Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Bree Wellons: interior designer, owner of Dilwyne Designs, and co-founder of Adorn Goods boutique in Centreville, Delaware. Bree shares with us what it means to empower women to live positive and organized lifestyles along with advice for future #bossladies.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
After graduating from Syracuse University, I moved to Sydney, Australia to work at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Public Relations. When the Games finished I began working for an advertising firm, where I was exposed to endless creative businesses. Living in Australia for a few years was an amazing experience filled with travel adventures, tons of design inspirations and I met my husband! Once we moved back to the States I enrolled in an interior design program and was hired by a local designer. In 2009 I started my own interior design company, Dilwyne Designs, which focused on residential and small corporate clients. All of these experiences led me to wanting to open a unique retail shop.
2. What prompted you to start Adorn Goods?How do you decide what brands/lines to carry?
Working in the interior design field and many years of foreign travels introduced me to countless product lines. For many years, I’ve dreamed about opening a shop where all of these creative sources would be available. My business partner, Jennifer Steiner, and I were lucky enough to find the perfect building to buy and renovate in the historic town of Centreville, Delaware. Adorn Goods feels more like a home than a business, which has been well-received by our customers.
3. As a retailer, what lessons have you learned (that you didn’t know prior to opening the store)?
Managing your inventory, interacting with your customers and having a good sales team are most important. Paying attention to what categories of products sell the best will also help steer your business.
4. How do you make your store stand out against competitors?
We like to view Adorn Goods as a modern day general store. You can pretty much get whatever you need for your home, fashion accessories, body products, gifts and food. We want our customers to feel relaxed and inspired in our shop and know that we’re consistently adding products that are unique and different. Our love of fine foods prompted us to include an epicure room where we sell grab and go meals from local chefs. We also offer a private event space and host numerous gatherings.
5. Where do you hope to see Adorn Goods in 5 years?
We want Adorn Goods to be viewed as a one of a kind shopping experience. We also look forward to growing our bridal registry business.
6. As a working mom, do you have any tips on creating a balance?
Ha! I don’t know if there’s ever a perfect “recipe” for this question. All you can do is try your best and know you’re setting a good example for yous kids by following your dreams. Family life and business needs are always shifting, so just enjoy the ride! My family is very large and we all live close together. Family get-togethers are always totally entertaining with our cast of characters.
7. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Adorn Goods is really fulfilling my creative juices. I love meeting all of the interesting people and artisans who find our shop. Owning a store is a special way to connect with creative people and other businesses.
8. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
Starting a small retail shop is a big risk and can be scary. I like to believe that if you’re dedicated and focused on your business plan and mission, things typically work out for the best. Yes, there will always be bumps in the road and you have to be willing to try new things but, if you’re passionate about what you do, it offers many rewards!
9. Who is a #BossLady that inspires you and why?
Mary Celeste Beall and Kreis Beall are inspirations to me. They so graciously lead Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, along with their amazing team. Over a year ago Sam Beall, the proprietor of Blackberry Farm, tragically died at the age of 39. Mary Celeste is Sam’s wife and Kreis is his mother. Just a few weeks after Sam’s passing, Jennifer and I attended a Martha Stewart event at Blackberry. Both Mary Celeste and Kreis hosted our group and were the definition of strength, authenticity and elegance. The Beall family has created a one of a kind southern experience at Blackberry Farm. Sam’s vision will live on through is wife, mother and the exceptional Blackberry team.
Just for fun:
1. Your happy place is: Charleston, South Carolina and Lewes, Delaware
2. The one item you can’t live without it: Tata Harper Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint
3. Favorite Instagram account to follow: The Dogist – Love the owner’s quotes about their dog’s personalities!
4. The last show you binge-watched: The Handmade’s Tale – so well done! Now on to Game of Thrones current season.
5. Cocktail of choice: My friend Debi’s Ginger-ritas. Yuuuuummmmm!
6. Song you could dance all day to: It’s summertime ,so all things Bob Marley!
7. Trend you wish would disappear: High waisted pants! SO not flattering!