116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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Angelia Buhr is the kind of business owner who is following her dreams despite the challenges that life throws her way.
The past two years are proof of that as she's launched her own interior design company, NEST Design and Decor, based in Cedar Rapids.
'My focus is working with people in their home,” Buhr said.
'I do anything from a color consult to full kitchen and bathroom remodels and everything in between.”
Focusing mostly on residential design, with a few commercial projects, Buhr started her boutique interior design business about two years ago when she relocated to Cedar Rapids from the West Coast with her family.
'I went to school for interior design, but my mom is an entrepreneur as well and has a medical staffing firm out in Virginia Beach where I'm from. She asked me to come in one day and help out and 20 years later I was still working for her.”
But Buhr worked on interior design projects on the side here and there over the years and kept her eye on the ever-changing industry.
When she faced a breast cancer diagnosis just a few weeks after moving to Cedar Rapids, she decided it was now or never on doing interior design full time.
'I decided to just go ahead and start my business doing interior design,” she said. 'So I educated myself on everything new because a lot of stuff changes in 20 years and got to work.”
One of her specialties now is nursery design, using a high-quality nursery furniture company in California and a fabric company out of the United Kingdom with a line inspired by children's books.
'I offer a nursery registry so mom-to-be would come in and we put together a plan for the nursery. Then we create the registry and friends and family can contribute a certain dollar amount toward the project,” Buhr said.
'Everybody gets excited about redoing their home. It's something to look forward to.”
Designing and sourcing custom furniture is another specialty of Buhr's, which is where the idea for opening a studio space came into play.
'I worked from my home design studio before and it's just not ideal to have people there,” she said.
'I wanted a space where I could bring my clients and they can see the quality of the craftsmanship of the furniture from the partners I work with. It can give them a little bit more of a comfort level with ordering things because it's not just someone telling you it's really good quality.
'So here they can come in and sit and feel and see things in person.”
She added that her 'best partners are the Amish builders. They are so flexible and gifted in woodworking and they have made some amazing pieces for me that I've designed.”
Buhr also was excited to include a retail section in the store called Shop Local Boutique that houses giftable items from seven other local woman-owned businesses, including clothing, housewares and flavored olive oils, among other items.
'I was introduced to these other female business owners who were looking for space to sell their goods and it was just cool how it all came together.”
Customers also can shop for pillows and custom bedding - which includes going to a client's home to measure their actual mattress for the right fit - in the studio.
'We stumbled across the space,” said Buhr of the new NEST storefront that opened about a month and a half ago.
'We just came down here to NewBo for ice cream one day and were introduced to the people running the building and they showed us through it,” she recalled. 'And it just so happens that the number on my store is my birthday.”
While she didn't plan to be opening her studio during a global pandemic, Buhr said the past few months have given her time to get her space just right.
'We spent the entire time basically living in the space and redoing things,” she said.
'I joked with my husband that for the first time in our history we are required to take a break and I chose to have the busiest time of my life.”
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At a glance
' Owner and interior designer: Angelia Buhr
' Business: NEST Design and Decor
' Address: 1107 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids
' Phone: (319) 888-3020
' Website: designyournest.com