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S21 E4 – Nationwide Design in Smalltown Illinois with Amy Storm

On this Friday’s episode of the Chaise Lounge, Nick is joined by Amy Storm of Designstorms to discuss her journey from Barbie Dreamhouse decorator to an entrepreneur with 10 employees designing all over the country out of Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

The Dreams

Amy Storm knew in high school that she wanted to be an interior designer, but she didn’t completely know what that entailed. Some of her college professors told her she didn’t know what she was getting into and needed to try something else. So she got into her school’s exclusive interior design program out of spite, where she was told she shouldn’t follow her heart into hospitality design because there weren’t any jobs in that area. Again, she sought out the designer behind some of her favorite Chicago-area restaurants and bugged him for a job. She moved on but was laid off. So she returned to bug him some more, convincing him to add a second designer on the cheap for a trial period to a firm that mostly staffed architects. She worked there for nine years after that.


She left after those nine years to have kids. But on Storm’s first day of motherhood, she got a call from a friend who needed a design eye, and she went right back to it, taking small gigs so that she wouldn’t need to be away for too long at one time. And her business grew from there. When her girls were old enough to be in school, she scaled up the projects she took and scaled up her team to match until she had her employees working around some folding tables in her bedroom.

Since then, Designstorms blossomed into a thriving business with a showroom, projects all over the United States and even an office with no bed in it.

To see the work Designstorms does, visit its website www.designstorms.com and check out its Instagram @designstorms.

I needed more hands-on deck. I began adding staffers, all working out of our global HQ (aka the humble Storm abode), holding meetings at the dining room “conference table,” stacking samples on any and all free surfaces, and spreading everything out across the bedroom and living room floors,

Amy Storm

Chaise Lounge Updates

Thank you for joining the Chaise Lounge in season 21!

Our new podcast Coast to Coast Design is live! Give it a listen to learn about just how many ways there are to run a design business.


Upcoming Markets

High Point Market – Feb 6 – 10 24, 2019

Modernism Week – Feb 14 – 24, 2019

BD West – Mar 13-14, 2019

Design Influencers Conference – March 24 – 26, 2019

Wrap Up

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app! We’d love it if you post a review, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. Also, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. With that said, keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!

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