I am talking to Greenville SC interior designer Stephanie Swander from Stephanie Swander Interiors today. Stephanie and I met through mutual friends about 6 years ago. We instantly hit it off and spent much of our time working out at a local Crossfit gym here in Greenville. At the time, Stephanie was working for Postcard from Paris as a designer. In recent years, Stephanie decided to take the plunge and open not one, but two businesses! You may have heard of Crossfit Redemption and then, the business we’re discussing today, Stephanie Swander Interiors. She has since sold her gym, but continues to thrive in her design business, serving the local Greenville community and beyond. Stephanie also recently had a little girl named Emmelinne. She is the sweetest thing ever and she is very close in age to Alex. They are definitely in love! I am so impressed with moms who are able to follow their vision, step out of their comfort zone, and create the life of which they’ve always dreamed. Hear about Stephanie’s business below.
1) Tell the readers about Stephanie Swander Interiors – what’s your vision, your style, what services do you offer, and the location you cover.
My personal style mixes bold color and patterns on pillows and drapes over neutral backdrops. I like to mix things in unexpected ways, like reclaimed wood on a coffee table with white lacquer and metal side tables. However it’s always my goal to give my clients the best possible version of their own taste, which means if you walk in and can tell that Stephanie Swander (Leap) did your house then I haven’t done my job. We do full-service interior design, which means I can develop the entire interior from the ground breaking process of building (floor plans, cabinet design, tile, plumbing fixtures, lighting, etc) or I can help with something as simple as new draperies. I also do re-furnishing projects and everything re-model. We have projects stretching from Lake Keowee to Campobello and everywhere in-between!
2) How did you come up with the idea to start this business?
I always wanted to have my own design firm and had no doubt I would do it at some point in my life. What I didn’t expect was to start it in 2010 when the housing market was still in the dumps and no one was building. However it’s been awesome because we had no where to go but up!
3) What do you enjoy most about being a business owner?
I love the flexibility and the freedom. People think you work less when you own a business, but that’s not true. You just get to be selective over when you work. I always have to answer emails and texts on vacations for example, but I can take a long lunch to play with my baby any time I want!
4) How do you juggle being a mom and a small business owner?
It’s challenging for sure. While i still love my work, I have it in a better perspective now. I don’t feel guilty for not working late or on the weekends. I also have the best of both worlds in that I can pop over to my mom’s to see her anytime I want and get to see her every day at lunch. I haven’t had to do an overnight business trip yet, but I already know that would be hard.
5) Tell the reader 3 common mistakes that we’re making when decorating our homes.
Most people don’t have any idea of scale, so when they’re out shopping and see something they can’t visualize what it would look like in their space with their ceiling heights, etc. Another is playing it way too safe with color. Lots of people are afraid of dark wall colors and bold accents, so they stick with neutral patterns on pillows and light paints. You should never under-estimate the dramatic effect of a medium to dark paint color! The last would be buying things without having a vision of the overall look. I love to be eclectic, but when you keep buying without having an idea how to pull it all together then it ends up looking random instead of collected.
6) Do you have a favorite project that you’ve ever done?
Of course! I furnished a 5,500SF home for a young family in River Reserve. She was a dream client in that she loved pretty much everything I showed her. We did some bold wallpaper, tons of color, draperies in every room, and fun prints on the furniture. She wasn’t afraid to take risks and trusted my vision for the house. Pics should be coming soon of that one!
7) Tell us something fun about you, not related to your business.
I am a total goofball at home, especially when it comes to my daughter and husband. I will do anything to make them laugh, which usually entails song and dance, recreating high school cheerleading and dance routines, weird voices, etc. I think life is too short to be too serious!
author’s note: our kids obviously love each other
8) How can the reader contact you to inquire about services?
Thanks so much to Stephanie for spending time with me! Stephanie’s contact information is above so please feel free to reach out to her for any design needs you have! As always, thanks for reading.