“Looking back to when I was a child, I would sit on the floor and push the furniture with my feet,” says Beth DuBois, owner of the Designery Company. “I rearranged my room probably 50 times. I would constantly move my furniture around, and I always loved color.”
From a self-expressive childhood to a thriving creative company of her own, DuBois has always been artistically inclined. She remembers her father buying her an acrylic paint set and telling her she was bound to be some kind of artist.
Now, she describes her business as “a bit of a chameleon.” A one-of-a-kind shop for interior design services and unique items for the home, the Designery Company is located in historic Hilton Village in Newport News.
As a teen, DuBois worked in a shoe store stockroom and stayed in retail for 13 years. Her journey with the interior design industry began in the early 1990s, when she took an office job in a drapery workroom. This is where she got her start with coordinating fabrics and working with textiles. DuBois worked at Haverty’s Furniture for years before her own design services began to take off.
“COVID has grown [my business], to be honest with you. When we re-opened, it just exploded,” she says. “Everyone was staying at home, they wanted to complete projects. Haverty’s was a full-time job and then I started getting more calls privately, and they both turned into full time jobs. I transitioned out [of Haverty’s] in April of 2020 and that’s when I started 100 percent with the Designery Company’s interior design. And it just hasn’t slowed down since.”
The Designery Company opened in 2019, offering DuBois’s interior design services in the Newport News area. Her storefront opened in 2021 with the goal to create a visually stunning experience for customers looking to enhance their homes through the magic of interior design. When looking for a space to grow her business, she was drawn to Hilton Village due to its close-knit and creative vibe.
“My vision for the store was more of an interior design studio where I would have everything for the home, like flooring, lighting and everything in between, [such as] furniture and accessories,” DuBois says. Today, the storefront also highlights the work of several artisans from the area, including a glass maker, a painter and an artist who repurposes whiskey barrels into home decor pieces.
“Not everything is new,” she says. “It’s an eclectic mix. To set myself apart and make sure I have things to keep people coming back, I try to do unique pieces and things I don’t see in stores around our area.”
In terms of the services she offers, many of DuBois’s clients are looking for in-home interior design consulting, where she offers project management and a designer’s unique insight. She also has a purchasing service available to help bring clients’ ideas to life. DuBois has a few other employees who help run her store, and an intern as well, and she is looking to expand to keep up with demand.
When asked about her favorite aspect of her work as a designer, DuBois answers: “Creativity — it boils down to that, even at the store. I’m constantly moving things around, bringing in new inventory, keeping it fresh, trying to give people that visual experience. In the home, every project is different. Foremost, I focus on [the client’s] lifestyle, the structure of the home, and try to pull all those elements together and being creative at the same time to create a beautiful design. Working with people on each project, it’s just so diverse.”
DuBois notes that sometimes designers can get “a bad rap” because some do what they want with a project, ignoring the customer’s vision.
“I’m not that girl,” she says. “I focus more on people, their lifestyle. I don’t really do a lot of high-end designs.” She describes her creative niche as “regular people who want [their home] comfortable and pretty.”
Many of DuBois’s projects tend to build upon each other; some of her clients have said that she’s put her creative touch on their entire homes. “And they’re not kidding!” she says.
One of her most unusual and extensive projects is a local horse farm trying to break away from the popular farmhouse style that incorporates a significant amount of gray. “When I met with [the client], he said, ‘I need color, I just need color,’” she says. “As a designer, we just love color. When I finished his project, he was over the moon because I gave him something [different] from his experience with other designers.”
DuBois grew up in South Carolina and has called Virginia home for more than 20 years. She married in 2021 and enjoys spending time with her husband and their one-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever. Her son is 24 and lives in Norfolk. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time in nature, especially the beach. She also adores animals — horses are her favorite. “My son came to the grand opening [of the Designery Company] and texted me afterwards, ‘Mom, I counted nine horses in your store!’” she says.
DuBois speaks fondly of her line of work and her journey with her business. “I’m in my element,” she says.
“I wouldn’t do anything else.”
TO THE POINT:
The Designery Company
Address: 10355 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601
Contact: Beth DuBois