Today we’d like to introduce you to Kurt Kraisinger.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
In June of 2009, during the Great Recession, I decided to leave the corporate world and set up my own shop, Lorax Design Group, a boutique landscape architecture and planning group. In making these adjustments, I was committed to filling a gap that had been void for a long time in the Kansas City market.
Many landscape architecture firms simply are support staff for larger AE (architecture & engineering) firms or they work on parks, trails, or civic public projects. Although I had plenty of experience in all those project types it was time to develop a new option for developers and homeowners alike. We only work for clients that want to engage us for our creative problem-solving design services, we don’t compete for work or the rat race of RFPs. Our work comprises both commercial and high-end residential projects; a 50/50 split. On the commercial development side, we have long-standing relationships that go back 15 years, on the residential side, we rely solely on referrals. As landscape architects, we offer design and construction document services for anything site-related, from the landscape, hardscape, special features, and swimming pools.
I elected to jump into the swimming pool market due to the lack of design & creativity, where by default most residential swimming pools are designed by pool contractors. We now design 60-80 swimming pools each year. We embrace the culture, encourage collaboration and strive for the utmost attention to detail. We are a staff of nine and currently, in growth mode, our main office is in Overland Park, KS with a second office in Liberty, MO.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
We embrace the struggle, as it builds character and character attracts talent which in turn forges a portfolio that by default draws the right type of client that ultimately entrusts our ability to implement their vision and mold it into reality.
Leaving a corporate partnership position to start a new company solely, hiring staff during a difficult economy yet having faith we would prevail, building a portfolio that potential clients could evaluate, an office building in 2012, investing every dime, jumping into the pool industry with no knowledge (investing time, energy, and dollars to learn design and construction detailing), and continuing to re-evaluate who we are, what our clients want, and where we want to go next.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
As explained in an earlier question, our work and process is quite unique. We continue to strive for not being placed in a mold, a bland category yet focus on what is important; providing designs that are unique yet can be implemented the right way. Just because someone can prepare a beautiful design (such as a master plan) doesn’t mean the design can be implemented.
Coming from a construction background I was determined on the residential side to guide our clients by providing a design yet guiding them in the right direction for building out their dream backyard. We, therefore, provide a master plan followed by construction documents and an introduction to some of Kansas City’s best craftsmen.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check out?
Favorite Book: Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.loraxdesigngroup.com
- Instagram: @loraxdesigngroup
- Other: tributaryrevelation.com
Jimi Smith Photography and Travis Bechtel Photography