Back in the spring of 2020 as I set out on my creative journey as an interior designer and decorator, I found such an amazing community of female entrepreneurs and other independent creatives through Instagram and my day-to-day life. That spring, I decided to highlight my current friends and new Instagram friends that were running their own businesses in a weekly feature simply called “Feature Friday.”
Fast-forward more than two years later and I’m bringing a permanent “Feature Friday” to the blog.
This series will highlight the amazing women in my community of creatives, whether we serve the same type of client, offer the same service but in a variety of aesthetics, or simply inspiring to me as a solopreneur for a variety of reasons. I stand behind these ladies’ work, know their hearts, and would recommend them in an instant to anyone I know!
This week’s Creative Feature is Terri Anne Irlbeck, Designer & Creator at Grace Harris Collection.
Terri Anne’s motto is “Traditional, but make it fun!” and if you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ll know that’s a mindset we fully believe in! As a native Texan with a flair for the colorful and classic, Terri Anne has worked as an interior designer for twenty years, getting her start in a furniture business that has now narrowed down to a core clientele that she designs for.
I connected with Terri Anne back in March, via good ol’ Instagram, connecting over our love of bows, florals, black & white (as well as all the color!), and we both having a “live for the hunt” shopping mentality, which Terri Anne brings to her clients through her long term connections in the retail world, which transitions into a true love of providing smaller projects to clients.
In 2021, Terri Anne felt that she needed a respite from the long, detailed finished projects, coupled with supply chain issues (hello pandemic world) while her faith guided her, she began an Etsy shop which is filled to the brim with custom creations that include custom wreaths, gorgeous floral arrangements, monogrammed linens, the most fabulous wreath sashes and bows, and plenty of accessories that you’re sure to ‘add to cart’!
The journey of an entrepreneur is so varied, from learning to write, handle social media, curate collections, and packing orders several times a week. With 64,000 follower friends on Instagram, Terri Anne is surely doing things right and connecting with clients across the U.S. The thought of trying something new was terrifying to this perfectionist, but time has shown her that God was leading her in the right direction to take a new direction in her business ventures.
Where does her inspiration come from? Terri Anne finds joy in her home state of Texas, although a recent trip to Savannah, GA was inspiring and felt that she had “found her people among all the bold patterns and colorful homes.” I mean, isn’t that how all Southerners feel when we’re right at home!
As inspiration led to her career, the first designer Terri Anne decided to follow was Charles Faudree, a Tulsa, Oklahoma designer with a penchant for French Country interiors. Book stacks and magazines of Faudree’s work were constant inspiration for analyzing the design elements in each room to the young Terri Anne as an interior designer.
“Rooms that are full, bright, warm, collected and classic lend themselves to an authentic style of her own home with a foundation of good design principles. “You can’t start with the fun and wonder why our room doesn’t come together. You need classic furniture pieces, neutral pieces, balancing the arrangement of furniture and focal point in order to allow your pop of fun, crazy or color, to work the same!”
We chatted about favorite things in Terri Anne’s home, one of those being a Staffordshire dog lamp, which came from a trip with her husband to Dallas at a consignment store. It has “..serious personality” and her sweet husband surprised her with it after their trip! Her fabulous mix of home style comes from Terri Anne’s mom, working together on numerous projects on her mom’s house which she says her mom “buys unapologetically things she loves” – and makes it work. There’s the proof in what I preach “Buy what you love and it will all work together!”
When it comes to home, Terri Anne repeatedly saw a desire for her clients to want customize a handmade floral arrangement, adding color and whimsy to their homes in smaller ways. Wreaths and florals were the gateway for her growing designs, and I had to giggle when Terri Anne took the words out of my mouth that “sometimes you work on your home, and then other times you take a break and you work on your wardrobe” … and here I thought that was just one of my funny “-ism’s”! Watch for Grace Harris Collection’s upcoming fashion line as well, including large bows, ruffles and more on dresses, headbands, sashes! “Looking back, so many things have fallen into place to lead me to where I am currently, and the skills that I have which can now be tailored to the products and designs I create.”
Thanks to Aunt Janet for teaching Terri Anne to tie a bow and believing in her, what a dream you’ve inspired her to create!
As always, I am continually inspired and encouraged by connecting with other amazing creatives on this entrepreneurial journey, so a Texas-sized “Thank You” to Terri Anne for stopping by and chatting with us! We can’t wait to see what Grace Harris Collection brings in 2023! Be sure to follow Terri Anne on Instagram and shop her Etsy site. You can shop her site now but shipping will open on January 20th.
May your days be Merry & Bright this holiday season and I’ll see you back on the blog in January!
Brittany “Bee” Zimmerman