Women Who MAKE: MegMade

There is so much good stuff happening with this month’s Women Who Make!

  • #1 – My interview with Meg Piercy was so much fun. She is a down-to-earth, hardworking, family and business-oriented lady with creativity out the wazoo! I’ve been following Meg since her first little store front on Montrose, and have been incredibly inspired and impressed with how she’s grown her furniture business.
  • #2 – The lovely and talented, Carolina Mariana, has graciously lent her amazing eye to the Women Who Make monthly series!  All of these photos were taken by Carolina, who you can find on Instagram or the Web.
  • #3 – MegMade is having a Grand Opening Party the last weekend of June and you’re invited! Check Meg’s blog to find out details, which are coming soon. Also, anyone who mentions Centered By Design will get 10% off at MegMade during June!
  • #4 – Stay tuned to this blog for two more collaborations from Centered By Design & MegMade! We’re styling one dresser three ways, and taking some trash and turning it into treasure for a top-secret before and after reveal coming later this summer.

OKAY. NOW FOR THE INTERVIEW….

Name: Meg Piercy

Age: 31

Current title/company name: Owner, MegMade, Inc.

Years in operation: 2

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What is your first memory of making [art]/being creative?

I remember when I was little; I would color in coloring books, and then go to the neighbors and sell them. They would pay me in quarters for my artwork. Little did I know my mom had given them the money in advance, and I didn’t find this until a few years ago! I guess entrepreneurship was in my blood from when I was a wee little one.

How did your education or past work experience give you the confidence to go out on your own as a small business owner?

I come from a family of entrepreneurs, risk takers. They always encouraged going out and spreading your wings. I worked as a consultant and project manager for a while before I had my son, and that definitely helped me learn processes and the importance that the business side has in the creative field.

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Tell us about the process of launching your own business, Meg Made. Best parts? Biggest challenge?

The interesting thing for MegMade is that it kind of started by accident. My husband was starting his business at the time and we were broke, so I painted our sons changing table. Then I just got addicted to painting furniture because of the awesome before and afters! The biggest challenge of owning your own business is trusting that each month we will be able to sell enough pieces to cover all of the costs, but the good far outweigh the bad. We love owning our own business, providing jobs for so many people and of course seeing the look on our customers’ faces when they see the finished product in their home!

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What is your favorite part of the creative process? What inspires you and why?

My favorite part is how something that was once considered garbage, with a little love, can be made beautiful again. I love looking at the pieces when they are dropped off and seeing what they can be once finished. I can actually picture what it will look like and that makes me excited.

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What is the best advice you have for other female entrepreneurs?

Stay focused. Do one or two things really well and then add on. If you try to do all things at once, you will go crazy and get burnt out.

Do you have a design philosophy, and if so, what is it?

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some West Elm and Restoration Hardware, but what I especially love are things that no one else will have. Something special. That is why we love what we create here because chances are, even if someone has the same piece of furniture, it was not finished the same way.

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You’ve grown your business quickly from a tiny storefront to a giant store and warehouse! Did you always have a plan for expansion? Where is MegMade headed in the next 3 – 5 years?

I clearly remember when we were painting our tenth dresser or so during our first-borns nap time (in our hallway), my husband said, this is going to get big, really big. With his confidence, we signed our first lease a year and a half ago for our teeny tiny storefront. Needless to say, he was right, we now have a 7,800 square foot showroom.

As for our future, there are a lot of options that we are considering, but first we want to make sure we have the process and people in place to make it happen! 

Do you have a most popular item?

Because each of our pieces are one-of-a-kind, it is hard to say, but we for sure sell a TON of changing tables! We break our style down into Frenchy, MCM, Traditional and Transitional. I would say we sell Transitional pieces most often.

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What do you enjoy most about the creative community here in Chicago?

Creative people have a way of seeing the world that is so different than anyone else. I love going out to the lake or downtown with my friends that are also in the creative industry because it’s the little things that catch their eye and transcend into their next creative project. That is inspiring.

Centered By Design is my business name , but it’s also the idea that we can find a bit of sanctuary each day through design, that good design can center us and make us feel great. Does your design process center you in any way? If so, how?

Well, it is called MegMade because every time we had friend over my husband would constantly say, “Meg made this” or “Meg made that,” thus MegMade. So for sure, creating is where I find my happy place. I find my sanctuary in my faith and prayer, but for sure find a lot of joy in creating.

Meg’s Chicago Favorites:

  • Favorite spot to get inspired: The paint room at MegMade
  • Favorite florist: Trader Joe’s
  • Favorite place to shop for home décor/furniture/thrift: Randolph Street Flea Market
  • Favorite place for coffee: Heritage Bicycle’s General Store
  • Favorite place for a sweet treat: Gonna be honest, can’t beat blizzards from Dairy Queen

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Thanks for reading! You can find out more about MegMade and shop HERE. Sign-up for my RSS feed to never miss a post, including next month’s Women Who MAKE, which is going to be a triple threat!

XO – CLAIRE