Mary Sherwood ASID
Many different roads have led me to this creative place. As a child I would collect my mother’s McCall’s and Good Housekeeping magazines and create collages of room designs in a scrap book. As a teen I was constantly re-arranging my bedroom and changing the color of the walls every few years. My mother would say, “Your room doesn’t need painting”. That was never a deterrent. I would use my meager babysitting money to buy the paint and embark on a new room design on a very limited budget.
I received my early education in a private parochial school that encouraged women to become teachers or nurses. I was not aware of all the other possibilities. After experiencing my father’s death during my first year of college I felt nursing must be my career calling. With a BS and MSN in nursing under my belt I tried to change the health care world. Needless to say I became frustrated very quickly with the structure of the “system”. I returned to school to dabble in design and fell in love with the creative process that had always been hidden inside me. I pursued further education, became certified and joined ASID.
For more than twenty years I have been combining the problem solving skills learned in nursing with the creative freedom of design. After all these years I can’t imagine doing anything else. With my passion for design I have been helping my clients create their own personal lifestyle in their homes and businesses.
Being located in a beautiful lake community gives our company the opportunity to work on a wide range of home styles from rustic cabins, hunting camps, weekend homes and luxury retirement residences. Many of our client’s primary residences are located away from the lake area. They rely on our design skills and project management to see the project through to completion. We can take care of all the details!
I was raised in a small rural community in Indiana. Growing up, I was a bubbly and active little girl. If you ever told me I couldn’t do something, I was going to find a way to prove you wrong. For example, I was both a cheerleader and a drummer in the marching band. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had many ideas. I dreamed of being a children’s book illustrator, a waitress in a diner, an auto mechanic, a respiratory therapist, and yes, an interior designer. Thinking back, what I really wanted in a career was to work with my hands, be creative, and help people.
Although I loved the small town environment of Indiana, I wanted to see what else was out there. I attended Hanover College, a private liberal arts college in southern Indiana, majoring in art. During college I had the opportunity to travel abroad to Florence, Italy, to backpack through Spain, and to spend a semester in Philadelphia. I completed internships in furniture restoration and construction, sewing, and upholstery.
After graduation in 2007, my fiance (now husband) and I had a race to see who would land a job first. Thanks to a craigslist search, I won and we moved south to Lake Gaston, NC. The area gives us the small town life plus an opportunity to meet fun, new people everyday. My job involves frequent travel to markets and industry events but best of all, I get to work with my hands, be creative, and help people.
When a client presents us with a design dilemma, I love to take on the challenge! I specialize in kitchen, bath and ceramic tile design. I love working with fabrics and decorative trims when specifying and fabricating custom pillows and window treatments.
Our design clients and retail customers have become like a second family for me. I love helping them create their lifestyle here on lovely Lake Gaston.
I grew up the eldest of 11 children in upstate New York (farm country). As a boy I spent my time hiking the woods and playing in the farmyards. After a few years in college I enlisted in the Navy (avoiding being sent to Vietnam as a ground trooper). The Navy allowed me to see much of the western Pacific and spend several tours of duty in Japan.
Life after the Navy led me into the health care field where I became a hospital administrator. After 35+ years in health care, I had enough and joined my wife in her interior design business in 2006. As a color-blind male in a “female” office environment I felt like a “duck out of water”. With some adjustment I found my place in the firm. I now manage the business and oversee project installation.
As the design business continues to thrive, I have embarked on yet another career. I have opened a wine distributing business which focuses on both locally-produced wines as well as boutique wines from around the world. The start-up wine business is growing and continues to develop in several different aspects.
If my wife ever gives me “time off” I am an avid motorcycle rider. I love exploring the back roads of NC and VA. You are welcome to join me on any ride!