In order to highlight the amazing local businesses in Florida’s 47th District, the Anna For Florida campaign has launched “47 Means Business,” an ongoing blog series to spotlight local business owners in Lake Eola, Downtown Orlando, Winter Park, and throughout the district.

Our blog digs deeper into local businesses by collaborating with business owners to showcase their success and to identify what the legislature can do to support them. Together, these profiles come together to create a larger picture of the amazing diversity and ingenuity of local business owners that Anna hopes to serve and represent in the Florida House.

This week, Rhett Alexander and his Orlando-based interior design company are talking more than stylish facades. Despite all of the homes that Rhett has designed over the years, District 47 continues to be his favorite one. Although located on Edgwater Drive, Rhett Alexander adds elegance and charm to residences and businesses across the US, so feel free to call your West Coast pal to spill the good news.

Team Anna: What inspired you to start your small business?

RA: I started my first business mowing yards when I was eleven years old, so opening my own business as an adult seemed natural. I once thought I had a knack for working at places with terrible bosses until I realized it wasn’t the bosses, but me who did not like having a boss.

TA: What is the most exciting part about owning and operating a small businesses?

RA: My business is project and deadline oriented and we find it incredibly rewarding to meet a deadline and complete a project that makes people happy and generates sales for my clients. 

TA: Describe a perfect day at work.

RA: A perfect day for me involves a wide range of tasks from selecting new color schemes to working with team members on space planning and furniture selection.

TA: Are there any current policy issues impacting your business? If so, how?

RA: For the most part, I have found that Florida is a business-friendly environment; however, I do personally loathe private insurance companies and I hate giving up thousands of dollars every month for worker’s compensation and liability without guarantees that the premiums I pay will secure me the protection I deserve.  

For example, after 20 years of paying worker’s compensation, the only time I made a claim for a minor back injury, the insurance company insisted I use a specific doctor that did not have any openings for ten weeks!  There should absolutely be a law stating that worker’s compensation doctor visits must happen within 48 hours of the claim.

TA: What could the ​state ​legislature do better to help you thrive?

RA: Florida has very weak transportation infrastructure and public transportation options. When we have a democratic state legislature and governor in 2019, high-speed rail, non-hub oriented bus systems, and safe bikeways should all become top priorities.

Also, public education in Florida needs attention. The current system of testing and punishment for underperformance should be thrown out. We need underperforming schools to receive additional funding that gets them where they need to be.

Lastly, I feel the minimum wage in Florida should be at least $14.00.