Women Who MAKE: Recovered Interior

February 1, 2016

Happy February friends, I’m excited to welcome you to another edition of Women Who MAKE. This month’s feature combines two of my very favorite things VINTAGE FURNITURE + TEXTILES! My happy place! See proof of me WAY too excited about said vintage couch covered in amazing textile in the photo below.

This month Carolina Mariana, my WWM partner and photographer, and I traveled just up the road to meet with Kylie Egge, owner and designer at RECOVERED INTERIOR. Kylie and I have worked together on a few client projects, and I was wowed by how fabulous she is to collaborate with. Kylie also recently moved her work studio to a larger space (in the same building) and we got the first look at how it’s all coming together!

This space is also where Kylie also holds her 3-day reupholstery courses. I was lucky enough to get some one-on-one attention during our shoot, and next week I’ll share an easy DIY reupholstery makeover. It’s a pretty serious transformation for not much $$$. Stay tuned!

Here’s more from Kylie, or should I say…here’s more from one badass creative lady whose not scared of the old, the dirty, or the dumpster. Transformation is the business she’s in!


Name: Kylie Egge

Age: 32

Current title/company name: Owner, Recovered Interior Inc.

Years in operation: Over 6 years


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

Convincing my mother to allow me to create a giant abstract wave mural on my bedroom wall after seeing something similar at Sea World. It was pretty great.


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

I have worked in high end furniture showrooms for almost 10 years and also have an interior design degree. The real life experience learned from working in different areas of the business helped me to envision how I wanted my company to look and run. I will say that starting my own business was still leap of faith but really worth it if it’s your goal.


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

Biggest challenges:

  • paperwork
  • taxes
  • legal documents!

I think all creatives would agree that this is the boring and tedious part of owning a business but of course a necessary evil. The best part is making a client happy. There’s nothing better than a great before and after.


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

Collaboration. I am inspired by my client’s interests, spaces and needs. This is the most important part of our process and really the entire reason for what we do!

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

Do your best to balance your personal time with work time. It can be hard to stop working when email is always at your fingertips, and if you have really supportive friends who are willing to listen to you talk about business for hours. Everyone needs down time to relax and stay excited about work.


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

No rules, just go where the space and client takes us.

Imagine your business in five years. How would you like to grow?

Oddly, I really don’t like to think too far into the future. Looking back five years ago I couldn’t have predicted where I am today. I do know that no matter how much we grow I want to keep our process really personal. I like meeting each and every client and hope that five years from now we are still producing our best work.


Do you have a most popular item?

We really offer services more than products so our reupholstery services and custom furniture is an everyday request. We also offer a “Learn to Recover” basic upholstery class that has been really popular and super fun.

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

My experience with the Chicago creative community has been really supportive. It’s a group that loves to collaborate, send referrals and spread the word when in admiration of good work.


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?

The definition of “recover” is to 1) to cover again or anew 2) to reclaim a former and better state 3) to heal, mend, and recuperate.

I chose my company name for all of the above definitions. Obviously reupholstery is about recovering a piece of furniture in a new fabric, but it is also about holding on to pieces that have meaning and originality. What centers me is really knowing that we are helping to promote well-made furniture.


Kylie’s Chicago Favorites:

Favorite spot to get inspired: Fishman’s Fabrics

Favorite florist: Sprout Home

Favorite place to shop for home décor/furniture/thrift: Scout and Coyle & Herr

Favorite place for coffee: The Mothership

Favorite place for a sweet treat: Not really into sweets, how about a sushi treat?! Kai Zan is my favorite! My mouth is now watering.


Thanks for hanging with us Kylie! Hope to see one of YOU in the upholstery course with me sometime soon.


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Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

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