Krause named as a top young flooring professional nationally
Katie Krause, senior interior designer at H.J. Martin and Son, is one of 10 winners nationally for the 2017 Young Professional Award of Floor Focus magazine. The award honors professionals, under the age of 40, who have proven themselves to be leaders within the flooring industry.
Floor Focus covers the residential and commercial flooring industries, offering an in-depth look at the latest trends and issues in the marketplace.
Krause entered the floorcovering industry in 2003, and over the ensuing 14 years has made her mark within it.
After an initial internship within the floorcovering industry, Krause joined H.J. Martin and Son in June 2003 as an interior designer. Three years ago, she was promoted to her current position of senior interior designer.
In that role, she serves as a member of the company’s Leadership Team, along with providing oversight to the designers and residential sales staff of H.J. Martin and Son. Krause focuses on the big-picture, showroom experience of the customer. She also sets goals and expectations for the design team.
Krause’s everyday responsibilities continue to include work with a variety of different clients: builders/new construction remodels and materials-only purchases.
In her design work, Krause has come to be known for the unique combinations she puts together. She has a great knack for listening to the client’s needs, asking the right questions to infuse the reality of everyday use, then coming up with an effective solution that has the customer’s own individual spin to it.
“The clients trust me,” says Krause. “I’m relatable, and I quickly become like their sister or best friend. Through that, I’m able to figure out what their lifestyle is and how they use their home. I try not to approach them with a sales focus. That way, they are more likely to say that they had a great experience with H.J. Martin and Son.”
A customer comes in, wanting what they think is their ideal floor. And, after a discussion with Krause about their lifestyle, their wants and needs, they may realize that they’re better suited for another flooring type.
“I’m blunt,” she says. “I’m honest with them because I want them to be happy with their flooring product years from now.”
Krause received her associate’s degree in Interior Design from Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis., in 2002.
She is married to her high-school sweetheart, Eric Krause, who works as a flooring installer for H.J. Martin and Son. Her father-in-law, Randy Krause, worked in builder sales with H.J. Martin and Son for 37 years before retiring at the end of 2015.
Katie and Eric have two children: daughter Harper (7) and son Nolan (4). Her interests include outdoor activities, along with crafting and other creative activities with her kids.
Krause is involved with the Brown County Home Builders Association, helping to coordinate Continuing Education courses at H.J. Martin and Son.
“I see her consistently focus on the client experience, and that is noticed by the customer,” says Nicole Jensky, director of marketing for H.J. Martin and Son. “I regularly see positive comments from people, talking about the trust they had in Katie and how much that contributed to their satisfaction.”
Krause’s leadership manifests itself in a multitude of ways, according to Jensky, starting with her contagious positive personality that sets the tone for entire showroom at H.J. Martin and Son.
In the age of technology, Krause maintains a very high level of personal interaction – the little extras like a handwritten note or a phone call to check in with a customer.
All of those things put together have translated into one of the top 10 young flooring professionals being at H.J. Martin and Son.
Tags: Brown County Home Builders Association, Eric Krause, Floor Focus, Floor Focus Young Professional Award, Fox Valley Technical College, H.J. Martin award-winning designer, Katie Krause, Nicole Jensky, Randy Krause