It pays to follow your dream as Carla McElroy knows. Carla has loved the world of design since she was a child. Her first job was as a commercial interior designer in Texas. She then went on to open her own business in Dallas. After her husband's transfer to Denver, Carla still kept her business going out of her home, and she learned the ins and outs of Coastal Design. Her business continued to grow, and in 2010, she opened "Carla's A Classic Design" in the new Streets at Southglenn.
Carla with her warm, welcoming smile and high energy is the perfect hardworking, talented small business owner we all want to support. She's in a field she is passionate about, and at the forefront of her mission is to provide her clients and customers with comfortable, fun, personalized shopping at all price points.... and as a buyer, she ony chooses quality products to carry in her store.
On the personal side, Carla is a widow who lost her husband, Hal,10 years ago; but after his death found solace and comfort with the two beautiful children they had together. She also threw herself full throttle into her business. She is now a proud and loving grandmother of four and looks forward to spending more time with them when she retires. As dedicated and invested as she is in her store and the community she serves, don't count on that to be anytime soon!
Because they are trusted best friends, we couldn't do a tribute to Carla McElroy without some words of love from Blacktie-Colorado "Have You Met" Sandra Walling: "Carla has been my dear friend for many years, and I'm so honored by this friendship. Carla is an extraordinary interior designer, a remarkable business woman, a wonderful mother and grandmother.... and a generous supporter in our community of many nonprofit events. For me, the best part of all is that she welcomed my family into her family and consoled me when my heart was broken. Plus - she made us all laugh as we waited for Santa to fly over the house! She is my treasure."
Carla, you are always so outgoing and friendly in public, with a beautiful smile on your face, how would you describe yourself? As a Type ‘A’ personality who has a hard time slowing down and is very positive and driven. I love being with family and friends. I look at life like the glass is half full - not half empty!
What charitable organizations are your favorite to support? Kempe, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer League, Scleroderma Foundation – among others.
Which nonprofit events do you enjoy attending each year? Saturday Night Alive, Heart Ball, MS Gala, and the Cancer League Gala.
You have raised such a beautiful daughter in Michelle. What’s the key to raising a fabulous daughter in today’s challenging, high-tech world? My gift to both of my children has been helping them be confident, and showing them they can be and do anything they set their minds too…. Which is how I was raised, and also the gifts my mother gave to me.
How has your store progressed since it first opened at the Streets at Southglenn in 2010? I opened my first location in Highlands Ranch after running the business out of my home while raising my kids….until it grew too large to be in a neighborhood. I opened up the first store in May of 2002 in a recession and did amazing - with help from my late husband. Then in 2010, we moved to a larger location in the Streets at Southglenn which brought us triple the retail store traffic and business. We now can have even more product to sell and more room for all the in-house designers.
What distinguishes you most from other interior designers? I believe in listening to my clients and their needs and how they live so I can help give them their dream home! It’s about our service and quality of design - plus integrity to always do the right thing!
You grew up in Texas, what is your fondest childhood memory? Skipping school in elementary school to stay home and paint my family’s family room.
You were married for 30 years. In your opinion, what does it take to keep a marriage a good one these days? A sense of humor and respect for the other person.
Who do you most admire in this world? Maya Angelou
What is your own personal style? Traditional with a transitional flair. No matter what room, it needs a wow factor to make it complete.
Is there a piece of clothing you have not been able to part with through the years – one which you will continue to wear always? My one and only fur, a long black mink from my late husband Hal. He gave it to me for a very special Christmas years ago.
Who do you admire the most in the design world – or world of fashion? Candice Olsen from Devine Design on HGTV. She is always cutting edge and has a great sense of style.
What are some of the new interior design trends you see out there? Plaid is coming back strong but with more of a transitional style. Golds but different shades of gold. And bright Red, my favorite!
What was your favorite vacation spot ever? Barcelona, Spain.
What are your favorite words of wisdom or a favorite motto? “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice!” And – “Always, Always, Always show integrity!”
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Semi-retired and traveling more…. And more time with my grandbabies.
Why should everyone come shop at your store, not just during the holidays, but throughout the year? We try to have the best and most unique items in town. And one-stop shopping. You can find all your gift needs for your mailman to loved ones - and everyone in between! We also wrap and ship…. And our sales staff and designers treat all of our customers and clients like our #1 priority!
How do you want to be remembered? That I was the best daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.