.

A quarter-century ago, I was involved in a motorbike mishap in Southern France…which kicked off a series of surgeries and long stays in hospitals and rehab for me. This crucial time didn’t just turn my life upside down; it also pushed me into a new phase as a part-disabled individual. Relying on potent pain meds every day became the norm, but surprisingly, it fueled my strength. During this phase, I also stepped away from the corporate hustle, purposefully carving out a workspace and schedule that fit my needs, even if it meant doing some work while lying down.

Having spent almost 20 years in the furniture industry, I knew deep inside that working with interiors was my calling…. Now, at 53, I’ve got a cool story to tell – which involves a career switch at 46, tying the knot at an ‘unconventional’ age of 49 and a passion for interiors.

My husband and I are quite adventurous – we often shuttle between Stuttgart, Germany, and Switzerland on weekends. Despite both facing health challenges, we navigate life’s complexities with humor and live life to the fullest. Embracing life’s uncertainty, I’ve learnt to relish every second, making me the woman I am today.

My mission is to empower women in business and to make them understand the impact of a thoughtfully curated interior can have on their overall well-being. ‘Make your home a love letter to yourself’ is my philosophy.

Tell us about your current business. How did you come up with this idea?

Well, let me start from when it all began. Originally, I established ‘Localia’ to provide relocation and consulting support to expats in Switzerland and the name “Localia” itself stems from the idea of “becoming local.” A health set back (and another story) put a pause on my journey. While it’s not something I usually talk about, it’s a crucial part of my story because, without it, there wouldn’t be the success story of Localia Interiors. So, here we go…

When I said goodbye to the corporate world and set my sights on starting Localia, I hit a bump in the road with my health. It felt like forever—I couldn’t work much, and I ended up having another back surgery followed by a long recovery. Thankfully, things started to look up eventually. But, my new business was still kind of stuck in neutral.

But…this was a pause, and NOT a full stop for me!

In 2017, I took a leap of faith and decided to re-start Localia…and put my own spin to it. Fueled by my passion for interior design and building aesthetic spaces, I founded Localia Interiors, a boutique Interior Design studio. This move pushed me to rediscover my passion, leading me to invest time in training and refining my interior design skills – eventually my dream of having a boutique interior design studio became a reality.

Swiss interior designer, esszimmer
photo credit Haute'Xposure, interior concept Localia Interiors

Beautiful designs not only bring me joy, but I also relish the opportunity to empathetically transform the lives of my clients. My belief is that spaces should reflect us, not the other way around.

At Localia. Interiors, you have the flexibility to receive as much or as little support from an interior professional as you desire. Our offerings range from bespoke Interior Design, where you entrust the entire transformation process to Localia Interiors to “better call Christine” which is an hour long creative brainstorming session where you can seek answers to all your questions.

Our newest service caters specifically to new homeowners where Localia. Interiors becomes your sparring partner, helping you navigate the intricacies of setting up a new home without feeling overwhelmed. We extend this service to real estate developers as well, encouraging them to incorporate this package into the total selling price of a house. This ensures that we address personal needs and preferences, preventing homeowners from getting lost in the vast array of choices in materials, colors, and more. Our goal is to bring the envisioned home to life and create a seamless, stress-free experience for our clients.

What is a day like “in your heels?”

Well, a day “in my heels” as an interior designer is an ever-changing one but to give you an idea, here’s an ideal one:

I start my day by reviewing project timelines and priorities. Communication is key, so I often begin by responding to client emails and messages. If there are ongoing projects, I might schedule site visits or virtual meetings to discuss progress and address any client concerns.

Mid-morning is when the creative juices start flowing. I dedicate time to researching the latest design trends, exploring new materials, and gathering inspiration from various sources. Sometimes, during those moments when I need to lie down for a bit, I turn it into an opportunity for design inspiration. Whether it’s flipping through design magazines, browsing online platforms, or attending design exhibitions, I immerse myself in the world of aesthetics.

My afternoons are often reserved for client meetings. These could range from initial consultations to presenting design concepts or discussing specific project details. Building a strong rapport with clients is crucial, and these meetings allow me to understand their preferences, needs, and vision for their space.

Once back in my workspace, I dive into design development. This phase involves sketching, creating mood boards, and selecting materials and color schemes. As someone who occasionally needs to lie down, I’ve learned to turn these restful moments into opportunities for reflection and design inspiration. It’s amazing how a change in perspective can lead to fresh ideas.

As the day winds down, I use the early evening to tie up loose ends, respond to any remaining emails, and prepare for the next day’s tasks. This could involve finalizing design presentations, updating project schedules, or researching new techniques that could enhance my designs.

Every day as an interior designer is a unique blend of creativity, client collaboration, and strategic planning. It’s a fulfilling journey where I witness ideas come to life, spaces transform, and clients’ visions materialize.

Do you have any specific advice for fellow women entrepreneurs?

For my fellow women entrepreneurs, authors, and content creators, I would love to share some advice drawing from the lessons I’ve learned along my entrepreneurial journey…so, here is goes:

1. Seek Guidance and Coaching:

Just as I would have advised myself in 2017, consider getting a career/business coach. Having a mentor or coach can provide invaluable insights, guidance, and support tailored to your unique journey. It’s an investment in yourself and your business that can pay off tremendously.

2. Delegate, Outsource and Optimize!

Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks that do not bring you joy or align with your strengths. As women, we often take on multiple roles, but recognizing when to delegate allows you to focus on what truly matters and where you shine. If there are aspects of your business where others can contribute more efficiently, consider outsourcing those tasks. This not only frees up your time but ensures that each facet of your business is handled by professionals.

3. Make Yourself Visible:

Visibility is the key to success. In a world filled with noise, it’s crucial to make your presence felt. Utilize social media, networking events, and any other platform available to showcase your work, your passion, and your journey. Being visible not only enhances your brand but also opens doors to opportunities.

4. Don’t shy away from Dreaming Big:

Embrace the superpower that comes with being a woman. Dream big and aim high. As women entrepreneurs, we have the ability to envision and pursue ambitious goals. Don’t limit yourself – set audacious targets and believe in your capacity to achieve them.

5. Surround Yourself with a Celebratory Circle:

Surround yourself with individuals who not only celebrate your victories but also support you in your journey. Building a network that fosters positivity and encouragement is crucial in navigating the entrepreneurial path successfully. Remember, your circle should be a source of inspiration, motivation, and collective advancement.

6. Get an Accountability Partner: Consider having an accountability partner by your side. This could be a fellow entrepreneur, a mentor, or someone within your industry. An accountability partner serves as a sounding board, providing constructive feedback, guidance, and motivation. This mutual support system not only holds you responsible for your goals but also offers a fresh perspective and encouragement when faced with challenges. The shared commitment to each other’s success fosters a sense of accountability, helping both parties stay focused, motivated, and on track to achieve their entrepreneurial aspiration

In conclusion, my advice for fellow women entrepreneurs is to seek support, delegate wisely, utilize expertise, make your presence known, dream big, foster a supportive circle, and embrace the strengths that come with being a woman in business. Remember, you have a superpower – harness it, and let it propel you toward the success you envision.

Thank you, Pragati & whole My Swiss Story-Team for this lovely article about my journey.

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Localia. Interiors.

Boutique Interior Design Studio

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