Hello, I'm Janis
I’m so grateful to be doing what I believe I was meant to do. I’ve been creating interiors for my wonderful clients for over 20 years, providing solutions that are fresh, classic and personalized.
Are you here because you need a design solution?
Do you have a tired space in your home that could use a refresh with colorful new decor?
Are you considering a kitchen renovation because it just doesn’t work for the way you live now?
Perhaps you’re building a new home and feel stretched and stressed with juggling this full-blown project with work, kids, grandkids, parents.
Whatever your project, I’m here to get right into the middle of it with you. I have the skills you’re looking for: to identify your vision and put a plan into motion that eases your stress and takes your project to a successful conclusion, with respect of your time and investment.
In other words, RELAX – I’ve got this!
Interior design is a conversation among colors, textures, balance and scale. It should also be a comfortable and open conversation between you and your designer. One way to get a relationship off to a good start is to learn each other’s stories, and so if you have a few minutes, I’d like to share my story with you (you may want to grab your favorite beverage first)!
I trust that, given the opportunity to design for you, you will feel that I have listened to your story and am capable of helping you tell it through the design of your home.
FASHION & FLOOR PLANS
As a little girl, I spent many happy hours decorating my house – my dollhouse that is. I arranged and rearranged the furniture, formed tiny plates from bits of clay, crafted a chandelier from my mother’s broken strand of pearls. My delight was found in creating my perfect little dream house and imagining who would live in my tastefully decorated rooms.
I don’t know whatever happened to that dollhouse as I grew older and my interest faded. I suspect it was given away. My attention turned to fashion, and as a teen, I dreamed of owning my own boutique. It didn’t occur to me then, but in reality, it wasn’t about the clothes, but rather about designing the store for the clothes!
Continuing on to college, I earned a degree in Visual Merchandising and Retail. I loved the course work and graduated first in class (those late nights immersed in design books actually paid off). I snagged a pretty decent job as a visual designer for a chic department store in downtown Rochester. I had my own little corner desk in a shared office and I felt like a big cheese.
Well, it took exactly two years for that cheese to sour. There are a lot of power struggles in the fashion stratosphere. I didn’t see a future for me in that kind of work environment.
The experience cemented my belief that I was wired to create my own destiny.
FATE & MY FIRST COMPANY
It was then that I had a rather timely introduction to a lady at the store who was an aficionado of dollhouse miniatures. She inspired me to rediscover my love of dollhouses as a hobby. And so, what began for me as child play, became my hobby, and two years later, serendipitously evolved into my first company.
I quit my job at the store and never looked back. I became a crafter and seller of miniature furniture and eventually did open a store – My Sister’s Shoppe, A World of Fine Miniatures. Of course I designed the interior!
With my sister as my business partner (thus the name), we operated and grew MSS into a successful international business of crafting and selling heirloom quality furnishings for dollhouse enthusiasts. It was a true family affair as our Dad constructed dollhouses and our Mom crafted miniatures and helped out in the store. One of my favorite responsibilities was designing all the room settings for our catalog photography.
We lived and breathed that business, and the most important thing we learned was how to give our customers an exceptional buying experience.
BEGINNING AT THE END
At the height of our successful career path, life through a rock in the road. My sister had to relocate to Houston for her husband’s job. After much soul searching, I chose to continue the business on my own, but it was a challenging juggling act.
When I was finally getting comfortable with the changes, one more whammy hit, and this one really altered my route. A great guy from my college days walked back into my life. Literally. He actually walked into my store. We dated. We married. We started a family.
With two wildly wonderful boys 16 months apart, and foreseeable changes in the hobby industry, I came to the decision that it was time to move on. It was a bittersweet ending to My Sister’s Shoppe, yet I was hungry for new challenges and victories.
So what could I do next that would offer the flexible schedule I came to appreciate as a working mom?
A WELCOME SURPRISE
Interior design was definitely on my radar. It seemed like a natural progression from my miniature world – it was only a matter of scale right? Less than a year after closing MSS, I walked into a local showroom for the design trade. I wanted to experience how designers worked to see if it was a good fit with my background in design.
I was smitten with aisle after aisle of scrumptious fabrics, and vignettes with stunning furnishings, like nothing I’d ever seen in a furniture store. It was pure eye candy! The designers were friendly and encouraging and I knew quickly that I had found my next career. But there was much to learn. And so I did – after taking an extended maternity leave for the birth of our beautiful baby girl!
I sought every opportunity to learn the trade, from continuing education courses, to attending home furnishings markets, to devouring every interior design book I could lay my hands on. And I worked as an intern in that same showroom to gain practical experience. When I stepped into my first prospect’s home, I was confident I had done my homework. And it worked. She became my very first client!
I’m grateful for the privilege of doing work that I love for 20+ years. As a life-long learner, I still have an insatiable desire to discover what’s new and next in the design industry. I travel to home furnishings markets around the country to see new trends and gain in-depth product knowledge so I can add more value to your projects.
It’s also important to me to foster good working relationships with my vendors and team of contractors, for it often takes a village to accomplish great design.
As for my clients, well, I’m always learning something about and from them. And in helping them create their ideal home, they become more like dear friends.
I’ve been blessed with my husband and partner in all things, Doug, and with children who are diligently forging their own career paths: Jeffrey (MD in emergency medicine), Danny (Certified Physician’s Assistant) and Mackenzie (student of Communications and Media). I can assure you our sons didn’t get their science gene from me, but our daughter has great design sense!
Well, if you’re still with me, that’s my story so far. I think it’s fair to say you know me a little better now!
If you have already entrusted me with the design of your home or workplace, I am so very grateful to you and appreciate your confidence.
If you’d like to work with me, give me a call – I look forward to hearing your story!