KEARNEY — They say it’s good to have a friend in the diamond business, but if you’re sorting out the details of a major remodel, it’s good to have Stephanie Bruntz on your team.
“I have a network,” said Bruntz, who specializes in bringing together people with a vision and the people who can make the vision a reality.
Bruntz has been developing and expanding her “network” since 1999, when she enrolled in interior design at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The daughter of Kearney State College graduates Al and Jan Schneider of Funk, Bruntz ran track, cross country and steeplechase while she pursued her interior design degree.
To illustrate the benefits of networking, Bruntz tells the story of a client who desired a plant shelf in her daughter’s room. To her client’s delight, Bruntz found an artisan who crafted a unique plant shelf in metal.
Before launching Stephanie Bruntz Designs about a year ago, Bruntz helped create and manage Studio B Design for five years.
“At Stephanie Bruntz Designs, when we work with clients, if someone wants a turnkey job, we schedule and work with all the subs to make sure the job goes off without a hitch,” Bruntz said. “Most clients really want the direction and professional guidance to make the selections for the project so it can be the best project, hopefully better than they ever imagined it could be.”
The showroom at Stephanie Bruntz Designs includes an array of samples — tiles, fixtures, cabinets — so clients can see and feel the materials and products while deciding their selections.
“We created a floor plan that helps clients see everything they need to make a decision,” she said.
Although Stephanie Bruntz Designs works with clients on new construction, much of the business orbits around remodels.
“We become the liaison between the client and everyone it takes to finish the job,” Bruntz said. “With new construction, clients have budgets and allowances. We then do our best to work with them within what the client is wanting us to do for them. We do cabinetry, counter tops, backsplashes, showers, floor tile, wood flooring, lighting and cabinet hardware — a lot of different things.”
Bruntz interned at Persona Kitchen and Bath Solutions in Wichita, Kan. She said fortune smiled on her because she worked with a pair of “fantastic installers who took me under their wings.”
Working with the installers, she learned there’s a difference between knowing how something looks on paper and what’s required to build and complete the vision.
In 2010, she and Josh returned to Kearney and started their family. They have two daughters, Olivia and Mariah.
After deciding to open their own business, she and Josh, who is employed by the U.S. Postal Service, selected the 1,800-square-foot north Kearney location because of its visibility and transformed the former offices into a showroom.
Other team members at Stephanie Bruntz Design are office manager Laura Little, a former Loper runner, and design assistant Hannah Hibberd.
Bruntz said she enjoys her work for a variety of reasons. One of them is the satisfaction of winning clients’ trust.
“We have a really fun job. We get to work in people’s homes and create relationships with them. We take a lot of heart in the trust people give to us,” she said. “Trust is a huge thing.”