CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Interior Designer Marie Cloud is preparing for phase two of a project in south Charlotte.
The pandemic brought more clients than she could’ve dreamed of when she started her business Indigo Pruitt Design Studio five years ago. Cloud is part of a growing number of interior designers in North Carolina.
The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the interior design industry has grown by 10% in the Tar Heel State since the pandemic started.
And, they’re in high demand thanks to a growing interest in homeowners wanting to spruce up their spaces. Cloud welcomes the long, hectic hours with open arms. Her love for home decor started many years ago with her mother.
“She would just take an old janky sofa, a chair, throw some fabric on top of it or a blanket – and it would look brand new,” she said.
She says the demand for home makeovers skyrocketed with remote working; she even gave her office a makeover three times since 2020.
She’s designing entire homes, but like most designers, she’s come a long way from when she first started.
“At this point, we’re calling folks up, like can I please, please do something in your home,” she said. “They were paying me gas money … which I was grateful for back then.”
Now, she has a wait list for the next year.
“Since 2017 when we started, I’m up 85-95% for clientele,” she said.
And she says she’s just getting started.
“I haven’t even touched the surface of what God has planned for me,” she said.
While the interior design industry is dominated by women, Cloud says designers of color are few and far in between. Only 2% of designers in the U.S. are Black, according to the job search company Zippia.
Cloud’s on a local diversity equity and inclusion board for designers to diversify the business.