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Name: Tara Seawright

Business: Tara Seawright, Inc./Interior Design, a residential interior design firm

Industry: Design, Home & Housewares

Location: New York, New York, U.S.

Reason for starting: I started my own design firm in 2000 because I wanted people to feel the impact of great design. I always strive to make my clients feel that their home is a sanctuary; a place where they feel relaxed, healed and whole. I believe that interior design is an integral component to health and I want to share that vision.

Having worked at Christie’s and Matthew Marks Gallery, which were great places to work, I wanted to make sure that I duplicated and expanded on those foundations when I started my own business. Matthew Marks was exciting to be a part of because it was a professional gallery that had tremendous growth and a great program for artists. At Christie’s there was great pride and camaraderie. I am still friends with many of the people who I worked with there.

Related: Read about another design entrepreneur here.

How do you define success? I define my success by 1. Happy clients and a happy team and 2. by creating a space that reflects the client’s personality, functions beautifully and feels scrumptious. I always say that if a room is beautiful but does not function it loses its beauty. We elevate the standard of living so that our client’s homes are a reflection of who they are and how they live. After completing a project for a client there is nothing better than hearing that their home has become a compliment machine.

Biggest Success: Besides my client’s happiness and my team’s happiness which brings me the most joy, my biggest success was being named one of the “Top 50 Designers” by New York Spaces. It’s such a huge compliment.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge is taking clients on a journey through the design process and making it fun and comfortable. I strive to take the fear out of the unknown so my clients can be trusting in the creative process and I make sure that they are being heard, wowed and their needs are being met.

A lot of people reach out to me, who love my aesthetic but aren’t looking for the entire interior design process we provide. I am currently looking into selling my curated collection of vintage and antique items online. The pieces will range from small accessories for the home to large furniture pieces. Some of the items are collectables while others are more affordable. Also, we are developing a line of table tops and are looking into licensing our wallpaper designs.

Related: Read about another Home & Housewares entrepreneur here.

Who is your most important role model? I have a few important role models: Tina Fey, Sister Parish and Coco Chanel. I feel that they worked very hard at changing the way women are perceived in their respective professions. Each was faced with resistance and in turn was instrumental in breaking down barriers for women. Sister Parish is an especially important role model to me because she was one of the very first designers who helped start the interior design industry.

Twitter   @taraseawright

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Edited by The Story Exchange