I am beginning a series on local professionals in and around the Baltimore area. If you or someone you know would like to be featured here, please forward their information! So if you were fortunate to come to my FIRST "Learn from Local Expert" series back on May 21 then you met the very talented April Force Pardoe of AFP Interiors. She gave a great presentation on how to decorate your outdoor spaces. I first met April a few years ago at a get together at a fellow designer's house. Since then I have been privileged to work with April on a few projects and am always refreshed after talking with her. She is always enthusiastic and ready for any challenge. Her work has been featured in local showhouses and in local magazines such as HerMind, Howard Magazine and the Washington Post.
Here is a little "Q & A" between me and April
-What do you do?
I help busy homeowners create stylish and functional rooms they are happy to come home to. I am the owner of AFP Interiors, a residential interior design company.
-How did you get started in this field?
I've always been drawn to and interested in interiors, color, decorating and design. I have a master of arts in publication design where I concentrated on graphic design. I worked as a graphic designer for years and then transitioned to event planning and design. The principals of designing on paper are very similar to designing a room. Coordinating and managing events, including laying out large public festivals and corporate events at an art museum, prepared me for managing design projects and establishing business and client relationships. From events I transitioned into designing interiors.
-what does your business offer clients?
The obvious answer is interior design services - complete room design, space plans, furnishing, art, light and window treatment selections. The real answer is that I offer peace of mind and reduce stress for my client. Clients come to me because they doubt their decisions, don't want to waste money, don't have the time it takes to design a room and don't know where or how to begin the process. I offer my clients a completed space that suits their lifestyle without the stress of completing it on their own.
-What is the most challenging part of your job?
Running the business poses the most challenges - finding time to keep the business moving while getting clients and keeping them happy is continuous juggle.
-What do you enjoy most?
Finding the right piece for a client makes me so happy. Design involves a lot of research and when you find the "right" piece for a project it's a wonderful feeling. Ultimately that makes the client happy, which is my goal.
-What adjustments have you made to your business to keep up with the changing economy?
I began my business when the economy was bad so I have not really made many adjustments. I believe that what works always works, regardless of the economy - great customer service, delivering on promises and appreciating people's time and business.
-What makes a good client?
A great client is someone who appreciates design, knows it's a process that takes time and is willing and able to bring in a professional because they value peace of mind, saving time and money and what a completed room will do for their life.
-Do you have a location (store/studio/workshop) where clients can come meet you or do you come to them?
I meet clients in their homes or at an offsite location for initial interviews.
To contact April, call 410-446-6340, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to her website, www.afpinteriors.com. Tell her I sent you!