Darien resident's designs are 'Shorely Chic"™
One Darien resident has taken her love of interior design, combined it with her passion for the ocean and turned it into a new creative business.
Liz Orgera, a 25-year-old Fairfield University graduate, has always loved design. She spent her childhood and early adulthood decorating her mother's, and later her own, homes. She graduated in 2006 with a degree in art history, and her love of art has always been a big part of her life. However, when she took a job in a Stamford-based business' human resources department, she felt her artistic side was unfulfilled.
So last summer, Orgera decided to start fulfilling her creative urge on the side. She started purchasing, decorating and selling pieces of "art": pillows, vases and mirrors, that can be used in the home. Needing to come up with a name, Orgera settled on "Shorely Chic" -- a take on shabby chic, her favorite design style, and a beachy feel.
Orgera then set up her business and began scouting consignment and thrift shops for vintage pieces you can't buy just anywhere.
"I said `I'm going to go for it; I'm going to start making things,'" she said. "I love antiques. I love old pieces that have a lot of character; each piece has a story behind it."
Other than vintage items, Orgera sells handmade, one-of-a-kind decorations.
"I make seashell picture frames. I also buy fabrics and make pillows," she said. "I do a lot of home décor items."
Orgera is currently working on a large seashell mirror. She has a "seashell warehouse" at her aunt's shell-collecting neighbor's house in Stamford. She said the senior citizen collected shells for many years while living in Florida in the winter, and her basement is full of them. She allows Orgera to take shells for designs, and Orgera likes to show her how a few shells can be turned into a piece of art.
"She likes it," said Orgera. "She didn't think there would be a market for it but I told her how I'm doing and she's really happy."
Orgera has sold quite a few items on her Web site, www.etsy.com/shop/shorelychic. She loves when she gets a purchase.
"Since I just started out, I get so excited when I get a sale," she said. She also has a blog, where she details sales and documents ideas. "It's a diary of this whole adventure for me."
Orgera loves living in Darien. She feel this beach-side community is the perfect place to have a home-interior business. "I think people around here are into the style and look of their homes," she said. "It's a great area. People appreciate the local artisans."
For the future, Orgera hopes to turn her side business into something much bigger.
"My short-term goal is to have a shop in five years, near the water, where I sell all interior goods. Then I can have an interior decorating service out of the shop." But her big goals? "My goal is have Shorely Chic become a brand. I'd like to become an interior decorator," she said. "It's fun to have the creative outlet; it's a reason to wake up in the morning. Shorely Chic is my baby right now."