Jane Ganz, ASID, President and Founder
Directions In Design
In 1975 Jane Ganz, ASID founded Directions In Design fulfilling her dream of providing creative and comprehensive interior design services to a broad spectrum of projects. Beginning in a small farm house, the firm has grown to 25 talented employees. Directions In Design designers can be found from coast to coast designing a variety of residential and commercial projects including senior living communities, ships, hotels, healthcare and educational facilities. Directions In Design's staff members are the proud recipients of national recognition and countless awards.
Her commercial experience extends to corporate offices, banks, retail, yachts, cruise vessels, restaurants, physician’s offices, imaging centers, hospitals, casinos, country clubs, corporate retreats and senior living facilities including independent, assisted living and skilled nursing. Just recently The Gatesworth at One McKnight Place was named one of the top ten US luxury senior living communities. Jane and the team at Directions In Design provided all of the interior architecture and interior design for the refurbishment of The Gatesworth and for the new West Wing addition.
"It is with immense appreciation that I say thank you for 41 years of opportunities for Directions In Design. We thank you for trusting our staff to fulfill your planning, interior design and architectural consulting needs. We pledge to continue to provide unique and creative design for your outstanding projects. As we team with consultants, architects and contractors, we look forward to the coming years of implementing your visions and earning your trust to grow our relationship."
“Serving my clients is more important than making money,” says Jane. “I would rather lose money for the short term and get it right for my clients for the long term. “Getting it right the first time for my clients means they will come back.” For over 41 years they have been coming back due to the high standards Jane has set for herself and her employees. As a high school freshman, Jane was assigned to write a term paper on a career. She interviewed the highly successful interior designer Don Pisoni and was so inspired she pledged to make interior design her career. Don became her mentor and proof that you can continue your love of art, improve peoples’ lives, and make an honest living doing what you love. Many years later, when Don was wanting to slow down a bit, Jane offered him a place at Directions In Design to help her mentor new staff members. Before starting her own business, Jane worked for a commercial design firm and also taught interior design at Washington University. But something was missing, she wanted to control her own destiny. Could she walk away from a steady job? She knew she had the strength to start her own firm, but would others accept a young woman entrepreneur? Jane impressed one home builder so much, he allowed her to set up a card table and chairs in the garage of his display home. Maybe she could convince possible buyers to look at the real potential of the little tract homes. She endured many days in that garage that was either freezing or sweltering hot. Her plan was such a great success, that the builder installed heat and air conditioning in her garage office. Within two years Jane had over 100 furnished display homes open in the St. Louis area which won scores of “Homer Awards”.
Jane Ganz and Don Pisoni - 2015
Jane felt it was best that her name not be used as the firm name. The name Directions In Design would allow other world class designers to join as equal team members and create a mechanism for advancement and eventual succession. In 1975 when Jane started Directions In Design St. Louis was thriving with a large proportion of corporate headquarters and Missouri was still the #2 auto producer behind Michigan. Upper middle class homes were sprouting from every cornfield and it was evident to Jane that residential interior design would be the company’s initial target market. The local Savings and Loan industry was busy financing these new homes and Jane’s design success in her many display homes impressed them. The result was Jane being hired to design many new financial offices. Always good with numbers, Jane’s calculations said it was time to leave her basement studio and leased her first space in 1980. Her obligations and risks mounted, but she overcame any fear by hard work and hiring the best designers. In 1985 a banker client referred Jane to John Connelly, a Pittsburgh owner of dinner cruise boats. It was the beginning of riverboat casinos and he wanted Jane to help him design one of the first, The President Riverboat Casino. This led to the formation of the Marine Division which recently surpassed its 350th marine project and solidified Jane’s leadership position in this male dominated industry. Land based casinos were legalized in many states and Jane was called upon to design them and their hotel facilities. Being a baby boomer herself, Jane has recognized the need for intelligent, respectful, and safe interior design for our increasing senior population. Directions In Design presently has Senior Living Community projects not only in St. Louis, but throughout the nation. In 2014 Jane and her senior staff decided to formally roll out the Design-Build Division which provides clients with a turnkey opportunity for their projects.
Jane Ganz ASID, Founder and Owner of Directions In Design, attends the ground breaking ceremony with the principals of Allegro Senior Living and local dignitaries of Casselberry, Florida. The Allegro at Casselberry is the companies' 10th Allegro community. Directions In Design will provide interior architecture and interior design for the projects 158 residential units and public areas, all sitting on 17.3 acres overlooking beautiful Lake Ann. The project is expected to create over 225 construction jobs.
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List of Honors
- CHESTERFIELD CHAMBER of Commerce BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR
- ST. LOUIS SMALL BUSINESS AWARD WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR, 1994, SPONSORED BY MERRILL LYNCH AND ERNST & YOUNG
- OVER 100 HOMER AWARDS FOR DISPLAY HOMES DESIGNED FOR MISSOURI BUILDERS
- MANY TIME PARTICIPANT IN DESIGNER SHOWHOUSES TO BENEFIT CARDINAL GLENNON HOSPITAL
- JUNIOR CITATION MERIT AWARD GIVEN BY THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA
- HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION SALES/MARKETING INTERIOR DESIGN AWARDS
- UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI FACULTY ALUMNI AWARD GIVEN FOR OUTSTANDING PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT
- LISTED BY ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL IN TOP 10 DESIGN FIRMS
- KEYNOTE SPEAKER “WOMAN ENTREPRENEURS”
- SPEAKER-MISSOURI BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP FOR BUILDERS
- COVER PHOTO AND FEATURE ARTICLE IN ST. LOUIS HOMES & LIFESTYLES, MARCH 2003
- FEATURED IN “LOCAL FLAVOR” ARTICLE, ST. LOUIS HOMES & LIFESTYLES, 2007
- FIRST PRIZE FOR BATHROOM OF THE YEAR, ST. LOUIS HOMES AND LIFESTYLES
- TRUMAN BANKS FEATURE ARTICLE IN CEO MAGAZINE
- TOP 20 SMALL BUSINESS AWARD 2012
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