Local Entrepreneur Finds Hope in Happy Interiors

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Woman uses Web to bring affordable design to all.

A Twin Cities woman is the proud owner of a unique new business after a sagging economy left her jobless and in danger of losing her home just three short months ago.

Amy Mathie, 44, co-founded Happy Interiors LLC (http://www.happyinteriors.com), a web-based interior decorating firm that matches clients with designers. It undercuts traditional interior design firms through lower markups and the lack of a traditional showroom.

"Losing my job proved to me that the traditional approach to interior design could be improved," said Mathie. "By eliminating fancy showrooms and reducing overhead, Happy Interiors can slash costs without sacrificing quality."

To Mathie's delight, interest in Happy Interiors has been brisk. Its modest, transparent design fees include an initial consultation, a custom design brief, design revisions, vendor research, order facilitation, and more.

"There is this misconception that interior decorators are luxuries only the rich can afford," explained Mathie. "It doesn't help that the average design markup is 43 percent. The Happy Interiors model is a flat 10 percent markup, plain and simple."

Having spent years coordinating the activities of interior designers, vendors, and clients, Mathie felt she had the knowledge and relationships necessary to match clients with a range of budgets to talented local designers.

While Happy Interiors relies on the web instead of a showroom, the company and its designers are local and available for in-person consultations to ensure client satisfaction. On qualifying projects, the company even offers professionally designed complimentary before-and-after e-mail blasts so clients can share their home makeovers with friends and family.

"Happy Interiors isn't just about making good design affordable to all," said the newly self-employed Mathie. "It's about working closely with customers to bring out their personalities through the best designs for them."

Those interested can learn more about Happy Interiors and receive a free style assessment at http://www.happyinteriors.com.

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Will McClain
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