Chad Beyer was fresh out of college with an interior design degree and searching for his career path. He began his quest by working for an architecture firm. But after a few years, he wasn’t convinced that architecture was necessarily the path for him. So, he then followed his interests to Vanguard in Paducah to learn more about the construction side of things. While Chad enjoyed the nearly ten years that he worked in architecture and construction, he still felt that something was missing. It was creativity. He missed using his interior design skills to find creative design solutions for spaces that were both functional and aesthetically pleasing. And so, ten years ago, he decided to make a leap of faith and create his own interior design company, i5 Design Group.
“i5 really began as more of a one-man-show and less of an actual group,” Chad recalls. “We had really modest beginnings. I was by myself for almost a year before I hired my first employee. Paducah Bank was one of our first clients. I explained what i5 had to offer, and shortly after that, I was asked to renovate the second floor of the main branch on Jefferson. Since then, our relationship has grown, and thanks to Joe and Jeane Framptom’s continued support of my work, we have renovated or made improvements to all of the Paducah Bank locations. It’s been a wonderful partnership.”
The journey has not always been easy, and the path hasn’t always been straight during his ten years of small business ownership. But Chad wouldn’t trade it for anything. “It’s been a great challenge but very rewarding,” he says. “I don’t know of any other career that gives as much satisfaction. I am able to see my ideas start as sketches on paper and then physically walk through the finished product. I help make dreams into tangible realities. The Fountain Avenue revitalization project is great example. We’ve worked on several homes through the project and are very proud to be a part of transforming that historic neighborhood. One of my favorite aspects of my job is meeting with business owners and listening to them tell their story. I am able to then develop an understanding of how their business works so that I can make their space more functional for their needs. But I think the biggest responsibility and honor has been working with the interns who have come through our doors. I love being able to help guide them and advise them along their career path in this industry.”
Ten years later, Chad says the business is still full of daily surprises. “The biggest surprise and blessing has been coming through the recession. It really hit our industry hard especially in small communities like ours. But we not only survived, we thrived. It is a testament to how Paducah has embraced us.”
The surprises don’t end there. In fact, they go well beyond the borders of Paducah! The company’s portfolio has become very diverse over the years – from local homes and businesses, to military buildings on bases across the country. A few years ago, i5 had the opportunity to partner with a construction firm based out of Louisville on an air force base project in Portugal! The relationship between the two companies still exists today and they team up from time to time to work on other projects in Portugal.
“I’m still amazed at how far we have come. I never would have imagined that our work would be seen in another country all the way across the ocean, let alone that the job would be completed without ever having to step foot in Portugal. It was all done remotely which seemed like a life-saver at the time, but looking back, it would have been nice to at least go over there for a final walk-through to see the end result in person!”
The next ten years should be even more exciting than the last for i5. Paducah Bank expects that the future holds even bigger things for Chad and his team. Chad plans to add some new talent to his team, and for their tenth anniversary, they will be renovating their own office at 401 Broadway. “We’re going to spend some time making our own dreams come true as an anniversary gift to ourselves,” Chad says.
Congratulations, Chad and i5 Design Group, on ten years of designing Paducah. We wish you many more years of success and plenty of excuses for Chad to take business trips overseas!
If you are a customer of Paducah Bank and would like us to feature your business, let us know by emailing Susan Guess at firstname.lastname@example.org.