Interview with First Impressions owner Deb Kempema

deb kempema first impressionsIt’s already 2020, and we’re excited to share an interview with First Impressions owner Deb Kempema. She’s been in business for nearly 30 years! We asked her about how First Impressions came about and her vision of the store.

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How did the idea for your business come about?

I started at what was then called Lyle’s Flooring doing paint and wallpaper. After a year, the owner asked me if I wanted to buy the business, and I did! First Impressions started out as a 700 square foot store and is now a 7,000 square foot store. We just kept growing!

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?

Passion! I loved decorating and still love it. You need to have deep love for what you do to be successful.

How did you come up with the name for your company?

I believe everything is based on a first impression, whether it’s a home or a business. I want people’s first impression of our store to be happiness and fun. A place you want to be, or something you want your house to look like.

How do you build a successful customer base?

Listening. You grow your business by listening to customers’ needs, rather than talking to them about what they might need. Let people tell you what they want or need and provide guidance and help along the way.

How do you generate new ideas?

It’s like a special creative spirit. Anyone can have a creative spirit, and it comes somewhere from within yourself.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Starting a project and bringing a customer’s vision to life are absolutely the most satisfying things about what I do.