By Gina Graham, Creative Interiors
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 12:00 PM CST
It all started with ruffles. Do you remember ruffle curtains? You could get single ruffles, double ruffles, or even add lace to your ruffles for around the same price. Thus began my life in design; right in the middle of “A Touch of Country.” This girl from Northern Illinoismarried an old-fashioned southern Kentucky gentleman from Bowling Green. I’m not much of a country gal or a farm kind of gal, but I sure fell in love with the challenge and puzzle of design, even if it did come with ruffles! After about five years of ruffles in every color, swags and jabots arrives. It was a new era and something different to the custom home Industry.
That’s when we bought a lot, built a commercial building, and moved to Scottsville Road. Creative Interiors was born! In the first few years, we had to add on to the building in the back to serve as a workroom so we could use the whole front building for fabric, trim, hardware, and any unique items we could find. It’s incredible to believe Creative Interiors is celebrating 25 Years! It seems like yesterday I was pregnant and waddling around, moving fabrics into the building. Those were the days! Such good times and fond memories.
I learned every aspect of the business from my mother-in-law Rhonda Harrod. I would do the bookkeeping, taxes, payroll, etc. I would help with the installations of window treatments. In the workroom, I would cut out the pattern for the seamstress. The best part was shopping for the fabrics! Yep, I definitely found my calling. The first time I went to a fabric company it was just like Christmas morning. All the patterns, colors and textures you could imagine in one building. And that was just the first company! We had ten others to visit that day. Talk about overload! Even today, those trips to preview new lines and fabrics are my favorite times. The possibilities are endless and it sure does spark my creativity. I am always so excited to return with those ideas and share all the new information with customers.
It’s crazy to think where we started from 25 years ago. This industry is ever changing. That first trip to the fabric company? that was before cell phones or iPads, so I returned with small square samples to show our customers. Technology has changed our operating systems. Yes, in the beginning we did everything by hand. All the bookkeeping, payroll, inventory etc. Now we have the best of the best computers, tablets, iPads and such which means finding and managing all the available programs for accounting, interior decorating, fabrics, furniture and accessories. We are going into our third generation for Creative Interiors and it is an ongoing process. It really does take all the family members and staff to stay ahead of this constantly evolving industry! Interior decoration has gone from country ruffles, to wavily floral wallpaper and matching fabrics, to sleek and straight lines. We continue to grow and change with the industry. We are members of WCAA, Window Covering Association of America. Every year our staff and workroom participate in seminars and/or classes to keep current. We go to Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago and High Point (North Carolina) for training and continuing education.
Creative Interiors is so much more than just a store. We have made history together. Our three local workrooms are use daily by very talented women that have been with us for over 15 years. We’ve truly become a family, and we work so well together, like sisters. Each one of these women are incredibly gifted with the vision and creativity. They can see a picture and come up with a design!
Through the years, we have remodeled, rearranged and refreshed more times than I can count. We introduce new companies every year who bring in different products for decoration and the latest in accessories and furniture. Of course, fabric remains our biggest passion.
As I reflect over the years I remember so many amazing customers. I have to say that has been the best part of my job, the customers. It is such a pleasure to help someone crate a room and atmosphere in their homes or businesses that at the beginning of the project, they were unable to imagine or envision in their space. And it all came from their favorite things: their colors, textures, styles and preferences. Everyone is unique and it is my privilege to be part of the design process. I get to help nudge them along in the direction they need to go. Sometimes they just a little extra push and encouragement from someone who can help them capture the vision.
About Gina Graham: Gina Graham owns Creative Interiors and has been involved with the business since it’s inception. She loves, loves all things that are design related. Her favorite thing is helping create and atmosphere in the home that is a reflection of their personality. She resides in Bowling Green with her husband, 2 adult children and 2 dogs. In her spare time, she loves to put her toes in the sand while reading a good mystery book.
This was originally Published in SOKY Happenings April 2015 edition.
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