Wild Style – Smiley Pete Publishing

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Style-conscious friends start a new business focused on interior design, home organization and events


For many people who have transitioned to a work-from-home model during the pandemic, the importance of having a beautiful, clean and comfortable living space has taken on a whole new weight in recent years. For Candace Reichbach and Vicki Sword — two Lexington women with a knack for style — their passion for helping create beautiful, clean, and comfortable spaces turned into an entrepreneurial leap with Maven, a new design and architecture firm. events they launched in November.

A word meaning “one who is experienced or knowledgeable”, Maven draws on the experience of Reichbach and Sword – both in the design world (Reichbach has practical and educational experience in design and color theory ; Sword has worked on residential design projects both independently and in collaboration with friend and artist Blake Eames) and beyond. The partners say that Sword’s background in social work and Reichbach’s in hairdressing (she previously owned Fleet Street Hair Shoppe and oversaw its revamp) come into play quite often. Both women have learned good communication skills essential to understanding a client’s style, personality and what they are up to for the interview.

Maven provides a variety of services centered on two categories: interiors and events. For the first category, they offer home design and organization with an emphasis on vintage and modern aesthetics. This includes commercial, retail and residential spaces; Airbnb; nurseries and any other space that needs a creative touch. Looking for the perfect table, rug or artwork for your home? They can also help with that. And for anyone looking for a chic venue to hold their event, the Maven base, located on West Third Street between Limestone and Upper, can be customized to suit your party preferences – or they can provide chairs, tables and decorations for off-site events.

When asked what sets Maven apart from other design services, Reichbach and Sword have a clear idea of ​​who their ideal client is…and who isn’t. “If you like choosing all the paint colors, all the drawer pulls and all the fixtures, do it. Because you don’t need us”, Maven website States.

But while they certainly bring a sense of humor to their approach, Reichbach and Sword are also quick to point out that they would never impose their ideas or style on anyone. Instead, they spend a lot of time listening to and getting to know their clients and families so they can reflect their individual style in a way that’s beautiful, comfortable, and functional.

“We get to know your space, how you want to live, what you have, what you like and what you don’t,” Sword explained. “We know how to make a space work and how to make it look like the people who live there.”

So who would benefit from working with Maven?

“Someone who wants to relax and have fun while someone else takes the lead in the design process – with plenty of opportunities for feedback along the way,” says Sword.

“I think our knack for sourcing also sets us apart,” says Reichbach. “We are good buyers. And I actually have a stash of things that I know someone will like one day.

The pair can travel to nearby towns or estate sales to find a special piece that brings a piece together. They might present a few options for paint colors, wallpaper, and other decorative elements. And their clients will have the satisfaction of knowing that no one else’s home will look exactly like theirs.

Thinking about what their customers find the most difficult, Sword mentioned that many people find it difficult to cohesively mix elements from different eras, mix patterns, choose colors, and incorporate special pieces into one. existing decor.

“Not everything has to match — in fact, it can feel stale when it does,” she says. “People want a place of their own that doesn’t look like a catalog page, and too many choices can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re laying the groundwork and showcasing some great ideas.

While Maven is all about good design, Sword and Reichbach also enjoy working with customers on a practical level. Both take pride in developing creative solutions that work for every family or individual and every space. For example, it may be to delete items. “Do you really need 10 pans?” said Reichbach. “Could you fold your towels differently to fit more? We can’t give you more space, but we can give you the tools to control clutter.

Sword added: “Organization is crucial. Space can be beautiful when we walk away, but if our clients have nowhere to put their things, it will end up being a mess.

As the weather warms up and social calendars begin to fill up, Sword and Reichbach plan to expand the event aspect of Maven. For their grand opening, they hosted a vintage pop-up market with local vendors, drinks, and a live art installation. While they certainly had a lot of fun, Sword said with a laugh that the event helped them realize they were more of a “behind the scenes” people. That said, they look forward to hosting future weddings, parties, art exhibits, and other events at their event space, which once served as a bookstore for Transylvania University.

Looking back on what prompted them to get into this business, they both agreed that the pandemic is making it clear that people should enjoy being at home and spending time with loved ones in quiet, beautiful surroundings.

“It can happen,” Sword said. “You don’t have to have an incredible amount of money – we can work with any budget. You might not get everything you want for the budget you have, but don’t be intimidated to ask. Everyone deserves a space they love to live in.

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