Interview with Cindy Smith of Circa Interiors


When did you open your store?
CS: Circa Interiors opened in 1980.
How did you get started in the business?
CS: I started selling antiques from home, and grew as opportunities arose. Customers needed advice and resources to put a complete room together.
What do you love about owning the shop?
CS: Forming relationships with people, and seeing and developing new products.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the business?
CS: Adapting to the Internet and social media has been hard for me. We have been transforming from hands-on relationships to a more remote selling method.
What did you find most challenging about transitioning from just antiques to a full-fledged design firm?
CS: Keeping uniqueness and personal design philosophy, yet adapting to a more commercial approach.
Is there a particular design era that you favor above the rest?
CS: Not really. As long as you take the best from each era, beautiful pieces of excellent quality will stand the test of time.
What is your favorite entertaining tip?
CS: Keep it simple and be prepared. Your guests have more fun if the host is relaxed!
Do you have any favorite pieces in the store right now?
CS: The McAlpine Grand Lounger in brown wool with a mohair cushion. Also, I love our painted Swedish enfilade of unusual proportions.
What is your favorite quote?
CS: Design your home to enhance life’s everyday moments.
Cindy’s Design Tip
“Buy and invest in one excellent quality piece for each room and it will elevate everything around it.”
What is something you have learned in the business that you didn’t expect?
CS: Always be prepared to change and look at problems as opportunities.
What items are your best sellers?
CS: We keep the store stocked with custom pillows, which are always a good seller. Lamps, as well as one-of-a-kind accessories from our antique shipments also fly out the door.
What drives your passion?
CS: My love and appreciation for beauty, especially the natural beauty of the earth, and how it can enrich your life, drives my passion. I am also inspired by interesting people!
Do you have a favorite customer story?
CS: Thank goodness for honest clients; once, we sold and delivered a chest with about $15,000 worth of linen and cashmere throws in the drawers!
avatar-defaultCIRCA INTERIORS
Charlotte, NC

With shops in Charlotte & Birmingham and a design studio in Charlotte, CIRCA has been recognized by the media, design industry and clients as an interiors and decorating leader. The CIRCA in-house design team brings knowledge and vision to projects. A love of neutrals, mix of antiques, and a touch of the “now” give CIRCA homes an elegant, peaceful and timeless beauty.