Behind the Scenes: How Alma Got Started

February 6, 2020


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Welcome to the Alma Homes blog! Our team of designers and architects share weekly design cheat sheets, product roundups, and frequent updates on our current projects. Enjoy reading!

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We’re doing something a bit different today, and sharing an interview with Kirsten Erickson, the founder and designer at Alma Homes. She shares all about how Alma came to be, and where she found her love of design!

What was your career/role before starting Alma Homes?

I always knew I wanted to go into residential architecture, so I went to undergrad and grad school for Architecture.  I always loved art and math, and when I was in 8th grade, my Dad was talking about building a cabin.  He bought me this computer program (basically like the Sims), and I spent the entire summer designing floor plans and I was sold! However, no one in my family had a construction background, so when I went to college, I knew I had a lot to learn (since I had zero experience in the industry).  I got minors in Housing Studies & Construction Management, and let me tell you, being the only girl in classes full of guys two and three times my age was not fun!

After undergrad, I decided to go to grad school in Colorado because they had a dual Master of Architecture/MBA program.  I always knew owning a business was in my future, so I figured having some business sense wouldn’t hurt either.

During grad school, I did freelance design work, and then after graduating, I ended up working for a different custom home builder as a designer.  From there I moved to a different company where I was their Director of Design, and finally, when I felt like I had learned all I could learn just working in the industry, I quit my job and started Alma. 

Why did you decide to start Alma Homes?

I think it was just in my blood. I always knew I wanted to have my own company, although during college I had envisioned it would be an architecture firm.  However, my first job with a custom homebuilder really opened my eyes to the construction side of things and I fell in love with the whole process.

5 Reasons to work with a custom home builder

What is the accomplishment of Alma you’re most proud of so far?

Oh goodness, hard to say!  I’m so proud of so many things.  It’s kind of mindblowing that I get to do this everyday.  So there’s a few things.  I’m proud of how fast it’s taken off for one – we haven’t even been in business three years and we’re so busy.  Not only that, but we’ve already won four ROMA (Remodeler of Merit) awards, which doesn’t feel real.

Ever since starting Alma, it’s been a secret goal of mine to have a home in the Artisan Home Tour.  I would think to myself, “I don’t want to put a home in the Parade of Homes, I want to hold out and really make a statement with our first home being in the Artisan Tour.”  I thought it would take a lot longer than it had to make that goal come true.  I also used to come down to the Cities with my Dad when I was younger and we’d go through the luxury home tours, so it’s pretty surreal that we’re going to have a home on the tour now. 

What’s your biggest goal for Alma’s future? What are you looking forward to for Alma?

Oooooh so many fun things! We have some really exciting things in the works, so join our email list to find out!

You can expect to see more behind-the-scenes blog posts in the next couple months as we prep for the Artisan Tour! Make sure to introduce yourself in the comments, and hop over to our Instagram @AlmaHomes, too!

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