We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Harrison-McAllister and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
There are a couple things. The first is they don’t realize how much physical labor is involved. I am not just sitting at a desk all day creating designs. I am on site measuring, moving furniture, etc. all of this is part of the process. The second is that that people are often unaware of the analytics that are involved in multifamily design. Research is essential to design toward your target market, so you have to know everything about their lifestyle such as where they work, where they shop, what car they drive, where do they eat, how much time they spend on a laptop vs tablet, how much time do they spend watching TV, etc. All of these statistics play an important factor in the design of the space to ensure it fits with their lifestyle needs.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What sets me apart from others is that my design aesthetic is truly the personality of the demographic I am designing for. I think it is important to tailor your designs to fit the demographic’s lifestyle and needs versus just creating a standard design. For me, leaving a career to start my own business was definitely scary and required lots of risk taking. However, I truly believe that risk taking is part of life, and in order to get where you want to be you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. I live for creating visually stimulating designs and telling a story through fabrics, scale and colors. I am most proud that I met and married my best friend and a man of integrity and style. My late husband taught me so much about myself and business, something I am eternally grateful for.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take my best friend Joan for a walk along the Harbor followed by enjoying a lunch with picturesque views of the city at Coasterra. From there, we would walk around Little Italy and cruise through all the fun restaurants and boutique shops, I especially am a huge fan of Love & Aesthetics. After this little shopping trip, we would pick out a fun caftan outfit for dinner from Chateau bel Ages, and cruise up the coast to Los Olas restaurant in Cardiff. We would walk along the beach as the sun sets and toast to our 47-year friendship followed by a delicious Mexican meal full of stories and laughs about how growing up in small town Stonington, Connecticut when we didn’t even know what an avocado was!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My late husband was always my biggest supporter and loudest cheerleader. I am eternally gratefully for the time I had with him.