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Meet Hilary Sopata of Interior Visions Designs in Park Ridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hilary Sopata.

Hilary, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was raised in a small town in Indiana and was the first person in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree. After college, I worked in both residential and commercial fields, gaining experience and building my professional network. That launched me on a path of gaining new experiences. A dozen years later, I started my own company, became the president of the American Society of Interior Designers Illinois Chapter, won a design award for commercial green design, became a juror for our professional exam called NCIDQ, and spoke at NeoCon, which is a world trade fair for the design industry held at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. In every endeavor, I’ve learned so much and continue learning every day.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The recession of 2008 distressed the interior design industry, and I faced some choices. I had a beautiful studio space with big windows, inspiring colors, and lots of light. But I had to let it go to reduce expenses. Rather than dwelling on that, I turned to the positive side. Instead of being like hunkering down in the basement during a storm, it was a catalyst for inspiration–like a caterpillar realizing that there is life as a butterfly after the chrysalis. For us, that meant going virtual. One of our designers moved closer to her family in Michigan, but continued to work for me remotely. Another went back to school for her master’s degree. I held meetings at our clients’ spaces and at coffee shops, which gave me a new perspective on design and on life. Instead of being with designers every day, I was with facility managers, writers, doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, salespeople, crossing guards, retirees – you name it. This new lifestyle allowed me to live in Paris for a month when things weren’t busy and flex my schedule to care for sick family members during busy times. Last year, I had a fabulous intern who met me at a coffee shop or at client spaces, and I taught her this new work lifestyle which she is now trying to employ for herself.

Please tell us about Interior Visions Designs.
Interior Visions Designs, Inc. specializes in interior design for commercial offices and residential spaces. This includes color consultations, as well as space planning, eco-friendly design, project management, adaptive reuse of existing, and sourcing and procuring of products and services to achieve the desired design. Large or small projects are treated with the same integrity and dedication leading to high class results. It’s different and collaborative every day.

We are not pre-occupied with creating our own “signature style,” but rather engaged in listening to our clients so that we can provide design solutions that reflect their taste and personality. Ultimately, we are problem solvers who are committed to developing a final product that meets our clients’ budget and timeline while exceeding their expectations.

I have been fortunate to have several meaningful moments in my career– winning an award for commercial green design, speaking at NeoCon, and serving as president of the American Society of Interior Designers Illinois Chapter, as well as working with my associates to help hundreds of clients, commercial and residential, through the design process. But my proudest accomplishment is growing a business from scratch and employing qualified professionals who were able to work from home part-time so they could be present to raise their children. Providing that opportunity to others is my proudest moment!

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Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. June MacDonald

    July 18, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    What a nice surprise to see this article about my daughter and her business. I am very proud of her many successes. She has always been ambitious, inspired, and motivated to achieve success.
    I enjoyed this in depth description of her trade (designing, not decorating). A truly amazing business woman!

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