With an eye for design and a mind for growth, Brenda Dalzell is always looking to the future and thinking, “What can I do next?” The Sicamous-based owner of BJ Design Interiors, an interior design and home decor company, as well as The Bridge co-share workspace, Brenda is constantly juggling a variety of projects. As busy as she is working with customers on their new build or renovation, or assisting on smaller projects like color consultations or selecting window coverings, she’s always ready to take on a new venture.
The customers and people that walk through the doors of BJ Design Interiors are Brenda’s favourite part of her work. She loves to meet new people as part of her design business and enjoys every moment of their working relationships while bringing their projects to fruition. That appreciation for people doesn’t end with her clients, though. Brenda understands that without the support of the skilled tradespeople that she has aligned herself with, she couldn’t provide the service she does in a small town. Her deep respect for the people that she works with at every step in her business is based on years of experience and cultivating relationships that have been built over a long time.
At the beginning of each new project Brenda immerses herself inside her clients’ vision, which allows her to embrace it fully and guide them to make decisions on how to achieve their dream. That immersion is the greatest challenge and is what inspires her to deliver on each project she manages or assists on. Customer satisfaction is at the top of her deliverables, and that is her greatest reward at the end of the day.
While she doesn’t remember having a specific career in mind when she was a child, it is clear that her passion for design, and eventual career path, was in play from a young age.
“I was totally into Barbies,” Brenda explains. “I vividly remember arranging large fabric swatches all over the floor in my bedroom to create rooms in the Barbie family house. Which, looking back, makes way too much sense with the profession that I’ve naturally fallen into. I realize now that I didn’t find Interior Design; it appears that it chose me.”
Interior design is about finding the perfect balance of structure and flow, and that’s exactly how Brenda lives her life too. She starts each morning thinking through that day’s objectives and goals, putting together a game plan for how to tackle the day. Planning out the tasks that are most important to accomplish each day allows her to complete her identified priorities, while also making room for the flexibility that she knows each day undoubtedly requires.
As an experienced designer, she understands that most renovation or design projects require her to not only expect the unexpected, but plan for it too.
“Having a contingency plan or two in your back pocket means a project most likely doesn’t get side-tracked and off schedule, it just gets modified.”
She recalls one project she took on: “I had six weeks to deliver, so I took the trades as they could schedule me in. It wasn’t a conventional remodel, and staying on top of the trades and continually updating them with the schedule was key. I was able to deliver on time and budget for the customer. It was a very cool project, and one I’m still very proud of to this day.”
Once she has her fluid plan set for the day, Brenda heads to her Studio at Bruhn Crossing to start her workday. Coffee is always at the top of the list. With a co-share workspace in the same building, Brenda believes that it is key to offer a great cup of coffee or two, and have it ready for those that share the space with her. She then heads straight to her office, coffee in hand, and from there it’s anyone’s guess how the day goes.
Each day is different, with last minute phone calls, a jobsite visit that she gets unexpectedly called out to, changes to 3D renderings for a client, or sometimes a customer spontaneously drops by for a coffee and a quick consult. Brenda’s experience has taught her that most days don’t go as planned and she loves the fluidity of it, and also that she is always able to adapt to which way the current takes her that day.
“As long as I accomplish the ‘must do’s’ in any given day, I’m pleased. I have learned to balance my time and always remember that tomorrow is another day,” Brenda wisely states.
“Success comes in small segments. I have learned to embrace each one, and always be thankful and grateful. Especially in 2020, when we have all been challenged more than we thought ever imaginable. At the end of the day, our health and wellness is the key to longevity. As an entrepreneur, having some kind of control over a balanced work schedule is what inspires me each day.”
As full as her calendar may already be today with her two successful businesses, all perfectly balanced with her busy social life, Brenda isn’t planning on stopping there. She has impressive plans for the future, including a renovation and expansion project at her new location.
During the renovation process, she created her new co-share workspace business within the building, designed to enable small businesses or visiting tourists to share the space with. She has branded her lot as Bruhn Crossing, which is a nod to R.W. Bruhn’s history in Sicamous as well as the local RW Bruhn Bridge, and that was when The Bridge at Bruhn Crossing was born.
“It has brought some amazing people through the doors. There’s nothing like collaboration of minds, sipping an espresso at the coffee bar that is shared by the The Bridge members and the Design Studio.”
Brenda is an incredibly inspiring woman, who lives her life with generosity, integrity, and spirit with everything she does. With all that she does, and all that she has yet to do, it is clear that Brenda Dalzell is a Woman to Watch.