It’s time for our next #smallbusinessSHEs feature! Meet Aly Glavin, owner and founder of Pure Design Works. Aly brings a multifaceted perspective to her work, seamlessly blending the design and business aspects of a project together. Since graduating from Queens University with a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and Entrepreneurship, Aly has worked in several established residential firms in Charlotte where she has seen the inside workings of a small design/construction company. She is passionate about all aspects of the process, from design through construction, bringing a turnkey aspect to Pure Design Works. She is creative and logical, giving her the tools to design an amazing space for a client while keeping the process simple and hassle free.
Most young people in my position would say they always knew they would be doing what they dreamed of it as a little kid. When I was young, I wanted to be a chef or a newscaster, two things I never even considered after the age of 14. However, it was not until I started my freshman year of college at a prestigious business school that I realized what I wanted to do with my life. I quickly realized (within 3 weeks, to be exact) that the corporate business world was not for me. It wasn’t that I did not love business and being in charge, it was that I wanted to walk to my own beat and pave the way for myself.
Sophomore year I found myself in North Carolina, a two hour flight from home, studying Interior Design and Entrepreneurship. To say I never looked back would be a lie, but that quickly changed once I graduated and found my community. I now not only call Charlotte my home, but I am so proud to be a small business owner in such a young, growing and inspiring community.
I knew I would one day own my own design and construction business, but never thought it would be at the age of 23.
After graduating, I began working at a small, family owned construction company where I learned everything about the kitchen and bath construction business. I spent time designing, quoting and ordering cabinetry as well as supervising on the jobsite to see how install and construction was run. Although my education in the classroom was incredibly valuable, there is no better way to learn construction than being on site and being hands on.
After a year at that company, I realized that I needed more structure and guidance in the design and cabinetry industry, so I accepted a position at a cabinet company under a lead designer with 15 years of experience. The job and company fell short of my expectations, but my boss did not. She taught me how to interact with clients, keep designs and selections streamlined and how to be creative in designing custom cabinetry. Her knowledge is endless in the cabinetry field and luckily, after 6 months of working together and the rude awakening of the business threatening to collapse, we decided to be business partners. That is how Pure Design Works was born. We took all the negative aspects of our previous company and grew from them to create a company that truly provides its clients with education, information and quality products we are proud to sell.
Owning a business with another female entrepreneur has been the most empowering thing I have experienced in my life. Being a female owned and operated company in the construction industry at 25 years old is also the most terrifying experience of my life. There are very few women in the industry and very few that do the work we do. What sets us apart is our wealth of knowledge in construction, making our services very unique to the industry. Although we are a design firm, we also serve as project managers for our clients throughout the project. We found that the homeowner leading the home-improvement project is typically a woman and many male contractors constantly aim to sway their decisions to make construction easier on the contractor. Our goal is to educate everyone and step in at any point to make sure our clients end up with the design they have been dreaming of and working for.