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Let’s start from the beginning

It’s a New Year. This year, the first day of the New Year also happened to be the first day of a brand-new week (Sunday). For those who appreciate this type of alignment, something about it feels so right! 

2023 is an exciting year for S3! It’s our 20th year in business, which is amazing and also surreal. It’s been a journey, since we started back in 2003.  

I (Tracy) started as a solo-preneur, focused on providing two-hour, in-home consultations. During this time, I would answer as many questions as I could for my client. I provided them with paint chips, sketches, and notes, including an assessment of their style and the types of materials that would be appropriate in their space. At the end of two hours, I’d hand them all the information in a tidy folder and be on my way. 

I gave them all the information & concepts they needed to move forward with their project on their own, and from the feedback I received, they were thrilled!

Fast forward a couple of years later, this “one-and-done” consultation model was no longer enough for me. I had a passion for space planning and figuring out the architectural puzzle. I wanted the opportunity to be really creative; beyond the allotted two-hour sessions with a client. I wanted to use the education I received during my five years of university education.  

I needed and wanted more, so onto more I went! 

More was exciting, but it was also scary. I started securing larger projects which required technical drawings, the kind of plans you actually build from (we’re not in concept world anymore, Dorothy).   

The more I did, the more confident I became and the more I enjoyed my work. As the projects got bigger and more complex, it was time to add to the team. I couldn’t complete the work on my own, and I always enjoyed collaborating with other creatives. That’s when S3 expanded beyond residential work and started designing & managing commercial projects like offices, restaurants, stores, schools, clinics, and wellness centers.  

Fast forward again…approximately 15 years later, our “do everything” model was no longer aligning, we needed to focus on a niche. We dipped our toes into too many pools, and it was time to pick the pond we wanted to swim in. After much discernment, we recognized that our team’s expertise and passion lay in two distinct areas: residential design and commercial offices. This is where we decided to swim, and it’s where we continue to swim today! 

With our collective experience, we got to work on implementing a design process that we are very excited to walk through with new clients. It’s a comprehensive process and structured to move beyond a “design only” focus. 

And so, a new chapter begins! 

After two decades of evolving as a design firm, our team has recognized our knowledge and talents acquired within the product, managing, and styling industries.  

As we continue to design spaces, we become intimately involved in every detail. We have an in-depth knowledge of the parts (product) & how all the pieces come together (managing & styling). Our team has recognized the importance of remaining central to our projects during the implementation phase, which means procuring product, managing the project, and putting the final touches into place.  

We provide more than just Interior Design; we provide a one-stop shop where your project moves from concept to completion.  

S! design process graphic

Even still, I haven’t forgotten S3’s roots. Remember those two-hour consultations I cut my teeth on? Funny story…they’re back! I know you’re confused right now because I just spend this entire blog describing a journey away from the “one-and-done”, but hear me out – this two-hour session is called a Discovery Consultation.  It’s how we start each new project here at S3! Notice how I said start? It’s no longer a one and done – rather, it’s our launching point, the beginning of a journey through the creative and technical aspects of a renovation or new build, taking you through design to implementation.  

Throughout the year, we’ll be sharing our (S)3 Pillars: Design, Manage and Style through stories and projects, sharing the highlights and challenges along the way. We hope you’ll find them as interesting and enlightening as we do.  

Do you have any questions or comments? What would you like to read about? We would love to hear from you! Connect with us through our email: [email protected], or through one of our social media channels.  

We are very excited to share this journey with you! 

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