In 2019, Decorating Den Interiors is celebrating 50 years in business.
Tampa Bay-area franchise owner and decorator Debbie Demboski has been a Decorating Den franchisee since 1989. She is proud to be celebrating 30 years in business herself, as one of the company’s longest-tenured representatives.
She says Decorating Den continues to be successful because clients appreciate that the business comes to them with a completely free consultation and no hourly fees, whether you want to update a room, a piece of furniture, your window treatments, or redecorate your entire home from top to bottom.
“There are not a lot of 50-year-old companies,” says Debbie, especially as home design businesses seem to be contracting because so many people now turn to online shopping. “But, Decorating Den is growing, and the last couple of years have been really tremendous for us.”
Debbie says one of the biggest benefits of working with Decorating Den is that her design studio gets parked right in your driveway.
Stocked full of samples of fabrics and colors, the Decorating Den van at your home or office means your designer will help you choose how to decorate your interior space while standing inside and looking at that very space.
That’s something online shopping just can’t do.
“So many people have a vision and get excited, purchase something and bring it home, before realizing that it just doesn’t work,” says Debbie. “Having a professional opinion can actually save you time and money. I will come to you and assist you in picking out something that not only fits your style and budget, but also works perfectly in your space.”
Debbie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in design and business from West Virginia University in Morgantown. She says she got into the interior decorating business when she was living and working in Atlanta and a friend became a Decorating Den franchise owner. Debbie went to work as a decorator for that business and, soon after, started her own franchise.
Debbie’s daughter, Sara McKenzie, has been her partner for the last five years.
“Sara takes most of our new clients and has built her clientele to where she is now getting repeat business and referrals, as well,” Debbie says.
Sara and Debbie admit that their biggest competitor today is the online shopping craze, but once people try working with Decorating Den, they realize how much better it is than the trial-and-error process of buying online themselves.
“Every now and again, maybe the best product is from one of those online sites,” Debbie says. “But, Decorating Den has such vast product lines and we know the quality, size and proportion of all of those products.”
Decorating Den offers a “good, better, and best” mix of product lines to meet every budget.
“A decorator can help you so much versus doing it yourself,” Debbie says.
Why Decorating Den?
While other designers charge an hourly fee for their time, Decorating Den does things differently. Debbie says the reasons why her clients love working with Decorating Den are outlined in the following “NIFTY” benefits:
•N-National umbrella: Decorating Den has the buying power of a national company.
•I-In-home decorating: Design decisions are made in your home, in your existing lighting, working with what you already own.
•F-Free consultation: Not only do Debbie and Sara come to you, there is no cost for the consultation and never any hourly fees for their time.
•T-Training: Decorating Den provides opportunities for decorators to constantly update their skills and learn about the latest trends through conferences and working with other franchise owners in the region.
•Y-Your lifestyle: Your likes, dislikes and budget are Debbie and Sara’s highest priority, to be sure that your home reflects your personal taste — not theirs.
Jennifer Pressley became a client of Debbie’s when she lived in Apollo Beach and hired Debbie to decorate her home as her budget allowed — one room at a time.
When the Pressleys moved to FishHawk Ranch in Lithia just a few months ago, they immediately hired Debbie to begin decorating their new home, too.
“She’s amazing,” says Jennifer. “She really understands how to ask the right questions and get the feel of how you want to decorate the house. Coming into this house, I had no clue where to start.”
One of the first rooms they decided to tackle was Jennifer’s daughter’s bedroom. Jennifer says Debbie had to endure the 11-year-old saying, “No, I don’t like that,” to many, many options.
“Debbie’s so patient,” says Jennifer, explaining that she didn’t get frustrated, but just kept looking until she found the absolutely perfect curtains for the room.
Jennifer says that when she originally was looking for help to decorate her former home, she talked with several designers who charged $100 per hour for a consultation. “Debbie doesn’t do that,” Jennifer says. “The consultation is free and then her fee is ‘hidden’ in the cost of what you purchase.”
That’s why Jennifer says she has recommended Decorating Den Interiors to her friends. She loves working with Debbie because, she says, “She’s not pushy, she’s not expensive, and she works with you on a budget.”
Franchises Throughout Central Florid
For the past 25 years, Debbie also has owned the regional Decorating Den territory license and can sell franchises from coast to coast in the central part of Florida.
“I just sold a franchise on the east coast,” says Debbie. “The new franchise owner is currently in corporate training. I’ll help her set up her business, go with her to her first few appointments, help her with marketing ideas and do ongoing training.”
In fact, Debbie says, franchise opportunities are available right here in the Tampa Bay area, too.
“There’s a new subdivision every time you blink,” says Debbie.
While Debbie and Sara currently cover everywhere from Odessa to the west to Thonotosassa in the east, and Wesley Chapel to the north to Lithia in the south, Debbie says that’s a large enough geographic area that could easily support a new franchise.
Debbie also offers her expertise, at no cost, to groups who are looking for a unique guest speaker.
“We constantly do free workshops,” explains Debbie. “One of my most popular talks is on decorating for the holidays. We can show before-and-after pictures, trends and talk about products.”
She says groups of Realtors, homeowners associations or any group looking for a guest speaker is welcome to reach out to her.
Decorating Den Interiors comes to you at your home or office in Wesley Chapel or New Tampa for an absolutely free consultation. For more information, call Debbie at (813) 982-2820 or visit DecDens.com/DebbieD.