It all started with a do-it-yourself home project, a little energy and a lot of learning for IKB founder and president Ilona Lindauer.
Lindauer, a Los Altos resident since 1973, recently recalled the humble start that led her to found her design, construction and interior services company, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary in the business. According to Lindauer, IKB’s roots lie in her desire to renovate parts of her own Los Altos home in the mid-1980s.
“I started this business because I wanted something to keep me busy,” Lindauer said with a chuckle, recalling the steps she originally took to redesign her home. “It was just something I figured I was good at.”
Despite her can-do mindset, Lindauer said she quickly learned that there was much more to redesigning a home than she anticipated. She began taking design classes locally and eventually earned her certification as a kitchen and bath designer. A few years later, the New York native took things a step further, earning her general contractor’s license and founding the Main Street-based IKB.
“I had a tool belt and I hung Sheetrock,” Lindauer said of her company’s modest start. “One thing led to another. … I found that I liked all aspects of the (design and construction) business. I liked building, I liked talking to clients – there’s nothing I didn’t like about it.”
Lindauer, who currently serves as a board member for the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce, said the key to her company’s success comes down to a willingness to apply a little elbow grease.
“It’s just hard work. … It’s about meeting with clients and keeping the lines of communication open. It’s about making promises and keeping them,” she said.
She also credited her staff of seven at IKB for the company’s sustained success. IKB has won numerous industry accolades, including a National Association of the Remodeling Industry Award, since the company’s inception.
“I think we have a phenomenal team here,” she said. “They are what makes our company great.”
Lindauer noted that while many things have changed over the 20-year span, one thing hasn’t – her passion for her work.
“I still want to do a good job,” she noted. “I want to put people in functional, beautiful environments that meet their unique needs.”
IKB is located at 346 Main St. For more information, visit ikbinc.com.
IKB celebrates 20 years in business - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier