Photo from Bowling Green Daily News Home & Lifestyle
By Admin, BuyLocalBG.com, BuyLocalBg@gmail.com/
Monday, June 23rd, 2014 11:00 AM CST
We’re getting to know the Owners, Managers and Artisans of some of our great partners. Today we speak with Gina Graham, Owner of Creative Interiors:
1. Tell us a little about you as a person. Where are you from, what are your hobbies and where did you start your career that led to starting Creative Interiors?
Well, where do I start? I guess from the beginning. I am from a small town in Illinois. It’s about 45 minutes west of Chicago. It was a great place to grow up because you could walk to school, family, friends and shopping at the “Ben Franklin” drug store. I moved here in 1980 and finished high school at Warren Central, class of 1984.. WHOO!! Love the 80’s! I went to school for Business Administration. I worked at Desa International in the Purchasing Department for 7 years. I loved my job. I learned a lot about international purchasing, marketing, sales and negotiation. I had a lot of great leaders that helped me learn and grow. The skills that I attained from Desa have given me the knowledge, experience and confidence to operate CI. CI is a family owned business. I married my husband, Tim Graham, in 1989. We will be married 25 years this memorial weekend.. (Another WHOO!) My mother in-law, Rhonda Harrod started Creative Interiors in 1986. I came along a few years later. She was so patient with me at the beginning. I tried to sew but it’s a gift that I just don’t have. I would come in with Band-Aids on my fingers every morning because I would sit at the sewing machine and the needle would run over my fingers. I did cut out window treatments and I learned how to quilt with the long-arm quilt machine. This helped give the working knowledge of how everything is put together. This is when I learned that not everyone can picture how things will look. I just thought everyone could envision the completed product or a finished decorated room. Wow!! There’s my gift. I finally found it. J The next step was buying fabrics. Well, that’s just like Christmas for me. I didn’t know I liked fabric so much until I could see so many ways you can put it together. The different patterns, (Large & small) colors, shades and then there is Texture, smooth, silks, velvets etc. The choices are really endless which makes it so fun.
Also – a little about Gina as a person –
My life revolves around God, family, dogs and work. Not sure if family should be first or dogs? Depends on what day it is? Lol After Desa, I stayed home with my 2 children because I thought it was the right thing to do. Well, I’m not the type to stay home with the children. Again, not a gift I have but it was worth a shot. I did learn that I like to organize and make things happen. I taught Sunday school for 5 years. Middle school and High School. It was great to guide young hearts and minds. What a blessing. I also learned that I can lead. Me a leader? Who would have thought? I never thought of myself as a teacher but here I was teaching Sunday school. Also, I was never a cheerleader but my daughter was and they needed a coach, so guess what? Yep, I became a Cheer coach. I had some very quick training and life experience but I wouldn’t trade that time with my daughter for anything in the world.
Back to me as a person…. I love to read, watch funny movies. Spend time with family and friends. I hate cooking but I love to clean and organize. I love music, old and 80’s. Not much of the new stuff. I love chocolate in any form except ice cream. I will not eat chocolate ice cream because I got sick on it when I was a child. I think the cup is 1⁄2 full all the time. I am optimistic, encourager and I love to help others.
2. What is your earliest memory of work, what got you interested in it?
I’ve been working in the custom window covering business since I was 22 years old. My earliest memory would be helping family decorate with color or fabrics. I would rearrange and rearrange just to see how different I could make it. I don’t want to have the same as everyone else. I wanted to be unique. What got me interested is Fabric. When I went to my first fabric manufacturer, I was hooked. What a cool process and the choices are endless. In one area they would have upholstery to silks all in a rainbow of colors. My mind just exploded with the possibilities.
3. What is the favorite thing we sell?
Fabric !!! Fabric !! Fabric !!! My favorite color use to be green. I really don’t think I have one anymore. I love pattern, textures, bold color, and soft colors. The only color I really don’t like is yellow. I’ve never had yellow in my home. Reminds me of “Big Bird”. Lol
4. Who are your influences in life and your work?
I am a member of WCAA. (Window Covering Association of America) I learn a lot from all the other decorators across the United States. I love to get their perspective on fabrication and decorating.
5. If you had to choose a last meal, what would you eat?
Salmon from Longhorn and my grandmother’s banana cake with cream cheese frosting.
6. How important is local business collaboration to you?
Very important. Local business will keep our town down to earth. BG is known for being friendly and personable. I love the small town feel and I hope we don’t lose it. It’s what really sets us apart from others.
7. What event in Bowling Green (or Charity) are you involved with?
St. Jude’s Children’s Home – this year is $1,000 from creative interiors
8. What do you see for the future of your business in Bowling Green and serving South Central Kentucky?
Continued Growth. In our industry we are ever changing. Nothing stays the same for very long. In our profession we must continue to be prepared for all those changes.
9. What other locally owned businesses in town do you enjoy shopping, eating or patronizing?
A new one for me is the Resurrection Shop!! Lu Lu’s is great!! Heart Strings. Sun Suites Salon & Spa I wish I could visit monthly for facials. Eating? The Bistro… Rafferty’s When possible, I love a good comedy play with my girlfriends.
Fan Creative Interiors page and enjoy their tips and treats for the Bowling Green Home!