By Michael Futch
The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Great look at a young N.C. woman’s leap into entrepreneurship. Specifically is 2005 she opened up an interior design company with one employee (herself!) Today, she employs 15 people….mostly other women. Way to go!
The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
In February 2005, at the age of 25, Hope Mills native Melissa McIntosh founded Minc Interiors Furniture & Design with one employee.
“It was me, myself and I for a year and a half,” she said.
Today, this full-service design studio employs 15, including its sales executives who pursue new clients in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. Most of the workforce are women.
In March, Janet Gibson joined the company as vice president of sales and marketing. “My goal,” she said, “is to let people know who Melissa McIntosh is and what Minc Interior does. What the Minc team does. There needs to be that knowledge.”
Thursday night’s Minc Party — held at the establishment’s new downtown location on Winslow Street — was another step in that marketing strategy.
More than 260 people RSVP’d to attend the “creative business casual” affair, including a gaggle of furniture manufacturing company presidents and CEOs, vendors, family and friends. The function marked Minc Interior’s 11th year in business.
“So much of what she does is government and military,” said Gibson, ever the pitchwoman, “and also corporate and hospitality and hotels and restaurants.”
Among her 200 or so clients, the 36-year-old McIntosh listed the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Fort Bragg and Pope Airfield. “The government has been one of our biggest clients,” she said from her office before joining her guests at the party.
The business, as Gibson has written, specializes in creating “turnkey” interiors for clients.
“I always felt I was meant to own a business,” said McIntosh, a 1998 graduate of South View High School who went on to earn her interior design degree from Meredith College in Raleigh. “I love interior design; I love art. I’ve always loved creating space for people. I feel like in my small way, we’re changing people’s lives.”
The party played out as an evening of musical entertainment, elegant and creative food and — in keeping with the owner’s vision — design inspiration. The event gave staff the opportunity to showcase its new digs.
Located near the corner of Winslow and Rankin streets, Minc Interiors is based in the old Parker School Supplies and warehouse buildings that date to the 1950s.
“I love being part of downtown,” McIntosh said. “I feel very strongly about downtown Fayetteville. I feel like it can be cool. It can be hip. It can be trendy.”
As renovated by McIntosh and her husband, John, the newly named Oasis Courtyard links the two eggshell-colored brick buildings with their black-and-white awning.
The interior of one office building is more urban and modern in style, with its cube seating and globe lighting accoutrements.
The design gives it a youthful style. The other building is more industrial with a ceiling space that brings to mind a railroad museum. One of its walls up front features an expansive mural of Fayetteville’s Hay Street, circa 1941.
“I love the idea of taking an old building that has lost its focus and bringing it back to life,” McIntosh said. “I’m passionate about that.”