Exeleon Magazine

Liz Toombs: Industry Leader for Sorority House Interiors

Liz Toombs

This feature is part of our 100 Most Dynamic Leaders of 2023. Check out the entire issue and listing by clicking on this link.

For a business to flourish in any industry, it’s imperative for the team to work in accordance to the needs and demands of the clients. Liz Toombs and her team at PDR Interiors embody the epitome of collaboration and tailored service in the field of interior design.

The team embarks on each project with an unwavering commitment to understanding every facet of the client’s vision, needs, and preferences.

Liz ensures that the team manages the unique needs of its sorority clients, wherein each design is a blend of aesthetic appeal, functionality, and adaptability to accommodate a high volume of use.

In this interview, Liz Toombs shares her ideas related to interior designing, PDR interiors, and her vision going forward.

What prompted you to enter the interior designing space and start PDR Interiors?

My grandad was a realtor when I was a kid and he exposed me to houses. That sparked my initial interest and shows like Trading Spaces fueled the fire. I studied textiles in college, which had more of a fashion focus, but I always knew I wanted to use that knowledge in the realm of home interiors.

My path post-college involved sales for a countertop manufacturer then going to work for a residential design firm. After the recession, that firm closed up and I took the leap to go out on my own. The niche of sorority interiors materialized in 2010 and I slowly built that customer base over the years.

What makes PDR Interiors an award-winning interior decorating firm?

Our collaboration with a local builder in Lexington led to a handful of awards from our Tour of Homes including best kitchen, best master suite, best interior features, and best overall for a house in the $800,000+ category.

Talk to us about your approach when it comes to working with diverse client expectations. How do you ensure optimal client satisfaction?

My whole team is very collaborative. We want to learn all about the client’s needs and preferences for their space. Once we can get a handle on those details, we are off and running to create a space that will work for them. Our sorority clients have unique needs compared to our residential clients, such as the number of people using the space during recruitment season. We have learned how to successfully manage these distinctive requirements. Part of the fulfillment I get from my work is to become close with the client through the course of the project. It’s always a little sad when our time working together has come to an end.

What would be your biggest advice for entrepreneurs entering the interior designing space?

Network, network, network. Make friends with others in the industry – those who complement your work such as tile installers, cabinet makers, appliance reps, etc., as well as your direct competition. You’ll find over time that those you consider competition can actually refer business to each other as you carve out your niches. The more people you know, the easier it will be for you to serve your clients when a need arises. I firmly believe that who you know will get you farther than what you know. Attending college educates us in our craft but not how to get clients. Networking will help you get new clients, too.

Finally, what is your vision going forward for PDR Interiors? What are you most excited about?

I keep our team small and close-knit because it allows us to consider new opportunities together. I may be the owner, but I prefer to have buy-in from the team before I make a big shift in our direction. We are exploring a few ideas at this time, and I look forward to seeing what path we take. I am excited to continue mentoring through our internships and part time positions at PDR. I love seeing the growth of college students that work here and staying connected with them as they move on.

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100 Dynamic Leaders 2023 Exeleon magazine

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