How did you get started and how long have you been in business?
When I was in high school my art teacher at the time noticed that I had a really good eye for art when it came to sculpting and making furniture. She is the one that mentioned I should consider looking into interior design as my secondary schooling. So, from there I started by taking a few decorating courses to see if I enjoyed it, and I did. I took as many art courses as possible to get my portfolio ready to get into the interior design program at Mount Royal. However, this was back in 2004 when interior design became really popular because of HGTV and TLC. I tried for two semesters in a row to get into Mount Royal, but they were only accepting the top 40 out of the 250 students who would apply. I decided to go to the Institute of Design and Technology in Toronto.
I graduated from that program in 2009 and once back in Calgary I started designing custom kitchens and millwork for a shop here in Calgary. While I was designing custom millwork for the high-end builders in the city. I also started to take design clients on the side to make sure I wasn’t leaving my dream behind. In 2015 I realized I had taken all I could from the millwork industry, and I knew I needed to focus on my full passion, which was interior design. I started my company at the time called “inspired Interiors” part-time and started to work with two other interior designers at the same time to make sure I learned as much as I could of the industry before fully going on my own. In 2017 I decided to take the leap to working fulltime for myself and have not looked back since. In 2019 I incorporated my company and rebranded to Elle Cherie Design with inspired interiors as our tag line as that is what I always want to create. I have been in the industry now for 10 years and could not imagine doing anything else. I love creating spaces that are curated to my clients needs and the most rewarding part is seeing their reaction once is all complete and how thankful they are for my design expertise.
What is your business philosophy?
“Interior design is a harmonious relationship that extends beyond the spaces in which we live; it is the essence of life, a reflection of our needs, our environment and our future. Without design, where would we be?
Describe two things you have achieved in your business career that you are proud of.
I am proud of the fact that I have started my own design business before the age of 30. I am also proud of the knowledge and experience I have achieved over the years as I continue designing and working with clients.
What motivates you to get up everyday? WHY are you doing what you’re doing?
My why is being able to help as many people as I can to love the spaces in which they live. Our homes should be our safe haven and should provide calm and functionality. My goal is to take away the stigma of the industry and provide the highest quality customer experience and to make the design process as stress free as possible.
Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a designer?
My art teacher in high school who started this entire journey for me. Without her I do not know who or what I would have become. I am very thankful to her.
Why do your clients use your services?
I have many services that I offer to cater to each client’s scope of work and budget.
Provide a 100-word biography.
Melissa is the principal designer and founder of Elle Cherie | Inspired Interiors in Calgary, AB. Melissa brings over 10 years of experience in residential interior design working alongside architects, contractors and other trades to coordinate and bring her clients designs to life. Specializing in custom millwork & residential design along with a keen attention to detail, Melissa ensures a smooth process from design development to completion.
Outside of designing for her clients you can find Melissa at the gym, a yoga class, out with friends trying the newest restaurants in the city.