Designing Women Inc., A NC Interior Design Firm to Know!

A cozy living room furnished with Century sofa designed by Designing Women Inc

When it comes to female entrepreneurs in the design industry we LOVE hearing their stories and sharing them with you! So when we heard about Designing Women Inc. we couldn’t wait to introduce them.

Meet Designing Women Inc.

For over 30 years, Designing Women Inc. of Hickory, North Carolina, has delivered premium design services to clients from across the globe. While the firm’s home office is located in the Hickory Furniture Mart, Designing Women Inc.’s client base includes people from across the country and overseas.

Paul Robert dining chairs for Dallas penthouse condo project by Designing Women Inc
Paul Robert dining chairs for Dallas penthouse condo project

Fluent in Remote Design

An array of digital technology including Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, and Facetime aids Designing Women Inc. in working with clients in distant locations. The ability to communicate remotely has been essential to Designing Women Inc.’s growth. And it is especially important given the recent quarantine orders in place across the world.

“We are still open and available for business, despite our home office in the Hickory Furniture Mart being closed through the end of April,” said Founding Owner, Sally Bentley. “We work in many different states and countries, so for us to work with clients remotely is something we do every day.”

An Inspiring Founder

Bentley, who founded Designing Women Inc. in 1984, believes in offering a design process that’s both personal and enjoyable. She has built relationships with many families through the generations, first designing the main house, then the downsized house, the vacation house, and then the children’s home as they grow to adults.

“We know people all over the world that by rights we should have never met,” Bentley said. “For me, it’s a beautifully designed space but more importantly it’s the relationships.”

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Extensive Services and Resources

Designing Women Inc. offers a range of services from total home renovation to seasonal decorating. In addition, other specialty services are available and easily accommodated. The team works on houses of every style with the flexibility for every budget. And project costs are always discussed upfront so there are no surprises.

With their own drapery and bedding workrooms, clients can choose from a vast array of options when selecting fabrics. Additionally, Designing Women Inc. provides clients with direct access to their own trucking and moving company, drapery installers, and building contractors.

Custom made bedding from Designing Women's workroom
Custom made bedding from Designing Women’s workroom

The team also has direct access to luxurious and quality products only found in the Catawba Valley region of Hickory. Many of the most popular furniture designers and manufacturers within the industry proudly call Hickory their home including, Stanford Furniture, Cox Manufacturing, Pearson Furniture, Century Furniture, Hickory Chair, Hickory White Furniture, Wesley Hall Furniture, and Vanguard Furniture.

floor screen with brass butterflies by koket

A Powerful Team of Women

In addition to Bentley, Designing Women Inc.’s team includes designer, Donna Chamberlain, and Operations Director, Becky Stokes. For the past 15 years, the firm has been privileged to have talented interns from design programs throughout the Southeast and will soon be welcoming a new designer once the current quarantine orders have been lifted.

Donna Chamberlain

Chamberlain joined Designing Women Inc. after spending 21 years as an owner and buyer for high-end furniture stores throughout the Southeast. The ability to help each client incorporate their unique style into a project sparks her passion for interior design. “I enjoy and appreciate all styles of design including contemporary, traditional, and eclectic,” Chamberlain said. “Blending fabric, finishes, leather, rugs, and accessories is not only my profession, it’s a passion!”

Becky Stokes

As Operations Director, Stokes keeps all engines running at Designing Women. She has over 17 years of experience in managing operations and training. Most recently she spent 10 years in the executive office suite industry in Maryland.  “One thing I love about my role, is that I can help each designer stay on target and organized with their individual projects,” Stokes said. “This allows them more time for focusing on the client while I handle behind the scene details.”

A pretty sunroom with CR Laine custom upholstered furniture by Designing Women Inc
A pretty sunroom with CR Laine custom upholstered furniture  

Each person at Designing Women Inc. plays an integral part in working to provide clients with a space that functions for their lifestyle. It is the firm’s goal to connect with clients personally – whether it be in person or digitally – in order to gain an understanding of how they live. Whether interested in decorating one room or an entire household, the ladies of Designing Women Inc. personally guide their clients through the process.

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Feature Image: A cozy living room furnished with Century sofa designed by Designing Women Inc


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