Prairie Portrait: Kristin DeKay of Grain & Mortar
Name: Kristin DeKay
Bio: Kristin DeKay is co-owner and operations director of Grain & Mortar, a strategy, branding and design company.
Title: Operations director
Residence: Omaha, Neb.
Intro music: "The Sign" by Ace of Base
Silicon Prairie News: A little more than six months since the launch of Grain & Mortar, what are some unforeseen benefits that have come about from the fusion of Image Made and DownsDesign?
Kristin DeKay: I would say the most beneficial thing would be multiple points of view. Since there are three of us, we have the ability to make more rounded business decisions. We've also managed to clarify who we are or what we do, and have increased our offerings. We've also seen an increase in the brand strategy work that comes our way, which is great.
SPN: One of your Grain & Mortar co-owners, Mike, is also your husband. What are some guidelines you'd recommend for making that arrangement work and maintaining a good work-home balance?
KD: When working with your husband, it is so important to take time to hang out together outside of work. It may seem like your together a lot, but take time to focus on things other than clients, work, etc., and you will have a much happier work/life balance. Also, make sure you marry your best friend. :)
SPN: What are three sources of inspiration for your design that you encounter in your everyday life?
KD: I gain inspiration from blogs I read such as Design*Sponge, Apartment Therapy, decor8, The Dieline, 101 Cookbooks and everyone's favorite, Pinterest. I'm also greatly inspired by my co-workers, the awesome work they do each day and of course all the incredibly talented people in the Mastercraft Building.
SPN: Grain & Mortar opened its doors to students a couple weeks ago at the Startup Job Crawl. What are some of the most important things you took from that experience?
KD: It is awesome that so many young people are excited about the entrepreneurial community, and I think it is an indicator of the future success and sustainability of its movement in Omaha and surrounding areas.
SPN: Mustaches play a fairly prominent role in Grain & Mortar's identity. As co-owner of a company of mustache connoisseurs, what are your top three all-time favorite celebrity mustaches, and why? (Photo evidence encouraged.)
KD: Tom Selleck, Johnny Depp, Salvador Dali (below, from left)
Credits: Photo of DeKay by Bill Sitzmann.
Prairie Portraits: To learn more about this series, see our introduction post, or visit our archives for past Prairie Portraits. To suggest an individual for a future Prairie Portrait, contact email@example.com.