Stonewood Interiors: Gifts & 30 Years of Home Design Savvy
Owner Donna Wood has worked in the interior design business for 30 years and says her vast experience is one thing that makes Stonewood Interiors different from its competition.
Special to Emmaus Patch By Chrissy Cilento, Emmaus High School Senior
What service do you provide?
We are a full spectrum design studio. We do window treatments, blinds, lighting schemes, renovations, we carry gifts and seasonal items within all price ranges and also do free gift wrapping. Everything in the store is an item for sale. We have two interior designers here and work in custom home interiors in houses all over.
Is there a business you'd like to see highlighted in Biz Bites? Tell us in the comments.
Why did you choose to locate your business in Emmaus?
It’s the closest to the high school—When we opened eight years ago, I had two kids in middle school and in high school and I wanted it to be convenient. It’s really worked out though because I love Emmaus.
What makes your business different from the competition?
Personalization, customer service and unique items. We try to get as many products made in the U.S. as possible and as many products made by women as possible. Also talent, years of experience and education—I’ve spent 30 years in the interior design business. All the work we do is very hands on; I make sure every little thing is exactly the way I want it and our customers appreciate our attention to detail.
What is the most rewarding part of your business?
Meeting the people and watching their faces when they see their room come to fruition.
What’s the hardest part of your business?
I would say it’s scheduling everything. Sometimes I work 21 days in a row— that’s pretty common. Last night I was here until 7:30 p.m., which is always hard because I try to spend as much time with our youngest daughter as possible.
Where do you hope to see your business in the future?
Truthfully, I’d love for my daughter to become an interior designer and take it over, but that isn’t gonna happen! If I were younger, maybe I’d have a vision, but for me this is probably it—I’m getting old!
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t go into debt; don’t overspend.
What business advice would you give to someone else?
Do your homework and be prepared to work very long hours, but enjoy every minute of it. You’ve got to love what you’re going into business for—love it. That’s the biggest thing right there. You have got to love what you’re doing because you will live and breathe it.
Do you have a role model for what you do?
My role model has always been my mom, but for this business I would say my husband was probably the biggest force telling me “You can do this!” I was a stay-at-home mom and did interior design work freelance, but he convinced me to go into this business.
What do you do when you aren't working?
I love to read. I do a lot of charity work for many organizations and am on the board for the Allentown Art Museum.
Anything you’d like the community to know about your business?
I think what people in the immediate vicinity don’t realize is that we are not just a gift store or a furniture store. They don’t realize how much is here. We’ve got a huge, huge library upstairs. We can get things that you can’t walk into Pottery Barn or certain businesses and get -- we probably have 90,000 fabrics on the third floor. We just want people to know that we’re here!
Chrissy Cilento, a senior at Emmaus High School, plans to study journalism in college. She is a periodic contributor to Patch.