Waurn Ponds mother Katrina Harmon saw great potential when she purchased 40-year-old business Design & Decorate Interiors three years ago.
“I saw the opportunity to reinvent it, which is what we did,” she says.
“It had the largest range of wallpaper books in Geelong and it continues to do so.
“I have many clients coming in saying we bought from here 10 or 20 years ago – that’s been really great.”
Katrina studied interior decoration and has a history in the building industry.
Buying Design & Decorate Interiors allowed her to take her practical skills and creativity to a whole new level.
“It’s allowed me to give it my own personal touch,” she says.
She started by renovating the store itself, which had remained much the same for decades in Pakington Street.
“That’s what I do and I had to apply it to the shop,” she says.
Her family pitched in for the project, including her husband and her son, who works as a builder.
Katrina provides advice on interior decoration and a wide range of products including window furnishings, wallpapers and custom-made furnishings.
“I’m a one-woman show,” she says.
“I love the creative side and working with clients.“
Katrina goes above and beyond for her customers, who are a mixture of renovators and home builders.
“Just seeing the joy and pleasure that it brings them is amazing,” she says.
“They’re more than customers. They become friends, they let you into their homes.”
She also supports Geelong manufacturers and suppliers, selling local blinds, drapes, cushions and lampshades.
“I love being able to deal with local people, we have a lot of talented people within our region.“