Strother holds ribbon cutting: Stephens, Landerfelt team up to offer comprehensive design, planning services

Published 2:13 pm Thursday, July 4, 2024

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Caroline Overmyer Stephens and Jackie Landerfelt are both interior designers and Demopolis natives. They also both lived in Birmingham and around the same time decided to move back home and open their own respective businesses.

Coming back to Demopolis, the two entrepreneurs decided to work together.

“I was like, all right, let’s do it,” Stephens said. “And the more we talked, the more our dreams got bigger. Let’s have a studio. Let’s do events from start to finish.

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“But let’s do from start to finish to design weddings and events and help piece this together. Let’s stick to what we know with interior design, and let’s offer things that aren’t offered in this area.”

Landerfelt said it’s all about creating the right feel for their customers whether it’s in their homes or for a special day in their lives. 

“We’re all about creating all the emotions,” Landerfelt said. “I mean, we do that in people’s homes, and we do that for events.”

Fast forward nearly 15 months later, Stephens and Landerfelt made those dreams come true as they opened their one-stop shop for interior design and wedding/event planning along with a showroom floor to show off furniture and ideas for their customers.

To cap off that phase of their business, the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of their new business on the Town Square. 

Mayor Woody Collins, who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony, said he is excited to see a new business located downtown in the Main Street District across the street from City Hall.

“I can’t tell you how proud it makes me,” Collins said. “These talented young ladies could have located probably anywhere in the United States. They’re, their skills are good anywhere, but 

they came to Demopolis, Alabama.”

Strother Design is located in a former mattress store, and the name comes from Stephens’ grandmother, Marjorie, who gave her blessing to use the family name. 

“She’s (Marjorie) is kind of the thread that pulls us together,” Landerfelt said. “So she’s Caroline’s grandmother, and she’s very near and dear to me as well. That was how we came up with our name.”

Stephens and Landerfelt wanted to keep some of the original character of the building. They kept the old brick walls and painted over them. They also ripped out carpet and tile underneath that to get back to the original concrete floor. 

“We tried to save as much downtown character as we could,” Stephens said. 

“We worked with the historical architect to make sure that the front was what it needed to be for the cityscape and all that,” Landerfelt said. “We did a lot to try and save the character of the building to fit into downtown.”

The two designers are relieved to finally get into their new building. They had at least six storage units of items they had to move into the building. The front of the building contains the storeroom floor where the furniture is on sale along with inspiring customers in their home interior design projects.

It includes everything from the planning phase to the final pillow. Stephens and Landerfelt see their role as working with an architect to make sure the living space fits with the needs of their clients.

“When we’re helping design someone’s home from a construction standpoint, we think about — well this is the bedroom and you need to make sure the bed can fit there,” Landerfekt said, “This is where the nightstands are, so we want our plugs right here. It’s a very intricate and detailed operation for sure.”

For the near future, the showroom will be open by appointment only, as they will not have set schedule to open the storefront. However, there is a good chance that they will be working in the store when you stop by.

“It’s kind of by appointment or by chance,” Stephens said. “So we’re pretty much always here working. And if we’re here working, people are welcome to come in, say hey and shop, but it is just the two of us. We have so many client meetings, site visits to go to all of that. So if we’re not here, they can always call.”

“We’re boots on the ground,” Landerfelt said. “We’d love to get to that point where we have set hours, but people can always call and say, ‘Hey, can y’all be here at this time? I’ll be in town and I wanna come in.’ So that’s always an option.”

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