Sarah Carlson: Theisen Design Studios
Theisen Design Studios is a full-service interior design studio based in New York Mills, Minn. Led by Principal Interior Designer Sarah Carlson, the business has lent its creative signature to schools, offices, churches, clinics, health care centers, assisted living centers, hotels, restaurants and retail spaces throughout Otter Tail County and beyond.
Established in 2010 by Carlson, Theisen Design Studios is a home-based business that relies heavily on high-speed internet. Broadband allows the business to remain rural by choice, but confidently connected to clients and its customer base in small communities across the region.
There’s hardly a moment in Sarah Carlson’s workday that doesn’t somehow depend on the internet. Whether she’s browsing the web for design inspiration, powering her design software or communicating with clients and contractors, the internet is an essential tool for those processes and more.
“Without the internet, I would not be able to complete my work the way I can now,” Carlson says. “I use the internet to search for inspiration in the beginning phases of design, to power the software I need to communicate the designs to contractors and also to connect me to employees.”
Carlson is no stranger to large project files and exchanging a high volume of data with file-sharing software. Carlson relies on cloud-based and online software for modeling, drafting, photographing and developing project plans.
“There are very few parts of my day that don’t require me having access to the world through my computer and the internet,” Carlson says. “There is a portion of my time that is spent being hands on selecting materials and finishes and meeting with clients, but that comes after all the computer work where the internet is completely necessary to accomplish it.”
Each new project plan includes images, design files and 3-D models. But all that information doesn’t just live on a hard drive. It has to move.
“There are very few parts of my day that don’t require me having access to the world through my computer and the internet.”
High-speed internet from Arvig allows project data for every client to be shared quickly and efficiently with architects, lighting designers, electrical engineers and all project stakeholders. Working from home also makes it essential that Carlson can remain in contact with industry professionals and employees, including an outside contractor she’s hired to help with drafting.
“Staying connected to other industry professionals as we collaborate on work together is another way that I could not do the work I do from where I live without great internet,” she says.
Because of broadband, a rural, home-based business is no longer an obstacle—it’s a viable option and an opportunity to help create a thriving small business. Carlson wouldn’t have it any other way.
“The ability to be able to do what I love from the area I love to live in is everything to me.”