When top artists like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber want to practice before their upcoming stadium and arena tours, they go to Rock Lititz.
Performers can witness set design and construction, rehearse, and house on the same campus. Function of space is of the utmost importance, but when dealing with celebrities, aesthetics should also be top notch.
The look of the campus, from its lush new dressing rooms in the Studio 2 rehearsal space to the chic Rock Lititz Hotel filled with musical gear from famous tours, comes largely from the vision of one Manheim woman.
Most recently, commercial interior designer Stephanie Kicera, 37, led the design of Studio 2, featuring themed locker rooms, coworking spaces, a cafeteria-like space, offices and more. It opened to customers on April 1.
It was a full-loop moment, as Stephanie began working in earnest with Rock Lititz to design Studio 1, which opened in 2014. Studio 1 put Rock Lititz on the map as a top destination for the musical production and remains an area where musicians can practice and stage their shows.
“We learned a lot from Studio 1,” says Stephanie. For example, Studio 2 has been outfitted with scuff-resistant paint and lightweight, portable furniture so that every space, whether it’s an office or a walk-in closet, can be tailored to a client’s needs. .
Stephanie uses this adaptable approach for all of her designs, working together the intricacies of function and aesthetics to create beautiful spaces around campus. She is often seen working with construction workers, foremen and architects.
“I don’t think she’s your traditional interior designer,” says Andrea Shirk, CEO and President of Rock Lititz.
How she started
From an early age, Stephanie remembers painting her bedroom and spending a lot of time on her bedroom design. She even regularly organized her clothes by color.
“I still do it today,” says Stephanie.
When she attended Manheim Central High School, one of her mentors pushed her towards interior design as a career field. After graduating, she went to the Art Institute of York and graduated with a degree in interior design in 2005.
Her husband (then boyfriend) Tyler Kicera, 37, started working for Tait in 2008 after earning a degree in architecture. When brothers Clair and Tait collaborated to create Rock Lititz, management asked if anyone knew a good interior designer.
Tyler says he knew the person to ask.
“I kept hearing all these things about this Rock Lititz,” Stephanie says. Until then, Stephanie had worked in several other areas of employment, including retail, set design and staging, and commercial photography.
Stephanie met the Rock Lititz team in 2013. To this day, she and her husband continue to be an integral part of the growing Rock Lititz campus.
“It’s really about getting to know the right people at the right time,” says Stephanie. “That’s really how I started. I really owe my success to my husband.”
Shirk, then General Manager of Rock Lititz, has worked with Stephanie and Tyler since Rock Lititz was founded.
“We met them before we built a single building on this campus,” says Shirk. “They were an integral part of this (project) from day one.”
Tyler is working largely on the exterior and general structure of the new buildings on campus, while Stephanie is planning the look of the interior, from paint colors to the function of each room, to the furniture that she will find.
“She can make things amazing for almost any budget,” says Tyler. “She manages to do a lot with a little.”
Stephanie and Tyler now each have their own business.
Tyler, who was once vice president and chief creative officer at Tait, now owns Kollab, a company that does everything from strategic planning and graphic design to project management and coordination of engineering. He has worked on projects for the Philadelphia Phillies, Willow Valley Communities and the Charlotte Football Club, among others.
Stephanie owns Stephanie Kicera Design, which has coordinated interior design at companies like Listrak and Per Diem, as well as churches like Grace Lititz and LCBC.
Together they work as contractors for most Rock Lititz projects. Their flexible schedule allows them to spend more time with their two children, Willa and Dash.
“We don’t outwardly try to work together, we just end up collaborating on the work,” Tyler says.
Process and design
Designing new rooms at Rock Lititz might as well be second nature to Stephanie.
“Because I’ve been working on this campus for a while now…one thing I try to do is pull a lot of the similar elements that you see on campus in general,” Stephanie says. “You have black, yellow, gray. We always try to incorporate that into all spaces on campus in general.”
Other examples include the blue Studio 2 locker room, which is a direct nod to the blue Studio 1 locker room. There are also multiple uses of repurposed junk metals used throughout campus, with the Rock Lititz sign intentionally rusted near the campus entrance having a similar feel to the recycled crane pieces used as decorations inside Pod 2.
Stephanie creates mood boards, consults interior design magazines and Pinterest to find inspiration for her projects.
“She set most of the design vision for the campus,” Shirk said. “We really involve her in the overall design of each space, and say a look, feel and vision for it. She will sometimes start with mood boards before even mapping the space, just to give us a…sense of what space could be.”
Shirk not only taps into Stephanie’s talents for the main campus buildings, but also the needs of campus clients, such as Gravie Kitchen, Rock Candy Coworking Space, Lititz Bike Works, Tone Tailors and many others. .
“I know when I put her in front of any of my tenants, she’s going to have a great attitude, be easy to work with, be flexible, be adaptable and do a great job for them, whatever their product is,” Shirk says. . “I trust her completely…She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty.”
Now that Studio 2 is complete and open for business, Stephanie has been working behind the scenes on another project with Rock Lititz that has yet to be announced.
“In a year or two, there will be new things on campus,” says Stephanie. “I feel like I always have work to do at Rock Lititz.”
Although she has participated in one of the most notable spaces for music production and staging in the United States, Stephanie remains humble about her involvement.
“I like to stay under the radar,” says Stephanie. “Maybe I’m like a roadie at heart…I really like what I do.”
The same goes for Tyler – although they both work on campus at Rock Lititz, which regularly features big-name celebrities who experience first-hand what they’ve created, they both say they forget about it. impact they have had on the region.
“The colors, the awnings, the facade of the hotel, the interiors: I almost feel disconnected from work,” says Tyler. “It’s hard to understand in some ways that we shaped this.”