Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoria Sheffield.
Victoria, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was twelve years old, my mother decided to splurge on redecorating our family room. This was during the summer, while I was spending my days lazily at home. While I don’t recall his name, I’ll never forget the joy the Interior Designer brought my mother, as they collaborated on her pet project. He was able to elevate her lovely natural style by bringing items into our home, such as a gorgeous carved wood elephant to sit atop a new solid brass table. The look was timeless and interesting! The pieces, many of which I cherish today, stayed in my parent’s lives through decades, moves and transitions.
After spending my teen years reading Architectural Digest and attending home tours with my mother, I decided to get a degree in Interior Design, and have never looked back. My first job was with an Architectural Firm that specialized in health care facilities and very different from what I do today. The biggest jump I took was to “open shop” from my own home ten years ago. I began to work with friends, then, their friends, and on, until I was averaging about 25 projects per year. Last year, I hired some much-needed help and formalized the structure of my business with the expertise of my CPA and a wonderful software system for designers. I now have a small dedicated team to provide design services, including CAD, purchasing and installation.
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?
While creating beautiful spaces, and tackling design challenges, comes naturally for me, running a business does not! I had a full client load when I began using my system, IVY, for proposals, billing and purchasing. It was long overdue and my schedule was so strained that I did not dedicate enough time to learn all of the system’s features. In time, and after some trial and error, I caught up with my new technology. My biggest piece of advice for the designer starting her own business would be; slow down, take the time to set up a structure that you understand backwards and forwards, in order to keep your business, invoicing and accounting organized. The second piece of advice would be; never forget that your clients are the most important players in your business, appreciate their viewpoints, always!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Victoria Sheffield Interior + Exterior Design – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I enjoy working alongside homeowners to create their ideal space. I love to give my clients something that surpasses their vision; whether it be functionality, color, lighting or overall style. My greatest pride and joy are the many repeat clients I have had over the years. I recently took on the 4th project with the same client, spanning six years, two cities and four homes! We shared a bottle of wine (which happened to be on my birthday) during installation to complete her vacation property.