Small Business Spotlight - Sarah // Dwell Chic Interiors
This interview was conducted as a part of YourLocalBizPro’s Small Business Spotlight. Sarah O’Dell, the owner and principal designer at Dwell Chic Interiors, was gracious enough to participate and offer a discount code “dwell20” for 20% off your entire cart at shop.dwellchic.com during the week of 10/18/20 - 10/24/20.
Tell us a little about your background prior to opening Dwell Chic, and how you were inspired to open your own interior design firm.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and spent 5 years after college working in the wine industry! After being in the workforce for a few years, I returned to school to take undergraduate courses in Interior Design. While I’ve always enjoyed the arts and being a patron of them, I wasn’t one of those people who were gifted with painting or drawing abilities. What helped inspire me to eventually open my own design firm was not only these artistic interests, but watching my mother enjoy a career in interior design growing up. She was always redecorating our home and I enjoyed watching those processes and the changes that were made.
What makes Dwell Chic stand out from other interior design firms?
I am not sure what makes Dwell Chic stand out per se, but since I am not the true artist I always longed to be I took a lot of business classes, worked a lot of customer service jobs, and have a colorful and bold sense of style. I loved pulling an outfit together, and later decorating my college dorm and first apartment. I believe those experiences muddled together have kept Dwell Chic up and running for 8 years now. Our design process always starts with a budget and a plan, we get through the tough stuff before we get to the fun!
What was one of your favorite design projects you have completed for a client?
Too many projects to name! We have done a lot of projects of all sizes, and besides my own children’s rooms, one of my favorite projects was for a toddler’s new bedroom. This was two years ago and to this day I still get texts from her mother telling me that while playing in the room, she exclaims, “This must be what castles are like!” When we get room reactions from children, they are incredibly wholesome, honest and pure. That is an experience that you cannot put a price on.
Was there anyone from your childhood who encouraged your entrepreneurial spirit?
Growing up, I think my father was a huge influence on the entrepreneurial spirit I have today. My father paved his own way in the world, not following the family business path early on in life and instead joining the Air Force and becoming a fighter pilot. Later in life when his father took over the business, my father did go work for them, but there was never a hint of nepotism. He worked very hard and managed to do it with 6 children and a bit of humility. Growing up watching my father work as hard as he did definitely helped to build the work ethic I have today, and also taught me that working for yourself was going to be twice as hard as being employed by someone else, but you will receive twice the reward.
Who in your adulthood encourages your entrepreneurial spirit?
In terms of who influences me as an adult in the entrepreneurial world, I would have to say other entrepreneurs! Early on in my career I met with a seamstress who introduced me to other seamstresses, designers and like-minded people in this industry. From that introduction to now, I have met hundreds of other designers across the country, and met some really great mentors and friends.
Tell us your business mission and why it is important to you personally.
Your home is your center; it is the one place that you should always feel peace and tranquility no matter what those are for you. If your happy place is bold, bright colors and patterns, we want you to have bold, bright colors and patterns. We know that clutter often frustrates and exhausts people, so we help to guide the process of what works best with the space you have.
As much as we LOVE picking out the “pretty things”, our true mission is to make your home your sanctuary, the place that our clients can come home to at the end of the day and feel peace. I moved into a home my husband owned prior to us getting married. We both had furnished places about the same size, and since I was second-in, there wasn’t much room for my belongings. I was in a small town, didn’t know a lot of people, and the house and the furnishings were all purchased by someone else. It was very important to me at that time to make that place our home, instead of just his place, that I moved into. Through this experience, I understand the importance of making your house a home.
More than just picking out the colors, patterns and furnishing, we work on the functionality of the space to make sure it fits our clients’ needs! Now more than ever we are all spending more time in our homes, so why not smile when you walk into every room?
If you’d like to contact Sarah or Dwell Chic for all your interior design needs, they can be reached at 864-214-1856. More information can be found at www.dwellchic.com or on Facebook and Instagram at @dwellchic.
*Originally posted on October 22nd, 2020*