Coralville-based SK Cabinetry & Design works with local interior designers, builders and customers to create dream kitchens and baths that perfectly complement the client’s personality and lifestyle. The design studio was formed in January 2014 by Sonja Hawbaker and Katy Grimes – two industry veterans who’ve worked in the area for many years until they decided it was time to launch their own business. We had a chance to talk with both Sonja and Katy about their business and their passion for design.
Tell us more about how SK Cabinetry & Design got its start.
Sonja: I’ve been in cabinet design for eight years and also have an interior design degree. I knew I always wanted to own my own business but never found the right opportunity until I met Katy. I asked her if she wanted to become my business partner and the rest is history!
What do you offer your clients and customers?
Katy: Both Sonja and I have experience designing kitchens and baths and helping clients bring their visions to life. We offer a wide selection of cabinets, countertops, built ins and hardware for new construction remodel projects. We can also assist with other elements of the design process, such as choosing paint colors, flooring, backsplashes and more.
What’s it been like owning your own business? Is it all you thought it would be?
Sonja: It couldn’t be better! I always envisioned myself as a business owner and being able to make my own decisions has been great.
Katy: We’ve always worked on the design side, but running our own business has been new. Learning to manage a business as a business owner has been so much fun. For us, it’s been all about responsible thinking and determining what the best balance is. You really get satisfaction by having a business that thrives and is doing well because you realize that it’s because you’re making good decisions.
What have your experiences been with MidWestOne Bank?
Sonja: My husband, who also owns a business, is a MidWestOne customer, and I knew I wanted to work with them when we started SK Cabinetry & Design. Plus, we knew Aaron Swartzendruber, who is now our banker, for our personal needs. Anytime I contact Aaron about anything, he has always been very responsive and I always feel very well taken care of. That’s the kind of relationship I want to have with my bank. It’s been great.
Katy: We also work with Derek Logas. He helps us with a lot of day-to-day things and has also been great. I remember we used to call him through the Coralville location’s main phone line where someone had to transfer us over to him. He thought that was crazy and immediately gave us all of his direct phone lines so we could reach him directly all the time.