As a lifelong interior design lover, launching a successful design business and then opening a shop earlier this year are both dreams come true for Sidney Wagner of Eclectic Designs. Of course, a glimpse at her design inspirations and a look at her new shop, Eclectic, are a real opportunity for us as well: to beef up our decorating wishlist with some truly thoughtful, gorgeous items! We were thrilled to have a look around Sidney’s Charleston-based shop and office, and to pick her brain about what makes a design — and a designer — successful.
How and when did you start Eclectic?
Well, I started my interior design business about seven years ago, but I just opened the shop in January of 2013. It has been a longtime goal and I had my eye on several buildings as I knew I wanted something free-standing and in a certain area of town, so when this particular spot became available, I jumped on it. It was sooner than I had planned and the process was way more difficult than I expected, but luckily I had the support and encouragement of some really wonderful people. I had been amassing inventory for over a year, but since I do a lot of refurbishing and repurposing, that inventory still needed work plus the building needed to be renovated. So all in all it took about a full year for me to actually open. So far, I’ve learned a lot, and I’m sure I will continue to learn (both what to do and what not to do!) but I am really enjoying the journey and I feel very blessed!
What does Eclectic offer that other interior shops don’t?
Eclectic has a unique blend of vintage, repurposed and new items offering a fresh perspective unlike anything else in the local marketplace. The user-friendly design studio at Eclectic also allows quality trade-only products like Quadrille fabrics and Phillip Jeffries wallcoverings to be accessible to our customers. I’ve also been developing a line of special order products that will soon be available both in the shop and online.