To Top

Conversations with Sonni Koster

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sonni Koster.

Hi Sonni, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My name is Sonni pronounced like “sunny”, and I am a Veteran and prior active duty with the United States Air Force. I was a medic for seven years and a formal military training instructor that served for all Air Force medics and Navy Corpsman.

Through my life, I have always loved design, and all aspects of it from Interior Design, to Special Events, to Seasonal and Holiday Interior Decorating/Styling. I grew up in a military family and come from a huge Italian family where I watched my mother make beautiful homes for our family and others. I grew up learning so much from her and still seek her out to this day on advice with design. She truly missed her calling. I decided when I was medically retired from the military and found out my husband and I were pregnant with boy/girl twins, I would go after my dream. I have always had an eye and passion for design and knew I just had to try.

For me in all aspects of my life, I have never been afraid of failure. I have always thought that we should not fear “fear itself or the unknown” itself, but fear “regret”. Failing at something in life can actually be a good learning tool for how we continue to grow and learn. You will never know unless you try. What is the worst that can happen? We fail? Well, then I get get right back up try again and again. That’s my motto anyway.

For me being a Christian, I try to keep the faith and seek God for all things because he turns everything good, even if in the moment, we may not understand it. So, when my husband was deployed and I was home by myself with two 18 months old twins, I decided to work hard and teach myself everything on my own with the business side of things, such as software, renderings, mood boards, how to do presentations professionally, photography, social media, etc.

I have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and I set out to create social media accounts and a website with the help of my wonderful husband. I had never documented anything before this that I did for friends and family in the past, so I decided to use our first starter home as my own portfolio. I hustled, and I mean hustled, and continuously prayed about it and left it to God for someone to give me a shot to show them what I could do. Then, one day my mom mentioned to me about a local couple on HGTV that builds homes in less than 100 days because we were looking to build a home. However, I reached out to them to see if they work with local talent, and the response was positive. We met, and I really felt she believed in me, and saw how hard I worked, and that I truly just wanted to show other families like myself that we can all have a beautiful home without breaking the bank if you have the right person who has the eye, creativity, and passion to bring their dreams to life.

Fast forward to almost two years in business, I have been featured in three design blogs, I have had a paid partnership with HomeGoods, I have been the ghost designer on HGTV’s Rock the Block Season 2 that worked behind the scenes with that wonderful couple who took home the big win, I have been featured on 100 DDH Season 2 episodes 7 & 8, and was brought on and hired as the designer behind the scenes for 100 DDH Season 3 Episodes 1-8, as far as the design concepts go.

When I look back at how far I have come in such a short amount of time, I just continue to thank God because he has made a way and all things possible. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have been blessed with and fortunate enough to be a part of. I will never take anything for granted. I am so grateful for families that have trusted me with their homes and others for trusting in me and giving me a shot because this field can be hard to break into. I just want to help others realize that they can have beautiful homes, and I want to help them achieve it.

I love interior design, and I am just so thankful and grateful to be able to carry out my dream as my job because it does not feel like a job when you do what you love for a living. I am so thankful for everyone who has genuinely supported me and rooted for me along the way; especially my husband! So that in a nutshell, is how I got to where I am today, and I am appreciative that you wanted to get to know my story.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road, but anything worth having requires grit and commitment. Starting a business outside of your comfort zone is not for the faint of heart. Those struggles encompass advertising, obtaining clients, and learning the ins and outs of the business as you go. Amid the struggles in this industry, nothing can compare to the satisfaction of a happy client when they see the reveal of their new space that I helped bring to life. This makes it all worth it.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I specialize in designing interiors for residential and E-design(Virtual Nationwide), staging, styling, seasonal and holiday decorating, and revamping exteriors. I am known for giving my clients a beautiful but functional warm space. I am known for giving my clients a beautiful but functional inviting space. I specialize in knowing what pieces need to be invested in for making a statement that is unique to the client, and the space. I would say what sets me apart from others is that my personality is approachable and easy-going. Although my clients are working with a professional, it feels like they are working with a close friend who has their best interest at heart and makes the process stress free.

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
As far as risks are concerned, I walked away from safe and potential high-paying jobs in my career field to take on a dream with minimal formal training. Even risks require thought and planning. In the end, it comes down to whether or not you have the courage to persevere in the midst of constant setbacks. Failure is the road to success.

You do not always have to have an educational background in the field you want to pursue. If you have the eye, talent, and a desire, and passion for something, go for it!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
3 images are property of HGTV 100 Day Dream Home The other images are property of S2k Designs

Suggest a Story: VoyageTampa is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories