Coast Capital Savings opens doors for KPU grad’s real estate design idea

Mon, Jul 17, 2017

Kathie-Lee Pugsley is designing the future of real estate marketing.

A recent graduate of the interior design program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) Wilson School of Design, Pugsley is growing her cloud-based business with some startup capital thanks to Coast Capital Savings.

She is the top recipient of the Coast Capital Savings Youth Entrepreneurship Award. Created to support KPU students and alumni entrepreneurs, the award includes $5,000 to help kick start Pugsley’s new business.

“About 90 per cent of buyers and owners can’t visualize the potential of a space,” said Pugsley, whose business, Focused Interiors, uses 3D modeling computer technology to create interactive 360 degree tours of properties. “Creating photorealistic images enables potential owners to envision what’s possible, regardless of the current state.”

Structured for a remote and flexible work environment, Focused Interiors helps realtors illustrate for buyers the potential of a property without incurring renovation or property staging costs to the seller. Unlike larger companies, Pugsley’s online business has less overhead and therefore more affordable pricing.

In a competition format similar to CBC’s Dragons’ Den, participants from multiple KPU faculties and programs pitched their business proposals to an experienced panel of business community representatives.

“Congratulations to all of the finalists, and especially to Focused Interiors, the 2017 winner of the Coast Capital Savings Youth Entrepreneur Awards,” said Don Coulter, president and CEO of Coast Capital Savings. “This award combines two things that Coast Capital is passionate about — building a richer future for youth and helping small business owners achieve what’s important in their lives. We are excited to partner with KPU to help innovative young entrepreneurs on these crucial early steps toward success and financial well-being.”

The $5,000 award will enable Pugsley to purchase a new computer for her company as well as upgrade her software substantially, speeding up how quickly she can create graphics for her customers. In addition to the monetary award, Pugsley will also receive the personalized attention of a business mentor with a one-on-one business plan review, and Coast Capital will waive a full year of monthly fees on a small business account.

“We are grateful to Coast Capital Savings for recognizing some of our brightest young entrepreneurs with this opportunity, and also incredibly proud of the work shown by our students and alumni,” said Steve Lewarne, KPU’s executive director of advancement, and CEO of the KPU Foundation.

The Coast Capital Savings Youth Entrepreneurship Award was created to recognize KPU students and alumni who show excellence in the start-up phase of their entrepreneurial ventures. The award will be offered again in 2018. For more information, visit

Story by Tatiana Tomljanovic