Thursday, January 11, 2007

On owning a Soft Home Décor Business

You might say I like to make things! All my life I've struggled to define what it is I like to do...never could quite pin it down. One day it hit me: I like to make things. Simple as that.

In my current business, which I started from scratch in 2000, we do just that. The business has grown from just myself, to a group of 5 talented people creating and working in a fantastic environment. With an array of specialty machines, tools, tables, and supplies, we create custom soft home decor. The Brick Path Studio repertoire includes window treatments, slipcovers (dresses for chairs), bedding, decorator pillows, table drapes/cloths, and just about anything made from fabric for home decor and comfort. We dream up beautiful and outlandish things ourselves as well as bring into reality the brainchildren of our clients.

Ever notice the incredible things in a shelter magazine's photo shoot? ...and say to yourself, "Look at that! Where in the world would they get those drapes, those sublime pillows, that duvet cover, those perfectly fitted and detailed slipcovers? Where would they get a gorgeous, lined, opulent canopy treatment for that bed?? " (NO! You don't see them ready-made in the department stores!) Well, THAT'S the kind of things we create...every day...and it's truly exciting!

To beat all, we are able to do this from upstairs in an old circa 1910 warehouse building in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. From our city block of art and specialty boutiques, we look out our atelier windows to see the sign of the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, Restaurant and train station. Weather permitting, we open these huge warehouse windows and smell the mouth-watering gourmet restaurant next door and maybe wave hello to the local sculptor from two buildings down. A couple of times per day he or his friends walk his giant poodle in and out of the street lamps and the specimen trees. (The streetlights down Williams Street are as perfectly planted as the trees.) The clop-clop of the horses pulling sightseers in carriages towards the waterfront area begins ringing in the late afternoons. We can take a break if our shoulders ache and head down our long narrow staircase to chat with the ladies in the antiques store below and see what’s “new” in their adorable shop that’s filled with American and English furniture. It is a plethora of exciting sights and sounds! All this is ours while doing what we love and know. How great is that?