Carefully designed career path
By ERIN SNELGROVE
Some people thought she was crazy. After all, what single mom in her right mind would quit her job to open an interior design company?
But Patty Maggard-Prediletto didn’t care what anyone thought. She had faith in herself.
“I’m a really positive thinker,” said Maggard-Prediletto, who works out of a home office. “I never thought about the drawbacks. I only thought about what I could do with it and where I could go.”
With that mindset, Maggard-Prediletto, 51, opened Colours By Design in 1996. By that time, she had 11 years of experience in interior design, most recently at Standard Paint & Abbey Carpet in Yakima and Ellensburg.
That background had allowed her to cultivate relationships with distributors and community members. But by being her own boss, she said she was no longer limited by what tile, paint and fabric products she could use.
“I enjoy the newness to it,” she said about decorating, adding that 90 percent of her business comes through referrals. “I enjoy the people. You get close to your clients.”
From the start, Maggard-Prediletto said her then-14-year-old daughter was her top priority. That’s why she doesn’t work nights or weekends. And because she takes both residential and commercial clients, she has never had a lack of work.
“All my eggs aren’t in one basket,” said Maggard-Prediletto, who’s lived in Yakima most of her life. “If I did only new construction, I’d be starving right now. There has always been that balance.”
Most of her clients are middle class, middle-aged women from throughout the Yakima Valley, she said. And although there are other interior decorators in the area, Maggard-Prediletto said her true competition comes from established businesses like her former employer.
That’s why she believes in the importance of building close relationships with her clients. Her job is to help them discover what they want and to deliver what she promises — whether it’s a remodeled kitchen or a new wall color. Sometimes she works with clients on one room. Other times, she’ll draft a three- to five-year plan to update their entire home.
“When you’re done with a project, you feel like you’re breaking up with your boyfriend,” she said. “You miss them.”
As an extension of her business, Maggard-Prediletto opened Quality Consignment Furniture in Yakima three years ago. Run by her now adult daughter, the store sells a wide array of gently used and high-end furniture, which she oftentimes receives from her interior design clients.
Through her two businesses, Maggard-Prediletto said she’s able to use both her creative and social skills. She’s also able to carve out time to golf, travel and play with her two grandsons.
“I truly love what I do,” said Maggard-Prediletto, who remarried six years ago. “Not many people can say that.”
|Owner: Patty Maggard-Prediletto
Product or service: Interior decorating
Location: 2605 Loren Court, Yakima
Length of ownership: 15 years
Number of employees: Just herself
Average number of hours worked by owner each week: 35