Your Name and Title:
Erin K. Curley, CEO/Architect
Engage Studio Architects
Number of Employees:
Brief description of your business or organization:
Engage Studio Architects provides full service architectural design from conceptual design through construction completion. We also provide consulting services. Engage Studio Architects values and is deeply rooted in community. We love to give back. We are thankful for the Chamber’s incredible assistance in helping launch our business through their Small Business Development Center.
Were you born/raised in the Toledo Region? If so, where? If not, where and why/when did you move to the area?
I was born and raised in Ottawa Lake, Michigan – just a hop over the Ohio/Michigan border. I moved to Oregon, Ohio, after high school where I made my home and founded Engage Studio Architects.
When did you launch your first business, and how did you get to where you are today?
Engage Studio Architects was launched in 2019. Becoming an architect and owning my own firm has been my dream since 10th grade. Through fierce determination, authenticity, connectivity and amazing support, Engage Studio Architects has continued to grow and overcome obstacles.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
Women History Month celebrates all the women who have come before me in their fight for equality of all women. Those women made significant personal and business sacrifices for the very liberties I have today – from women like my own mother, who fought for women to play sports locally, and those who broke barriers for women to be architects and other business professionals.
Being an architect is not a job to me, it’s my passion and defines my entire self. I enjoy the opportunity to help others bring their dreams to reality while educating and guiding them through the design and construction process. Together, we enhance and impact our community.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not working?
As a season ticketholder and avid fan, Michigan football is top on the list. When football is not in season, I enjoy many activities from spending time with family/friends/pets, travel, theater, art, movies, sporting and social events, puzzles, home improvement, the lake, and time with my nieces and nephews.
Have you had any special mentors or supporters that have helped guide your career or business?
If not for incredible encouragement and support from my parents, Tom and Kathy Curley, I would not be where I am today. They have been my biggest cheerleaders and strongest supporters – always there to celebrate with me; guide, redirect and encourage me to always strive to be a better version of myself each and every day. Two of the most influential people in my career are Mr. Miller, my high school drafting teacher, and Dwight Gilliland of Architecture by Design. I am also grateful to my family and friends for their encouragement throughout my career.
Major accomplishment(s) that make(s) you proud?
- Pro bono projects that help small businesses and non-profit organizations.
- Becoming an architect and founding Engage Studio Architects.
- Remaining authentic and believing in myself when times are tough.
- Awards and recognition throughout the state of Ohio.
What are the benefits and struggles of owning a business in the Toledo Region?
The greatest benefit in the Toledo Region is the vast opportunities available to women to reach their greatest dreams.
The struggle is that there are very few minority and women-led architecture firms in this region. That lack of diversity requires additional effort to earn credibility in this industry.
What other woman-owned businesses should northwest Ohioans know about?
Jera’s Heavenly Sweet Bakery
Authentic Women’s Fitness
Real Good Ventures, LLC
Renhill HR on Demand
Eastern Engineering Supply
Chiropractic Associates of Oregon
Masterpiece Financial Services
FASTSIGNS – Karrie Brock