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Sands opens Red Door Designs during pandemic
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Sands opens Red Door Designs during pandemic

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Sharyle Sands recently launched her interior-decorating business, Red Door Designs, during a pandemic while continuing to work full-time for the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.

Despite the obstacles, Sands recently worked with her family on an accent wall for kwELITE and said business has been good.

“Sometimes you have dreams and sometimes we are afraid to see if we can accomplish those and sometimes we are so afraid of failing,” Sands said. “I just thought, you know, I just need to do this for myself.”

She and her husband in past years have renovated their home, including removing peeling white paint off of brick a couple of summers ago. The project took months.

Last year, she took an entrepreneurship class and hired a business coach through Central Community College-Columbus. Her original goal was to open her business in February, a year after the class.

“But with COVID that kind of all set us back ... and so I didn’t get to launch when I wanted to, so you just kind of go with the flow,” she added.

Sands ultimately had her launch party in August at her house. She is running her business from her home.

“I had invited (Renee Mueller) to my launch party and she wasn’t able to specifically attend, but she kept me in mind for some other projects,” said Sands, who is vice president of the Chamber.

Mueller had been talking to her about a wall treatment she wanted, Sands said, and when Mueller showed her, Sands thought of her husband.

“I said ‘Oh, well I know somebody who could do that,'” she added, laughing. Sands’ 16-year-old son designed the accent wall on software he learned through school, and the wall also shows off her husband’s carpentry skills.

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“It was kind of a family affair,” she said.

Sands has done several things for kwELITE, said Mueller, owner and broker of the real estate business based in Columbus.

“We really strive on supporting businesses, especially small businesses,” Mueller said. “Anything you see in our building, around the building, all that’s been done with local contractors, local vendors. She was one that I saw really wanting to get her business up and off the ground.”

kwELITE has also had Sands stage several homes.

“She’s very professional and knowledgeable,” Mueller said. “She keeps up on everything that is popular in the design world.”

kwELITE ended up sponsoring an accent wall, similar to the one they have, and auctioned it off for Taste of Columbus. It was a success for the Sands family.

The highest bid was $1,200, Sands noted.

Both Sands and her husband work full-time and run their businesses on the side. Her husband on the side does finishing carpentry work and is a computer analyst by day.

Despite the challenges of time, time management and finding specific vendors she wants to work with, Sands recounted some of the rewarding successes. For example, one client needed Sands to rehang artwork and family photos.

“To be able to see how happy she was when we were all done,” Sands said. “Being able to hang that piece of artwork that they had from when they were early married or things that belonged to other family members -- maybe they were pieces that belonged to her mom. It’s really gratifying.”

Carolyn Komatsoulis is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at carolyn.komatsoulis@lee.net.

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