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Rising Stars: Meet Stephanie Pohlman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Pohlman.

Hi Stephanie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I went to Mizzou from 2008-2012 and graduated with my degree in pre-architectural studies, emphasis in Interior Design. My first job was working for a commercial office furniture dealer, called POE, from 2012-2014. After realizing there wasn’t as much room for creativity in commercial design, I began my journey as a residential designer. For a few years, I worked for another designer as her assistant and a custom home builder, which helped me learn all the ins and outs of design and the details that go into it. (including construction) In 2016, I was pregnant with my daughter (our first child) and decided to take the leap and start my own business while I was still working for the builder part-time. What started as a side gig, turned into a business that I could have never dreamt of! The word spread and I was getting more clients than I could handle. After I had my daughter in 2017, I quit my job with the builder and decided to go on my own full time and start my business, Stephanie Pohlman Designs.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
My biggest battle was starting from scratch and learning the ropes of navigating a design business alone. For a while, I was doing everything by myself.. from all the computer and admin work, hanging artwork and mirrors, to doing the heavy lifting and moving furniture. My mom, who we joke is my best assistant, would help me on install days to be an extra hand. For a short time in 2019, I had an assistant who would help every so often but ultimately decided she wanted to spend time with her children. In 2020, I finally hired another a full-time designer, Emily, who has been amazing! We are still only a team of 2, but over the years we’ve come up with a system and way to get help where we need it. (AKA heavy lifting and using a drill. lol)

Last year, in 2021, we decided to launch our “Design for Good” Project. We came up with the idea after seeing people struggle through COVID times. Whether they were losing loved ones, their jobs, or just simply having a tough time through the pandemic, we knew we wanted to help! We thought we could give back by simply taking one stress away, which is making a space in your home a retreat to relax and enjoy, Our mission is “to love your home” and we wanted to bring that to one lucky family who ultimately would never have the luxury of an interior designer’s help. The biggest challenge was raising money towards the makeover. We launched without a real plan, and knew going into our first year that we would likely be funding a lot of it out of pocket. After announcing to our social media channels, we got a lot of interest and raised about $500 through raffle ticket sales. We were able to gather a few businesses to volunteer their time and make the makeover a success. (still paying some out of pocket- but better than expected!) This year, we have more sponsors on board, and it’s going to be even bigger and better! We do this because we truly love what we do. There is no greater feeling than getting the text at the end of the project with how much the love their space! (and even better when it’s someone who has been through tough times)

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am an interior designer in St. Louis, MO and surrounding areas. We specialize in residential projects. We help with anything from virtual room designs to full renovations and custom new builds. I would say we are known for making our designs livable and family-friendly, but still beautiful. 9/10 of my clients are parents with young children who want a space they love and can spend time with their families. We are always taking note of the most up and coming ideas and implementing them into our designs. I think we have a fresh outlook on each of our spaces and stay ahead of the trends. While we take trends into consideration, we ultimately design for our clients and their needs.

We love a good puzzle! When our clients come to us for a renovation, oftentimes we come up with the plans before getting an architect involved. I think that is a misperception about interior designers! We don’t only just pick pretty pillows and cute accent chairs (although that is fun too). We curate drawings for contractors to use to make sure what they are building fits the overall vision. The same goes for new builds. We like to get involved during the process with the architect, so we can make sure all things are considered for the interior of their space. We ask the questions that the architects aren’t always necessarily thinking of. (where will furniture placement be?, how will you be using this space for your family? how does it flow from room to room?) We are proud of the way we can look at a space and give a fresh outlook.

For our Design for Good project, we have to be very mindful of budget. Since we are relying on sponsors and donations, it’s our mission to make the space the best possible with the resources we have. We are able to get creative, which makes it fun! Our goal is always to create a functional, yet beautiful space!

What are your plans for the future?
My plan for the future would be to have a group of women who all work together and have a flexible work environment. I started this business to be able to take off when I need to for my kids, be around for school events, and have a healthy work/life balance. I think that’s so important for moms (and dads)!

We also have a project, called Design For good, where we give away one free room makeover to a deserving family. This is only our 2nd year but it’s already bigger and better! Last year, in 2021, we redesigned a primary bedroom for a couple who recently lost their father and experienced a pregnancy loss. This year, our winner is a mom of 2 who recently lost her husband. Instead of one room, we decided we are going to do 2! We have more sponsors who are coming together to help out, which is really cool to see! I would love to see this turn into an organization where designers around the world take on the same concept and give away a free room makeover to someone local to them! (Design for Good)

Pricing:

  • $100 Hourly Design Fee
  • $400 Virtual E-Design Service

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Emily Broadbent Photography (headshots)
Stephanie Pohlman

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