I was approached recently by VoyageLA, a web-based magazine to have an article written about my interior decorating company. Technically, Orange County is not a part of Los Angeles. But honestly, we are so close (35 to 45 miles depending upon exact locations) that it is the best way for me to tell friends and family back east about where we’re located.
Of course, I was and still am flattered to be featured. VoyageLA is how Voyage Media got its start. With over a million page views about all things happening in Los Angeles, they spread their wings by using the same approach to publish info on other city centers. What made me say yes was how their approach to sharing info about the greater L.A. area read like a comfortable conversation.
That approach spoke to how I function at Mary Etta Designs. Mary Etta Designs is all about hospitality if you haven’t noticed. As your Southern Gal in the SoCal, the pineapple a sign of welcome and seen repeatedly in the southern states, is central to our logo. In case you missed our logo introduction earlier this year, I wrote about it here.
With permission from VoyageLA, I am reprinting our featured article in its entirety because it gives you a look at who I am and why I love being the owner of Mary Etta Designs Interiors. Enjoy!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Etta McCurdy.
Mary Etta, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Born in Georgia, raised in Cleveland Ohio, I now call Southern California my home. Living in Orange County with my husband, Al and our dog, Cocoa, I love the design aesthetic of places like Atlanta, New Orleans, Savannah and other southern cities. Just call me your “Southern Gal in the SoCal.”
I had a very large home that needed to be decorated and my friends and family loved my taste. I started helping my neighbors in Cincinnati, Ohio’s West Chester suburb decorate their homes back in 2000. I was so busy that I thought, “I need to start charging.” The one area that I noticed was most challenging for them was creating window treatments. So for many years, I concentrated on that. In the area’s colder climate, where you are inside for 9 months out of the year, window treatments are a focal point many times.
In 2003 we relocated to Orange County, CA and in a couple of years, I was up and designing again. But the recession and the end of a decade has moved me to shift my focus back to interior decorating and added color consultations as a secondary focus.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My struggle was trying to fit into the California pared down design vibe that I thought was the only way I would succeed. I participated in trade shows, networked as the newbie in town. And I thought I would move my business in that direction. It was not working for me trying to fit my brand into a direction that my heart was not feeling. And then the recession plus internet shopping slowed me down. In fact, I worked for other companies for a few years.
But the clients that I serve are like me in many cases. They are either transplants from back east or baby boomers. We like our stuff! So I finally rebranded and am moving forward with a new look which includes the pineapple as a nod to southern hospitality.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mary Etta Designs story. Tell us more about the business.
My mission at Mary Etta Designs is to give your home a look and feel that is warm and welcoming. I feel very strongly that our homes are meant to rise up and welcome us.
And why not welcome everyone that we invite into our personal spaces? I love the approach to decorating often found in southern homes. Look at the great way that homes in the south use layers of textures, fabrics and color that are not too stuffy.
But you will find a feeling of casual elegance. I believe that living well is within everyone’s reach. Everyone has a budget that they need to stick to no matter the income level. My job is to help you live in casual elegance within your budget.
I use a timeless and classic approach to design. This approach allows my clients to have a newly decorated home that will not feel dated as trends come and go. Known as the window treatments experts among my peers, I am the only interior decorator in Orange County, CA that is known as Your Southern Gal in The SoCal.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Bad Luck = 1) a move from Ohio to a new state only 3 years after I started the firm.
2) Finally up and running in 2005 and right around the corner was the recession.
Good Luck = 1) Facebook Groups! Thank goodness that there are communities of interior decorators and designers to help keep our morale going, share info and continue to educate our clients that even though they have access to items on the internet, there is still a need for help from a professional. 2) As I geared back up to being a solo-preneur, I am now an empty nester. I have so much more time to focus on the business.
- Website: www.maryettainteriors.com and https://maryettadesignsinteriors.com
- Phone: 714.340.3214
- Email: Info@maryettadesigns.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryettadesigns/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryEttaDesignsWindowCoverings/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryEttaMc
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/mary-etta-designs-yorba-linda
- Other: https://www.houzz.com/pro/maryettadesigns/__public