Name of your Company: Shandra Ward Signature Design Studio
Position: Designer & Creative Director
Year founded: 1997
Tell us about yourself and your business:
I’m 45 years old, a native Houstonian, a single mother and a passionate designer. I own my own design business, Shandra Ward Signature Design Studio and co-owner of Couture Confections Stylish Candy & Dessert Buffets. I love shopping, dining with family and/or friends, crafting, creating mood boards, designing new ideas for candy/dessert buffets and martinis. Signature Design Studio is a design firm that offers professional services in interior design, event design, graphic design and art. Couture Confections is a candy buffet design company. We create stylish sweet buffets for any occasion.
I am also a freelance writer on art and design. I write for my blog, Signature Style Studio and for Examiner.com. In 2012, I will launch my e-magazine, Signature Style Home Décor & Entertaining. I am a contributing writer for Bread & Butter magazine; EXALT magazine and other online magazines and blogs.
What inspired you to start a business?
When I was a teenager, I would always rearrange the furniture in the house at least once a week. My mom would come home from work shaking her head and smiling “Lord have mercy, this child has changed the house again.” But she never interfered whenever I had a creative tantrum, not even when I painted some of the furniture. I grew up having art, design, fashion and architecture influences all around me. With a structural engineer and entrepreneur for a father, a crafty mother and a very stylish grandmother, I was continuously exposed to design. In 1987, I decided to pursue a career in interior design. After receiving two degrees in interior design and having an extensive background in art and design, I was prompted to start my own design firm, Shandra Ward Signature Design Studio.
Share one business goal:
To start my own line of dinnerware, table linens and glassware.
What would you say contributes to your success?
I owe 50% of my success to having the drive to complete my education and continue to learn my craft. The other 50% is having parents that supported by dreams to become a designer and the foundation they laid for me to succeed.
What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur?
My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to get your education, soak up all the knowledge you can about your craft. Develop your skills and be prepared to do a lot of grunt work and starve, but know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the rewards are great.
Anything else you want to mention about your business?
Another design skill I treasure is creating fabulous environments for weddings and special events. We offer professional services in event design, floral design, custom invitations, event stationary, lighting, and more. If you seek to start your own private collection of art, we also offer art consulting as well.