Creating Homes from Their Hearts
Inspiring Tradeswomen Who Bring Living Spaces to Life

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Several steps of the home-building process lead to the longawaited final stage. It’s rewarding to see how the many fixtures and design elements, including colors, textures, lighting, decor, organizational solutions and window coverings come together at this significant milestone in construction.

With numerous choices to make, it’s reassuring to enlist professionals such as Jessica Curry, Carla Miller and Jessica Ripley, who can help add the finishing touches that express your unique personality and style. These women are heartfully passionate about their work in bringing new or existing home dreams to life.

Jessica Curry
Owner and designer Interiors
by J.Curry

Background: I grew up in Rochester, went to John Marshall High School and received an associate degree in interior design. After seven years in the kitchen and bath industry, I received certification from the National Kitchen and Bath Association for Kitchen Design (NKBA). Recently I received two awards from NKBA, and my work was featured in two national publications and a Minnesota publication. Interiors by J.Curry celebrated its sixth year in business in February

Be ready to roll up your sleeves and dive into the details! There are so many moving parts, but eventually there is the fun stage. In interior design, the finishes and aesthetic pieces make the reveal all worth it in the end.”

What she does: For over 20 years, I’ve worked in the industry. I help select materials and finishes for homes and manage projects to oversee installations and finishing details, such as light fixtures, furniture and area rugs. I also create computer-automated floor plans, elevations and renderings to help illustrate and implement projects for our clients. My work includes collaborating with cabinetry manufacturers, HVAC specialists and wallcovering installers.

Inspiration and fulfillment: My clients inspire me! Once I get a good feel for their personal style, I elaborate and collaborate with them to ensure their new interior or home is a reflection of who they are and how they’re going to use the space. Many are looking to achieve something truly unique that they may not have thought of on their own.

Carla Miller Owner and organizer
EllieWillie, Home to Haven Organizing

Background: I grew up in Chicago, attended the Art Institute of Chicago for studio design and received my Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in psychology at Eastern Illinois University. Until 2018 my professional career focus was human services. In my 40s, I shifted gears and started EllieWillie, Home to Haven Organizing.

What she does: I engage with others to develop steps and reach goals while applying my creativity and passion for design and organizing. I assist clients in decluttering and downsizing an area of their home, or I declutter and organize the space on my own with permission and parameters set by the client. I’ve collaborated with realtors, cleaning services, construction contractors and independent living senior homes.

Be patient and kind to the client and yourself. You can do great work that is very much in need. Seek the guidance of a mentor and organizations like the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA). I developed great relationships from this group.”

Inspiration and fulfillment: I love working with people on one of the biggest challenges they are faced with—organizing. This includes having conversations to help overcome their feelings of loss when they let go of something that they’ve had for a long time. They may feel they have to keep something for reasons that are very legitimate and real to them. I worked with a client on her garage, which was one of my first big jobs, and after much discussion, talking through plans and a lot of emotions, it was a great success.

Jessica Ripley
Showroom manager
Budget Blinds of Rochester

Background: I grew up in rural Mantorville and attended school in Pine Island. My interests vary, but designing, creating and helping others have always been my passions. For nearly a year, I’ve served as the showroom manager at Budget Blinds.

If your work ‘lights you up,’ it’s a good fit for you. Trust your intuition and be yourself. Know what you bring to the table and leverage it for the benefit of yourself, your team and your community. Don’t be afraid to do things a little differently.”

What she does: Every product we offer is custom, and my job is to help customers determine the right window coverings that fit their needs and their style, and to schedule free in-home consultations. A lot goes into the process because of the various styles, sizes, shapes and functionality of windows. I also have a managerial role in the showroom. We work with interior designers, decorators and custom home builders and also collaborate with businesses and construction companies on commercial projects.

Inspiration and fulfillment: My favorite part of this work is helping customers create beauty and comfort in their home environments. The effort we put into making our surroundings beautiful and comfortable for ourselves has a direct impact on our mental health and wellbeing. Window treatments may seem like a subtle aspect of decor, but they matter in a significant way. Every time I can play a role in helping someone get what they need, that feels like an achievement.

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This article is part of a series about women working in different phases of construction.

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