Wunderkinds 2013: Joe Lore, 29
Owner and Principal Designer, Joe Lore Designs
Joe Lore started on his career path as an interior designer before he was even out of grade school. “I was constantly rearranging my room or the living room furniture with my mom,” says the 29-year-old. “I guess it just stuck with me.”
In late 2009, Lore, a Yonkers resident, decided that he no longer wanted to toil for other companies, so, despite a wretched economy, he launched Joe Lore Design. His one-man company, also headquartered in Yonkers, works primarily on residential and commercial spaces, but even his side projects have received attention. His set designs for Archbishop Stepinac High School’s 2012 production of Phantom of the Opera, for instance, earned him the 2012 Metropolitan High School Theater Award for Outstanding Scenic Achievement, an achievement he’s particularly proud of, since Stepinac is his alma mater.
Perhaps his biggest accolades, though, come from his customers: About 40 percent of his projects spring from previous clients’ recommendations. For instance, Joseph Carozza, senior director of Publicity at Sony Music, fell in love with the overhauled décor of a colleague's office and wanted to know who had done the handiwork. “Joe wound up doing my entire office,” says Carozza, “and he’s now working with some of my celebrity clients on doing their homes.”
Lore also got rave reviews last summer after the Scarsdale Teen Center (now known as The Center @ 862) moved into a new space. Some of the kids had labeled it “uncool, lame, and boring,” so Lore gave it a nightclub vibe—and attendance soon increased.
How does he do it? “I’m not afraid to tell clients what I’m thinking, which I think they appreciate,” he says.
But it’s not just about success or money. Lore is currently forming a nonprofit organization that will allow him and other interior designers to volunteer and partner with Habitat For Humanity, Housing Works, other nonprofits, and, Lore hopes, corporate sponsors to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy. After the houses that were destroyed or seriously damaged by the storm are rebuilt, Lore and other designers will go in to help design and decorate the home free of charge.
Not to sound full of myself,” Lore says, “but I know what’s going to work and not going to work. I think that’s why the spaces turn out so well.”