Caroline Rafferty is an artist and entrepreneur running her own business focused on interiors with rich color palettes and thoughtful furnishings. She also opened The Grand Tour, trove of vintage and contemporary finds from around the world, and sits on several boards of foundations focused on community philanthropy.
What do you consider your top 3 core values and how do they affect your business and leadership style?
Honesty, Kindness, Service to Others. And I try to surround myself with a team that shares similar values with me.
I always try to be open and honest with my expectations of myself and others. As a business owner you have to lead by example.
Kindness is always key. Construction and design can be difficult industries and there are so many people whom you’re relying on to get the job done. Teamwork is paramount of course but so is treating everyone with same level of respect, from the contractors, to the high-end dealers and clients. When you’re kind to people, it brings out the best in everyone.
Finally, I always think about how I can give back through my work and my own philanthropy. For example, through The Grand Tour, we are designating a portion of proceeds to go to various nonprofit partners each month. We are also doing our best to make sure we chose vendors who follow ethical sourcing practices.
Can you share a time you either thought you failed, or actually did fail? How did you react and move past it, and what impact did it have on business decisions?
I make mistakes, big and small, every day. I always try and think of my failures as opportunities to become a better business owner. I try and reflect on what I would do differently the next time. I have noticed that some of my failures have come from not trusting my instincts, whether they be about people or design decisions. As I mature, I have become more steadfast in trusting my own instincts.
What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?
We’re excited to start production on our own line of travel products and home goods. We want to offer something new to the market and at the end of the day I just love designing.
We have some fun interiors projects in Palm Beach, including a new construction home on the ocean. And we have some exciting projects in the works in New York as well.