In 2018, Wendolyn Campbell felt ready to take a big leap. After flipping furniture and offering interior design services for years, she decided it was time to establish a brick-and-mortar store.
She planned to open COAST Designs in downtown Frederick by May 2020. But that’s just when — as she put it — “the universe went crazy.”
It took a little longer than she’d hoped, but on Friday, Campbell presided over her shop’s grand opening.
Campbell’s store on East Second Street offers home decor and jewelry — sourced mainly from local artists — as well as an array of design consultation services. She said she’s hoping to carve out a customer base with her laid-back style.
“I’m really hoping to cater to a niche market of people that normally wouldn’t think to hire an interior designer because they either couldn’t afford it, or they don’t really want that high-end look,” she said. “So I describe my style as comfortable, everyday design.”
COAST began in 2013 in Savannah, Georgia, where Campbell used to live. It started with her love of flipping houses and revamping old furniture pieces. Eventually, she opened booths at markets in Savannah and completed an interior design certification program. When her husband’s job moved him to Alexandria, Virginia, three years ago, Campbell decided to put down roots in Frederick.
Campbell said her goals for the business are two-fold. First, she’s aiming to lure customers in from the street with the local art pieces she’s offering in the shop. That steams from a desire to support craftspeople in the area, she said.
COAST will also host “market days” that will coincide with First Saturdays each month. Local vendors will pay $50 to secure a spot for the day, and Campbell will host the market in the courtyard outside her shop, located near Church Street Garage and White Rabbit Gastropub.
Second, Campbell hopes to offer personalized interior design services to her customers, either at the shop or inside their homes.
Customers can choose from what Campbell calls a “menu” of design services — from a short consultation on color palette advice to personalized decor shopping to furniture-flipping and more. The services listed on COAST’s website range from $60-$250.
Affordability is important to Campbell. In fact, it’s part of her business’s name: COAST — in addition to referencing Campbell’s love for the sea — stands for comfortable, original, affordable, stylish and timeless.
“That’s kind of my design philosophy,” she said.
Campbell lived in Frederick from third through 12th grade, she said, and she’s been heartened by the welcome she received upon returning to the area. She leaned on the Downtown Frederick Partnership and the county’s Chamber of Commerce during the tumult of the past year.
Officially opening was a “very proud, long-forthcoming moment,” Campbell said.
“This is real now,” she said. “I’ve worked really hard for this, and I finally have made it to this point.”
Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek