Big Sky Design is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year in Wilmington, NC. It is a commercial, hotel and residential interior design company with retail.
WILMINGTON, NC—In 25 years, Big Sky Design has become a benchmark in this North Carolina port city for commercial, hospitality, residential interior design and retail.
Founded by Jennifer Kraner in 1997, the brand has grown over the years and has become a fixture in her hometown of Wilmington.
“I can’t believe it’s been 25 years. It’s been a lot of fun for me to do this over the years,” Kraner told Home Accents Today. “It’s hard work, but we love what we do. One of the things I’m particularly proud of is the breadth of work we’ve been able to do for the Wilmington community.”
Big Sky’s work can be seen throughout the region, including the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher in nearby Kure Beach, as well as a number of civic projects around the city.
“That was a great introduction to what interior design means for public spaces. In recent years, we have been doing fun projects like hospitality. It’s been interesting to see the evolution of how service spaces have evolved,” said Kraner. “Our team had fun providing an interesting, modern, layered solution for some of these amenity spaces in different clubhouses in the communities. Those projects are so much fun. Thinking back to how we started, we work in much more creative commercial spaces these days. Also educational spaces. We have also worked in many schools and community colleges.”
Five years after gaining a foothold in commercial spaces, Kraner added residential interior design to its range of services. She said the decision was made because of the opportunity in the area and it paid off.
“We are a community of destiny. We’ve been through a few recessions, but fortunately, as people have moved here, Wilmington has continued to grow. I have to credit some of our growth to the community,” she said. “We are looking for much more personalized solutions so that our client can establish that deeper and long-term relationship. Residencial has been really rewarding.”
In addition to the business created by design projects, residential design also served as a gateway to retail. Kraner said retail has skyrocketed and has allowed the 2021 Home Accents Today Retail Star to showcase his design chops to an expanded base.
“We have always been a concept-driven design company, so our ideas have been project drivers. This has allowed us to create unique solutions. We have taken the same methodology into the store in the way we display furniture in the store,” he said. “We’re giving them packaged inspiration to see what spaces feel like. You go from one time and space in one vignette to another depending on the furniture; the beautiful materials, fixtures, lighting, all the things that come into play. Couldn’t be happier with the retail. It shows how we present the design and it has been a hands-on experience for everyone who walks into the store.”
And with so much going on, Kraner said she’s excited to see what the future holds for Big Sky and the team.
“It was a lot of fun starting Big Sky and there was a place for it in the community. It’s my career and here I am. It’s been 25 years,” Kraner said. “I am very excited to see where we are with Big Sky. I am proud of the hard work I have put into Big Sky and the team. Having such a dynamic and creative team for all these years has been essential for the growth of Big Sky”.