Smith County native Stephanie McCaleb is making her mark in the design world, one room, one house, one storefront at a time. Stephanie attended Smith County High School and after graduation attended Tennessee Tech University where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Housing and Design with a minor in Business in 2017.
Since then, with her husband Jonah’s full support, Stephanie has blazed quite a trail throughout Middle Tennessee which has finally led to her own storefront – Stephanie McCaleb Interiors, which is located in the heart of her hometown of Carthage, right where it needed to be.
Owning a business in Smith County has always been a goal for McCaleb, and although her business model has shifted over the years, interior design is a long-lasting passion. Over the past four years since graduation, she has worked diligently to gain knowledge and experience in interior design and increase her design skills. And in 2020, the storefront became reality.
Stephanie McCaleb Interiors is a full-service interior design firm and curated home furnishings shop located on Main Street in Carthage, Tennessee. Although McCaleb is based in Carthage, her services are available to all Middle Tennesseans; many of her current clients are from the Cookeville and Nashville surrounding areas, as well as Wilson County.
As a full-service designer, she is able to assist clients in a variety of interior designing tasks, including project and paint consultations, furnishings, renovations, and new home construction layouts. The store – which is soon to be reaching its one-year mark since opening – carries a wide array of furniture, lighting, rugs, and accent decor, all of which are hand-selected for quality, durability, and aesthetic. McCaleb is confident in every service and item she offers, and that’s because, she notes, “I would decorate my own home with my products and often do!”
In addition to working on her own business, McCaleb also regularly coordinates events with other small businesses, especially female-owned and operated. She recently co-hosted a candle pouring event with another small business owned by a Smith County native, and frequently arranges pop-up spotlights within her shop for other businesses, specifically those who may not have access to a storefront property.
In fact, her next big event will be her one-year storefront celebration in September. “It’s going to be a big day for my husband and I and everyone is welcome. We are still working on the details, so for those interested in stopping by, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @stephaniemccalebinteriors.”
Stephanie enjoys providing publicity to other small businesses through these events, as well as through social media shares and other word-of-mouth mentions. She acknowledges that small businesses are not easy to start, but that each of them bring a unique touch to hometowns and allows for community growth.
From an outside perspective, opening and running a small business may seem simple to some, however, it can be challenging. Nevertheless, McCaleb encourages those desiring to start a business to reach for the stars. Stephanie’s advice for potential business owners is, “find yourself a support system that encourages you, believes in your ideas, and most importantly keeps you grounded. I can’t tell you how many times in my journey to become a small business owner I received a ‘no’ or hit an obstacle. Each time I was crushed. I questioned if I was really meant to pursue this dream. My husband has been the best at making sure I did not give up, but also keeping me in check with reality.” She credits her husband for encouraging her ambitions, supporting her, and most importantly reminding her to be patient while working towards her goals.
Stephanie says that she is excited about her future. The housing market is exploding as are renovations. “Everyone is interested in making their homes beautiful and that starts with the basics – colors, staple pieces, and then accents to make it more personal. I love every aspect of what I do. From meeting clients, working with them to come up with the right design, finding the perfect pieces, pulling it all together, and then watching it evolve over time as they grow into their space. And now, with the storefront, I have even more to offer to a wider clientele. And, what makes me even happier is I’m doing it where I grew up. That makes it even more special!”
In the spirit, of giving back to her community McCaleb is offering a deal to the readers of Wilson Living Magazine, “As a thank you to everyone taking the time to read this article, I would like to extend a welcome gift for your next visit to Stephanie McCaleb Interiors. Bring your copy of this article or let us know you read it and receive 10% off your next in-store purchase!” (Exclusions may apply to this promotion.)