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Community Highlights: Meet Courtney Bitzan of McCarten Design

Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Bitzan.

Hi Courtney, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I was born and raised in Alexandria, MN, but I took this amazing town for granted while growing up. After I graduated high school, I thought I would live anywhere else in the world more than here. I soon realized that Alexandria’s amazing community would be why I moved back to call this place home.

I went to college at Colorado State University for Interior Architecture and Design and double minored in Construction Management and Global Environmental Sustainability. I am passionate about leaving the world better than I found, and I feel I can achieve that through design. I worked with a drafting company throughout college and drew custom residential and small commercial floor plans. I also worked at a commercial design firm in Colorado specializing in education and healthcare design. Upon college graduation, I slowly made my way closer to home and moved to Edina, MN, where I worked on the design team at Restoration Hardware. I had always dreamed of owning my own business someday, but the thought seemed far-fetched, and I had no idea where I would begin. I was intimidated by being a business owner and have always feared failing. In January of 2020, I was at a Chinese restaurant and got a fortune cookie saying, “you will soon begin a new and fulfilling career.” Then a few weeks later, as if by fate, I was in the right place at the right time and met my now business partner, Kari. We ended up having similar goals in life, and after a few months of knowing each other, we took a leap of faith and bought McCarten Design in my hometown of Alexandria.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Let’s say the start of this venture was the farthest thing from smooth. When my business partner and I decided to purchase McCarten Design, it was right before the COVID-19 pandemic. We ended up closing on our loan to buy the business days before the first stay-at-home order. The entire world was uneasy about the future, and we were questioning if we would make ends meet. However, despite the dilemma of being in a worldwide pandemic and deciding to buy a business, I never once wavered from knowing I was where I was supposed to be. I believe my passion for what I do gets me through the slow and uneasy beginning, allowing me to push through and keep moving forward.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
At McCarten Design, we aim to provide a cohesive and streamlined approach to the building process. We are a full-service design-build company that works with builders, subcontractors, and artisans from the beginning design concept through the building process to completion. What I love most about what we do is taking the stress out of building and remodeling. I love seeing that burden lifted from homeowners’ shoulders, knowing that their project will be in excellent and capable hands and their dreams will soon become a reality.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
The construction industry is booming like crazy right now. It has been for the past several years, and the COVID-19 pandemic did not slow it down. Even with increased material pricing, interest rates decreased, so projects continued. In the next 5-10 years, the industry will continue to be busy but level out as interest rates rise. Trend-wise, we are shifting away from large and elaborate design choices to simple and minimal selections. It is always hard to predict the future of design trends, but I foresee bold colors coming back and smaller and more practical space plans.

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