ONE OF US

Dr. Stephanie Hollis

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Can you please briefly tell us about your background?

I am a native Floridian. I went to the University of Florida and trained in medicine there. I’ve been an anesthesiologist for the past 20 years. I worked for the Baptist Beaches group until the end of last year when I started focusing on interior design full time. I moved to St. Augustine in 2004 with my husband and we’ve lived on sailboat for the past three years. Since we love sailing and being on the water, this is something we’ve been saving up for our entire marriage. This is our dream house, and it just so happens that our dream house floats!

How did you get into interior design?

Creativity and art have been passions of mine my whole life. Since college, and even before, I was always designing and creating. I loved redecorating for my family members as a young adult. However, 30 years ago, interior design wasn’t thought of as a real career, so my parents encouraged me to pursue a more sustainable career. I loved practicing medicine, but recently I had the opportunity to but my days in medicine behind me and focus on something different that I love just as much as medicine. In 2017, I started Design MD and did it part time until the beginning of this year when I started pursuing it full time. 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I absolutely love the challenge of taking a space that is tired, outdated or not inspirational and making it a space that speaks to the person that occupies it. I love creating a space for to fit the occupant’s personality — so that they can having a space that they feel like themself in. I love recreating spaces in a fun, interesting way that no one will forget.

What are some of the challenges that your industry/company is facing?

COVID-19 has been a big challenge because it’s harder to get in front of people in a comfortable way and to have that personal interaction the way we’re used to having it, so it forces me to get more creative. Another difficulty is that from a budget standpoint, people have unrealistic expectations for what items and services cost. It’s challenging when people have an unrealistic idea of the financial investment that goes along with interior design. 

What are your future goals for your business?

I really want to focus on doing more feature-pieces for people’s homes. I do a lot of custom tile backsplashes and custom wall installations — like wood sculpture walls. Rather than traditional furniture styling, I want to focus on finding that one of a kind backsplash or centerpiece for clients that really stands out in their home.

What do you enjoy most about living and working around the beaches and St. Johns County area?

Most of my clients are at the Jacksonville beaches and in Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine. Most of my clients are local business and residential. This area is great in general because you have so many opportunities — there’s no limits. You can be crazy with color and style and do almost anything as long as it’s executed well. This community is open and so relaxed — they’re more willing to have fun with it. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

Sailing and traveling are my favorite things. The best place I’ve traveled is definitely French Polynesia. We spent month there, we flew there and really had the full experience. We will definitely be taking our sailboat there one day! I also enjoy exercising, swimming and biking — really anything that gets me outside.

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