Special/Signature Issues » 2017 Top 40 Under 40

2017 Top 40 Under 40: Kenneth Byrd, 36

Owner, Kenneth Byrd Design

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Kenneth Byrd got his big break when the developer of the Nolde Bakery Condominiums in Church Hill tapped him for the project. “It was the catalyst for everything,” he says.

The former visual merchandizer and real estate agent combined the skills of those two careers to become an interior designer six years ago. After the Nolde project, he says, there was no looking back.

“I want to make really good design accessible to everyone,” he says. “I want to dispel [the myth] that you have to be a millionaire.”

He’s been actively involved in fundraising for the Fan, the Richmond Symphony, the Richmond Ballet, the Virginia Opera and even more prosaic — but much needed — volunteering opportunities such as trash pickups. But ultimately, Byrd’s most important endeavor, and the one that makes him proudest, has been the creation of jobs as his business has expanded.

“There’s a huge sense of pride and more joy you can even imagine being able to give someone the opportunity to explore and practice their passion,” he says.

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