As a brand expert and Business Made Simple Coach, I absolutely love helping women in business find new ways to stand out, clarify their message, connect with their dream clients, and hit their business growth goals.
That’s why I started the Women In Business Spotlight—as an opportunity to showcase some of the incredible women entrepreneurs I get to work with, spotlight their work, and dish out some of the recognition they well deserve.
This month, I’m excited to introduce you to Shawn Strok, the incredible designer behind Strok Design. Check out Shawn’s interview below to learn more about her story, her services, and how she went from a fashion student to one of New England’s top home designers.
Why did you start your business or choose your profession?
After graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, I started my career in the center of the fashion business on Seventh Avenue. Through my first few years in the clothing industry, I worked in showrooms and gradually found my way into the interiors market selling European textile designs.
The idea that interior design was also fashion hadn’t occurred to me, and I was intrigued. I had always loved creating beautiful spaces. I constantly gravitated toward the local furniture stores on my walk to work through the Westside streets of Manhattan.
To get my start in interior design, I trained to design and sell custom closets and other organizational spaces in the home. I was fortunate to work in gorgeous homes throughout the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut for several years.
After 911 priorities changed, and a move to Massachusetts to be closer to family was a huge shift. Now married with two young children and lots of renovations to our new home needed, I honed my skills. The results caught the eye of one of my contractors, and in 2004 I started my first interior decorating company—Potters Hand Interiors.
In 2008 I aligned with Decorating Den Interiors, a national design company. With the increased access to exclusive products, trade relationships and training, my little design business grew exponentially.
In 2018, another home renovation—this time a waterfront property, which has been a life long dream—transformed my business again. Organically, clients started to ask about their summer homes throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island shores and lakes. Would I travel? The answer was a resounding yes, of course!
During the Covid 19 Pandemic I was able to continue working and designing in empty summer homes while my clients wintered somewhere warm. It was perfect and since then, I have carved out a specialty with my team of architects and builders to create the best and most distinctive summer homes in New England and beyond.
What do you love most about what you do?
The thing that I love most about what I do is seeing my clients’ reactions when they walk into their newly designed space for the first time. I’ve gotten everything from tears of joy, hugs, and applause to actual gifts.
What’s something fun that someone might not know about you?
My first business was in direct sales for Amway Corp. in 1991. Together with my husband Craig, we built a small organization of people and learned how to manage a business and a team among so many other things.
We both say that we went to AMWAY UNIVERSITY for our graduate degree because we learned more during those 8 years of our “side gig” than we could have ever learned doing an MBA.
What’s your favorite book?
My favorite book is Prayers That Avail Much by Germaine Copeland. There have been many times that I utilized the prayers in this book to calm my spirit and spur me on.
Interested In Working With A New England Interior Designer? Shawn Is One Of the Best!
Use the links below to visit her website for more information about her services, or connect with her on Instagram!