It looks like 2014 is shaping up to be a busy year for Jeremiah Young, who has a habit of challenging himself by keeping lots of irons in the fire.
Young is creative director and owner of Kibler & Kirch, the interior design studio and furniture store in Red Lodge.
He also owns Marcasa Clothing, the upscale clothing store in downtown Billings.
For months Young has been hard at work adding a design studio to the second floor of the Stapleton Building in downtown Billings.
“There will be nothing like it in Montana,” he said. “It might be one of the most beautiful design studios in the Northwest, and it’s a big change for us.”
Kibler & Kirch’s new Billings location will occupy about one-third of the building’s 12,000 square feet of space.
Young hopes the space will attract interest from other creative businesses, such as architects and advertising agencies.
“I hope we can add a lot to the Billings downtown,” he said.
Young is always searching for new creative outlets. Recently he collaborated with photographer Ken Jarecke and filmmaker Brian Murnion on “American Chic,” a well-received downtown art exhibit.
Among Young’s other projects, he’s working to relaunch the Rocke Gear brand, a local line of sportswear that he acquired from Chuck Barthuly.
The new Rocke Gear will have an American heritage, made from American-grown cotton, and sewn in U.S. factories.
“Made in America is something I’m passionate about,” Young said. “At Kibler & Kirch we sell a lot of American-made things. The best furniture is still made in the U.S.”
Describe how you got where you are in your work today: I’m very driven by ideas and creativity. I’m self-taught in design and studied for many years. Working eight days a week helps, too.
What’s the toughest challenge that you have faced in your business? I took over two businesses during the worst economic times and had to inspire those around me to know that better times were ahead if we put in place a team that would be ready when the economy recovered. We invested in staff and design expertise while others cut back. I had to sell my vision for what is possible.
What did you learn from that challenge? Three things: Passion is contagious; look past your competitors and strive to be world class; that I can’t do everything alone.
What’s the best business advice you have received? “Work hard and be nice to people.”
Who gave you that advice? A poster.
Here’s what I’d like to do to improve my community: Focus on the built environment. Residents know Billings is a great place to raise a family, work, and live, but we also need to make it look and feel like a place people want to live. That’s how we can make a good city a great one. A few other places in Montana have figured this out already.
Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job? Whether I’ve made the world a more beautiful place.
Which living person do you most admire? Two people: my father-in-law, Richard McComish, for his unstoppable work ethic, and Rosina Kastelitz, the founder of Kibler & Kirch, for how many lives she has touched through design.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? My 2-year-old daughter, Tilly. My wife and I waited 13 years of marriage to have her, and we struck gold when she came.
I’m happiest when I’m… sketching ideas for a new design project.