In a recent podcast, I chatted with Tony Frazier, owner of Frazier Home Design.
His road to success is a great example of a Work in Progress, and I wanted to share his story to inspire you.
A Brief Bio of Tony Frazier
With a love of historical architecture and fond memories as a child following his dad as he worked on tiling on construction sites, Tony Frazier graduated from a local design program. He was given an opportunity to establish a design division with a structural engineering firm in Raleigh, NC.
His passions for classic architecture, art and design combined to give birth to Frazier Home Design (FHD) in 2007. Tony’s work not only creates functional living space, but captures a historic beauty and elegance as well.
Today, FHD is the leading design firm in the Triangle, revolutionizing the face of architecture in Raleigh, NC. By 2018, FHD had developed a strong social media presence and began designing homes across the country, with out-of-state projects comprising approximately half of their annual work.
How this Business Owner Achieved Success
Like many business owners, Tony knew he wanted to design homes.
And he knew he was good at it.
But as with any business, running a home design company brought up all the unexpected. So how did he accomplish his incredible success?
He answered with three words: Hard work, determination and luck.
Recently he moved into a new office that expresses where he sees the future of his business going. That was a key factor in defining the next level and the future of the company’s visions and direction.
“I want people to live and breathe in a creative space. And when you’re in an environment that generates that energy and creative space from which to thoughtfully create the elements that is possible.
The collaborative space works well and the environment stimulates the possibilities for all of the objectives of what he wants to create. The vibe, the care and the concern are important to us and what I want to project.“
The question he asks himself about his brand and what he stands for in his office space, online presence and overall experience is:
“What do people see from the outside looking in?
That’s what I want to stay mindful of as I highlight who we are and who we want to live into be.”
Evolving a Business into a Work of Art
We all start with a basic concept of our work.
Tony went from hiring a couple of buddies to help him draw houses to the realization of the need for the company to truly serve its customers.
It was then that his business took on a life of its own.
With all his success, Tony admits he’s still a WIP. “I know I need to build and be able to step away, too.”
Ingredients for Business Success
Tony cites three basic ingredients that combined to grow a successful business:
- Knowing People
- Reading Books and Educating Yourself
And not necessarily in that order.
Why has Tony grown this incredible team and firm?
He combined his love of design and his artistic need to create.
“I’m an artist at heart and my family has a construction background, so it was a natural progression. I spent time in the field and knew that wasn’t for me.
But the intersection of art and building became a realization for me in 2007… it morphed over the years from being limited to a drafting company into thoughtful design of homes for families who can have a better life because of how it was designed for the wellness of that. The legacy of what I can create, and my Team can help shift the trajectory of architecture in many areas.”
Tony desires to have an impact in communities through lives, neighborhoods, art and community.
His dream to create has impacted the entire country and his fame has spread. He’s enjoying watching his team push and challenge each other, and create something new.
The Art of Building a Business
Although he didn’t realize while he was doing it, Tony made an art out of building his business. He is redefining art and how having impact through art can bring value.
“I might fail, but I’m going to give it my all because I really believe in it. I want to accomplish, create and be passionate for it.”
What’s his best advice to getting started? The magic key to begin?
“Just do what you say you’re going to do. Meet the deadlines, return the calls.”
Tony wants to be better than he was yesterday. Looking over his past two years, he’s seen the transformation and watched his business take form as a work of art.
“It’s so rewarding and fun to watch that play out. That’s what has made us successful,” he explained. “The constant urge to change, adapt, evolve. It’s not just limited to growing in design and art, but growing and evolving in leading the team, creating a real, successful business of it.”
He recalls a pivotal moment, post COVID.
“Everyone was still home, not wanting to come back in to the collaboration and culture together as a Team,” he remembered. He told his staff that he is motivated and passionate about his purpose and that even if he won the lottery, he would still be doing what he’s doing. He told them he’s not leaving or going anywhere.
“When workers first came back, they were fractured and not happy to be back together. The negative energy of change was apparent,” Tony recalled. “It took some time to get everyone back on the same page again. It was a learning piece that also ended up bringing them together, the reward of what they accomplished because of it.”
Tony explained you have to feel the burn. If you don’t, you’re stagnant. “This is the best time of your life. Learning this will be something you love – I promise. We are at the forefront of what’s happening in the industry and it’s something to be proud of.”
Working Together Builds Team Loyalty
Tony believes that working together cultivates a sense of loyalty on your team. And he shared the importance of his role models over the years who helped him in the industry. Reaching out to more mentors is a wise approach toward becoming better – a reminder for each of us to connect with the role models who can help us grow.
I pointed out that so many people think that you need a degree to know how to run a business and manage people, but some of the best did it by figuring out what makes sense for them.
So, what’s ahead for Tony?
He’s focusing on working toward creating and designing fewer homes per year and centering on more thoughtful design.
He also plans to explore interiors with his 3D software capabilities, and wants the opportunity to incorporate additional aspects and details in homes that make sense from an elevated and thoughtful design quality.
Tony admits he wouldn’t be where he is without the support of his wife, especially in the early days of building the business, when there were cancelled vacation plans, late nights, and being absent from household responsibilities and children. With his wife’s support, he was able to focus on his passion.
Creating An Impact With His Team
Tony wants his team to be known for changing the trajectory of design.
He recognizes that his team has been a big part of the changes that have impacted communities. “I love the idea of my kids and grandkids saying that they are proud of what an impact my company had in communities all around.”
Will Frazier Home Design stand the test of time and maintain its legacy long term? Tony asks that question continually.
For now, Tony is going to keep doing what he’s been doing.
While he still calls himself a work in progress, his goal is to run a smoother and more efficient business with less of himself getting involved in every little thing. He plans to step back and put people in place who are better at doing things than himself.
“I want to empower, systemize, implement processes, and do the things that will allow me to focus on the clients’ needs and focus on the relationship with the business.”
Here at Strive Leadership Development, we focus on helping you focus. We’re all Works in Progress, and Strive can help you achieve your goals. Reach out to us and learn how much your dreams can be made a reality!