Risa's Interiors Creates Beautiful Homes
March 1, 2016 by Audrey Johnson
Risa’s Interiors has been creating dream homes on the Emerald Coast for more than 30 years. This past June, owner Risa Priestly decided to move her shop from a 3,000 sq. ft. cottage to a 12,000 sq. ft. Mediterranean-inspired showplace. The move created a huge demand for Risa’s remodeling and design services. We managed to catch up with one of the hardest working women in business, and she filled us in on how far she’s come, what keeps her grounded, and what she’s looking forward to next.
When Risa first set her sights on entrepreneurship, she will tell you she was green as green could be. In 1982, Risa was a single mom raising two boys under two.
“God takes care of babes & fools – and I was definitely in both of those categories,” says Risa.
That same year she opened a frame shop in Rome, Georgia - Creative Hangups. “I didn’t know how to read a ruler,” she says. Not only did Risa manage to turn it into a successful business, within five years she grew it into a full service interiors shop that she renamed Designer Accents.
From there, Risa began importing and designing picture frame moulding to keep up with the demand from her clients. Three years later she sold her company to Southeast Moulding Distributors and didn’t have any plans. So she and her dog, a Husky named Bandit, loaded up and moved to the beach.
“Everything I did was a stepping stone to make the business stronger,” says Risa. “I see a need and I go after it.”
After Risa and Bandit settled in, she ran Risa’s Interiors out of her home for a couple of years before people wanted to touch and see and feel the merchandise. And it’s no wonder. Risa has discerning taste, and it’s evident in the pieces she chooses for her clients.
Risa’s has every single thing you need for a home-and that’s not an exaggeration. The store is exploding with color and has a massive inventory of furniture, bedding, accents, original artwork and gift items that you can buy right off the floor. Cotton knit throws and modern wool rugs add an element of softness to any space and elegant jellyfish chandeliers make interesting conversation pieces.
Powder puffs like you used to play with at grandma’s house, Nest candles, luxurious hand soaps and lotions, and coastal inspired stationary are the perfect finishing touches for home, and they make great gifts.
In addition to well-appointed accents, Risa’s Interiors is perhaps best known for their turn key remodel jobs. Risa employs an in-house General Contractor and works closely with vendors as a liaison for homeowners in her charge.
“It’s really comforting to be a set of eyes for people who can’t be here,” she says.
Her one stop shop remodel services cover everything from tile and cabinets to paint and carpet, and even custom bedding and window treatments. “We’re not a cookie cutter place. Everything is custom picked,” says Risa.
For someone who has been in business for over 30 years (and is winning as a girl-boss!), Risa is humble when it comes to her success. “God blessed me,” she says. Risa is active in her church, but it’s her ministry behind the scenes that is a true testament of her faith.
Part of Risa’s outreach efforts include donating gently used furniture to people in need. This Spring she’s extending those efforts to animals in need with a yard sale to benefit Alaqua Animal Refuge. Another yard sale is slated for Fall to benefit One Heart One Voice.
Risa’s Interiors is located on Emerald Coast Parkway in Miramar Beach in a Mediterranean-inspired showplace with a white stucco façade. Risa and her team of designers create dreams, not just rooms. View Risa’s portfolio and meet the designers at www.risasinteriors.com.