Dwayne, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The process of discovery, getting lost in imagination, and creating fantastical environments in my head has been a part of my being from my earliest memories. I genuinely believed everyone walked around the world seeing things through the same lens. It took years to understand this ability is a unique ‘gift’ and I feel privileged I get to share this with the world.
My journey to becoming a design professional is beyond non-traditional. I didn’t go to design school, nor did I pursue a fine arts degree, and I never worked in a luxury design firm. Instead, I pursued a business degree, including an MBA from the University of Florida. While I “freelanced” in design my entire life, I simply didn’t fully understand my artistic gift until later in life. In my teens and early twenties, I thoroughly enjoyed life. I rode and showed horses allowing me to experience a unique cultural aspect of society. My tastes became more refined and my appreciation for luxury and creativity catapulted.
When I launched my firm in 2013, it was a euphoric feeling to realize I was following my true passion. This idea of getting to work with clients in their most intimate and personal spaces–their home, is beyond gratifying. I’m grateful and humbled every day by the opportunities I am given and relish every single chance to create something special and personal. For me, this is not just a business it is most definitely personal!
Has it been a smooth road?
Ha! Anyone who claims starting a new business has been a smooth road either has been given too much money for the venture or really isn’t passionate about what they are doing. Without challenges, there is no growth so I’m thankful I had challenges.
Of course, there are the normal challenges of cash flow, managing timelines and deadlines, and all the other rote tasks of running a business. One figures those out, hires the best specialists available and makes sound business decisions. However, the challenges I love facing are the design challenges of creating something new, not relying on “tried and true” or “easy”. We don’t have a “look” at my firm as we start from scratch for every single client. When we use a feature wallpaper or a fabric, it gets removed from our library never to be used on another custom client again. Everyone deserves personalized treatment and not someone else’s hand-me-down designs.