I'm Leah, owner of Leah Shea Interiors. I'm so glad you joined me today! If you have been following for any length of time, you may know my story and why I started this but some of you may not. I have always loved creating even since elementary school. I never was a kid who knew exactly what she wanted to do until about high school when we had to research careers. I took one of those personality tests that tells you what field you would be good for. Guess I scored high in creative section. Interior decorator/designer popped up along with other creative jobs. I started working on my project, researching, and then started sketching room designs. I had a friend encourage me that it might be something I should pursue. My interest kind of just grew from there......
I finished my degree in Interior Design from Murray State, got married, renovated our house and started a few design jobs along with working my "real" job in retail. The retail job is where I grew in learning merchandising, stacking, and layering techniques to make displays pleasing to the eye but also shoppable. From there I moved up the company in visual merchandising, traveling to other stores as a visual merchandiser, and then promoted to assistant manager. Its awesome now to see how God gave me each small step or person to help while opening the next door. Its amazing how HIS design for our life is so much better than our own.
I got a call from a dear friend, LeeAnn, that she had seen an ad in the newspaper for a job at Decor Direct in Union City, TN. It was a retail outlet for the wholesale company, CBK. They were originally started by the Kirkland's and had changed hands several times over the years. I got the job of store manager and worked there for 7 years before getting laid off while I was home with our second child. It was a blessing that God worked out for my family. I probably would have never had the nerve to quit that job and the benefits had he not pushed me to start over. Like with any job you have so many ups and downs, I had some learning curves with being a new boss to over 10 people and adjustments to make. It wasn't always easy, but God started working on me through several people that He placed in my path that I will be forever grateful for.
Afterwards, my husband encouraged me to start painting and selling furniture in a local flea market. We did that for 5 years while I was staying at home with our now 3 kids. We always treated even that small space like a business. We would go to auctions, yard sales, and estate sales and find pieces to fix up and resell. He is great at searching and finding pieces. He sees the potential in a piece and has vision on what pieces will look like with a little paint. He learned to fix about any problem-old drawers, veneer peeling, filling holes, even making tables and signs. There were some days I'm not sure how we managed to do what we did; loading, unloading furniture, staging, pricing, and all the while wrestling 2 toddlers.
Fast forward to now, I have a home decor shop inside a local boutique, The Dirt Road. Its unique in that we are a store inside a store. I am open 3 days a week, so that I can still stay at home with our son and do some design jobs and installs on the other days of the week. I try to do a curated collection of vintage and new accessories in the shop because I love the look of the old mixed with the new. Its how I decorate my own home!
Its been awesome being able to put faces with names and interact with so many of you. I've had numerous people come in and say they've bought one of our pieces or shopped our booth before. Most of all, I enjoy ladies that started as customers turn friends. I get to know your family, kids and pray for things you are going through. I hope you follow along to see God's design for our family. He is the ultimate Creator.