The road to where I am currently has been paved with tireless, innumerable hours and projects upon projects…but I would not change any part of what has brought me to the place I am today. I am the owner and principal designer of my own design firm….What?!?
I began this journey, which i didn’t realize till much later, while i was in high school working hard in AP Art. I always had a love of drawing, painting, creating and working with my hands. Before I had this outlet, I often worked with my father on projects around the house and found that the construction process just made sense to me. It’s a very logically illogical process sometimes, and i just got it.
After high school, I dabbled with my art skills, and soon found, I loved arranging and rearranging the furniture or wall decor in my dorm at college. This grew into doing the same thing in the home I eventually shared with my husband. With kids in tow, I would venture into stores and grab miscellaneous items and somehow make them work. After many years of this, the itch for more increased, as did my husband’s desire for me to let the spaces be. Eventually, he kindly asked me to work on someone else’s home. I began helping neighbors and friends with their projects. Teaching myself to faux paint walls (i know i just dated myself), rewire outlets and light fixtures, install tile, tear rooms apart, etc. I had no fear of the work and only excitement for what could be done. My business name was accents by design during this time.
At this point, I was still a mom with 4 young boys and needed to balance my projects with my children and my home life. I would only take on a couple projects a year, but this gave me the creative outlet I needed and the strength to carry on inside the home as well. I absolutely loved repurposing someone’s decor and still using it, but in a totally different way than they had been using it previously. Ideas would just stream into my head. It was exhilarating to see a room transform into a totally different space with very little additions to it. Gah…i loved it! I also had a passion for remodels. Knocking down walls and seeing what a space could become.
Several years later, I was asked by a friend to help with a couple homes that were being built by a newly formed construction company. It was so much fun to create something from the ground up and instead of having to think through and rework a plan, the project was fresh and the sky was the limit. Over the next couple years, I would help with a couple homes a year. It was the perfect amount to take on with my boys getting a bit older. I was even able to still take on the random decorating project too!
A couple years into this arrangement, I was asked to take on a bit more for this builder and begin working on every home. I would do the project management as well as the interior design with the homeowners. Because of the way my brain worked, it was an easy transition to do material estimating, tracking, ordering, on site meetings, construction walk throughs with the sub contractors, etc. My youngest was about 9 at this point and I was able to work on a part time basis in the office. My older boys were 13, 14 and 15 and really stepped up to help watch their little brother in the afternoons that I would get home a little late.
I have failed to mention how supportive my husband was through this time as well. He could see how I needed the momming as well as the creative outlet.
I continued to work for this builder, as well as the occasional side job with accents by design. It was a great fit! In about 2015, I was getting the itch to do more of the interior design packages. With construction, I was getting so busy and had so many projects I was handling, that the furniture and design part of my job was falling by the wayside. By 2016, I could feel my need to do more starting to really take over. I was able to do a “Parade of homes” Home for the UVParade, but was unable to decorate and furnish the home. Then in 2017, amidst all the regular projects, another opportunity to design a “Parade of Homes” home came, but this time, I was able to do the project from beginning to end, furniture and accessories! The whole shebang!! My itch had been scratched!! I decided after that wrapped up, it was time to go back out on my own and work on my own dreams.
THis is when I changed the name of my business to Allison Campbell Design. It felt like I jumped off a cliff! I was so nervous. What if I failed? What if no one wanted me to help with their homes, their projects, their dreams? My husband reassured me that this would not be the case. I had built relationships within the construction community. I was trusted among this community. I had become known for my ideas, my organization and my quick response time to clients and contractors. The month after I leapt, the projects started rolling in. Once people heard I had gone back out on my own, the flood gates opened. I have been so blessed, and overwhelmed, with the amount of trust that is placed in me. In the almost 3 years since forming Allison Campbell Design, my firm has grown from just me, to two, to three and now to four designers!!
I have surrounded myself with talented women who love what they do, who are honest and hardworking and women i can call my friends. I couldn’t ask for more out of my once fearful dream. I look forward to continuing to create, please my clients, and work hard for myself, my family and my team.
Don’t be afraid to jump….it could be exactly what you need!