Celebrating Business Women’s Day with Gail Drury

Drury Design Team, Home Design, Kitchen Design

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As we celebrate Business Women’s Day on September 22, we decided to take a few minutes to speak with Gail Drury, the President and Creative Director of Drury Design as well as a Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer, about her experiences as the leader of a woman-owned business.

Gail Drury speaks about her experience as a successful business woman.

What have you learned from being a woman in business, especially from founding your own business?

There are advantages and disadvantages to owning one’s own business.  A lot of these are common between woman and men. Long hours, up and down economies affecting income, and just everyday stresses of managing a business. I think being a woman business owner has helped me become the best I can possibly be.  Since I am designing interior spaces that, by nature, women are typically more interested in, most of my clients feel extremely comfortable working with our firm.

What challenges do you think women in business face today?

I think women today in business face the same challenges I did when I started my Chicago home remodeling business 27 years ago.  The main challenge is balancing a family and a career. Woman have a tendency more than men do to multi-task, and sometimes that can negatively affect one’s health.  The biggest challenge is to try to balance out your life. As a business owner I work long, hard hours but I also work hard to find some time to exercise, spend time with my family, and get out and enjoy myself.

How have you seen women’s roles in business change since you started in the business 27 years ago?

When I started my business, there were less women doing what I did.  It was definitely a male-dominated field. There were times in the beginning when I felt I had to work extra hard to prove that “yes, a female can be knowledgeable in the construction business.”  That does not seem to be an issue any more. I feel most people have thankfully gotten past that and moved on.   With computer and internet access, women now have a big advantage that we didn’t have years ago because it is so much easier to work out of your home.  It is now easier to balance career and family as a result.

What kind of future do you see for successful women in business?

I only see the amount of women in business growing with more business being run out of home offices.

What advice do you have for women in business?

Strive towards a balance of work, home, and leisure.  Start off slow and let the business grow at a pace that feels comfortable.

Even though women in business may face difficulties, a work-life balance is possible, especially with the help of flexible work hours and locations. As a “mompreneur,” Gail has become an expert at achieving this balance, and she’s passionate about helping other families design their homes to facilitate this balance, whether by remodeling a Chicago kitchen to help feed more mouths or by renovating a living room to allow for more people to come over and watch the big game. How can a Drury designer help you balance your work and home life?