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Brittany Zachos, 26

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At The Tender Age of 19, Brittany Zachos was given $180,000 to completely furnish a 3,000-square-foot home in Sarasota, Florida, where she was attending the Ringling College of Art and Design. “I met a couple through a local builder I was working with who were moving from Norway to Florida and wanted their new house to be move-in ready,” Zachos explains, “so I handled everything for them: furniture, accessories, painting.”

Today, at 26, she’s managing corporate and residential design projects ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 square feet, with budgets as high as $1 million. In the past four years alone, her business has tripled, growing from 10 projects a year to 30. She offers services ranging from full working construction drawings to preliminary floor and furniture plans, as well as selection of materials and finishes.

Her Zachos Design Group specializes in corporate interiors, and Five Gentlemen, another business she launched last year, caters to a male clientele. “Traditional interior design businesses target women rather than men,” Zachos explains. “After taking on a few male clients, I saw that these men needed to feel confident that someone understood masculine design and could incorporate the home technology they wanted into that design. I want to offer turnkey design fused with smart home technology, a market estimated to become a $50 billion industry by 2020.”

What’s in the future for Zachos? “I’m definitely looking to expand,” she says. “I’m interested in starting my own furniture and textile line. But I don’t want to be too busy. I still want to have my hand in every project.”       

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