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Meet Carly Trippe of Designed By Carly

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carly Trippe.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As long as I can remember, I’ve been passionate about design. My dad, in particular, incited this enthusiasm from a really young age. As kids, he designed and built my sisters, and I elaborately themed bedrooms. First, we had a castle bedroom with bunk beds hidden behind pink castle walls. In our room, we became princesses in a fairytale setting. Then he built us a Jungle Book themed room where we lived amongst giant cutouts of the Jungle Book characters. As I got a little older, he began involving me in projects, and I became his little helper. He encouraged me to lead the planning and mentored me to use tools independently. He recognized and encouraged my particular interest in the creative aspects. When he built us a treehouse bedroom, I made the tree trunk out of paper mache and painted it. He built confidence in me early on that I can do anything I set my mind to. To this day, that treehouse project is one of my favorite childhood memories.

As I got older, I side-hustled decorating events, which morphed into bigger projects remodeling and furnishing spaces. In most cases, I knew the people I was working with and tried to create spaces that reflected their values and energy. Those projects were typically very low-budget, so I had to get creative building furniture from scratch or refurbishing items I’d find online, at thrift stores, or even in alleys! I loved the challenge, but because money was usually tight and I genuinely wanted to help people out, I wasn’t charging much for my services. I convinced myself it was cliche to turn what I was doing into a long-term career, and after graduating college, I ended up taking a job in the mortgage industry. I was making decent money but hated the work. Eventually, I built up the courage to quit my job and traveled for a year through Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Throughout my travels, I was blown away by each country’s unique approach to design – the tiles in Portugal, textiles in Turkey, the resourcefulness in South Africa… Every culture inspired and moved me in a different way. When I got home, I knew with 100% certainty that I needed to make a change. I enrolled in design school, and in the process restored and redesigned the old Cardiff Firehouse. That was my first major project; it challenged me to my core but affirmed that I was on the right path and being true to myself. The rest is history!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Within the first year of running my own business, my dad passed away unexpectedly. He was my number one cheerleader, mentor, and best friend.

At the time he passed, he was teaching me to weld. We were working on a piece together, and he was helping me navigate the challenges of operating a business – all the stuff you don’t really learn about in school. I ended up letting that project fall to the wayside and found myself struggling with confidence.

On the year anniversary of this death, I compelled myself to finish welding the unit we’d been working on. It was emotional but forced me to confront my feelings of competency head on. I learned that failure was OK, and so was I. I still have days where I struggle with grief and doubt, but I’m adjusting to this new normal.

On a more pragmatic note, I’ve struggled with setting boundaries- not only in the projects and workload I can and should take on- but also with negotiating and being confident in the value of my work. All in all, growing a business from the ground up takes so much energy and dedication.

I’m constantly reminding myself to be patient with the process; success doesn’t happen overnight.

Designed By Carly – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My business – Designed By Carly – is a full-service residential and commercial interior design studio.

My goal is to tailor each project to the needs and lifestyles of my clients. The human connection at the core of each project serves as the baseline from which I work. When you’re doing business with me, you’re working with a person- not a “firm”– the process is a conversation.

Another element I emphasize is functionality. I’m hyper-focused on the organization and believe that space should not only be comfortable, but efficient. My vision extends beyond what you see when you walk in the front door to the function of every drawer, cupboard, corner, and room. (Let’s just say… I clear out the excess Tupperware and junk drawers!). When I wrap a project, I want the space to have a totally fresh mojo.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I want to remain a boutique interior design studio. I love getting to know my clients on a more personal level and keeping them involved in every aspect of the design process. Eventually, I would like to grow a small team, but for now, I’m a one-woman show!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Dana Trippe Photography

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Steve Moore

    November 18, 2018 at 2:20 am

    I have known Carly since 1998 and was best friends with her dad. She has her dads gift of fresh design and pattern. Her work shows her love for what she is doing. Space is no problem because she learned how to design within it’s limits. Her Dad is smiling down on her everyday and so are we.

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