More Women Creating Their Own Businesses Than Ever Before

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Today more than ever, woman are fast-tracking to financial independence and security by owning and running their own companies. The companies that are dominating this space come from all areas of business, but Decorating Den Interiors is proving to be a highly successful franchise that more women are turning to. Why? It combines creativity with the potential for huge financial success while leaving room to successfully juggle the demands of home and family.

By owning a Decorating Den Interiors franchise, I'm not missing my daughter’s first steps and new words, and I still continue to build a successful business doing something I love.

On the surface it’s a sign of the times. Lack of jobs and loyalty from corporate employers and discrimination has forced many women to become more entrepreneurial than ever before. But that’s only half the story, as a leading franchiser in the home decorating business category, Decorating Den Interiors, has learned.

The other half is that more young women than ever before are empowering themselves by creating their own careers – and incomes. And in the process of creating their own financial opportunities, they are also adding to the slow but sure economic growth during these economically challenging times, as recently featured on ( and Small Business Notes (

Part of their success is that they’re more astute than ever to the business world, thanks to watching their mothers and fathers navigate (and stress about) corporate careers. In years past they might have courted college degrees for their fast track to economic stability, but are now, in record numbers, creating businesses so as to better self-manage their career, income, family and personal lives.

Lauren Riddiough Clement, found her professional and personal empowerment through a franchise with Decorating Den Interiors in Leesburg, Virginia.

As a child, Clement remembers a house full of fabric swatches, a father who made her breakfast every morning and a mother who attended all of her equestrian shows. Today, thanks to owning her own business, she has the perfect work-life balance that most corporations talk about but fail to deliver. She still works 60 hours a week, but she also gets to see her children’s first footsteps and attend school functions.

“By owning a Decorating Den Interiors franchise, I'm not missing my daughter’s first steps and new words, and I still continue to build a successful business doing something I love." Lauren Riddiough Clement, Franchise Owner/Master Licensee, Decorating Den Interiors.

Lauren's parents began working with Decorating Den Interiors in 1984, embracing a career path with a company that afforded them the flexibility to be both hands-on parents and successful interior designers.

Flash forward 20 years later. Lauren, like most of her peers, was in college and trying to find a career path. Her goal was to become a clinical psychologist, but, says Clement, “I had a change of heart and decided to follow in my parents’ footsteps.”

"I knew I was good with colors, style and fashion but I had no formal training," Lauren says. "I had no idea how to measure for windows or carpeting."

In the absence of experience, Lauren relied on her passion and strong work ethic to jumpstart her interior design career, completing Decorating Den's intense initial two-week professional design and sales school, followed by twelve weeks of ongoing training modules and ongoing weekly and monthly support.

“The learning curve was steep,” admits Clement. “But with the help of other Decorating Den Franchise Owners and comprehensive training, I quickly found my footing and launched my own franchise in Northern Virginia.” Experts say that what sets good franchise opportunities apart from bad ones is indeed the training that a franchise provides new owners.

“At Decorating Den Interiors, we help you succeed by providing franchisees with the education and training necessary to be successful. We take our new owners through the entire process so that when they open their doors, they’re experts in their field – capable of competing with privately owned “boutique interior decorating businesses,” regardless if it’s New York City or Tallahassee, Florida,” says Mick Riddiough, of Decorating Den Interiors and Lauren’s father. “And what’s more, as a Decorating Den Interiors franchisee owner, you have a community of interior designers you can reach out to. Some of our franchise owners have been in business over twenty years, and they’re willing to share knowledge.”

Today, Lauren runs one of the most successful franchises in the company.

"Five years later I still see things that surprise and challenge me, but the fun and excitement keeps me going,” Lauren says. “And the support I've received from other owners is incredible. Decorating Den Interiors is one big family."

For Lauren, the sentiment takes on a whole new meaning. Her husband also works with Decorating Den Interiors—the perfect fit for their growing family. Both parents often create their own work schedule around lunch and dinner with their daughter. "With one child and another on the way, it's important that my husband and I are there for their big moments, just as my parents were,” Lauren says."

In addition to the family-friendly schedule, Lauren says Decorating Den Interiors empowers employees with an incomparable selection of over 100 vendors and an established brand. When clients see the company attached to Lauren’s name, they know the quality of her work will be high.

As a wife, mother, Franchise Owner—and most recently, a Regional Manager—Lauren says it is a thrill to have a career that allows her to feel fulfilled in each role. Her work days are long and the job isn’t always easy, but Lauren has the autonomy to design her own future without someone looking over her shoulder.

“You can make this opportunity what you want—and work as little or as long as you want,” she says. “But most Franchise Owners are such strong, competitive go-getters, and we love interacting with clients every day.”

For those interested in joining the Decorating Den Interiors family, Lauren says interpersonal, organizational and time management skills are just as critical as being able to put colors together. You need a passion for—not a degree in—interior design.

It’s a message Lauren has heard since she was two.


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Susan Schuster