Pati MorrisI’ve been interested in interior design since high school and even began getting my degree in interior design from International Art & Design Academy in the mid-80s. However, my life took a different turn as my fiance (and now husband of 31 years) joined the military and served for nearly 23 years. I began a life as military spouse and stay-at-home mom raising 4 children, the youngest now nineteen. My life centered around providing unique experiences for our children and making the best out of 14 household moves.

One has to get creative on a limited budget and many pieces of furniture served multiple purposes over the years. Whether living in a rental or on base, I always painted at least one wall to bring color into an otherwise boring space. It didn’t matter to me that I would have to repaint it back to white before moving out. My love of paint developed during my time attending interior design school where I worked in a paint store. I loved consulting with clients about their paint choices and the store owners started sending me out on job sites to consult with contractors.

In my spare moments, I continued taking courses at whatever local college was nearby and ended up with 4 degrees; 2 associates (business admin and pre-law), 1 bachelors (American Studies), and 1 masters (Library and Information Science). During one of my courses in the mid-90s I visited an entrepreneurial incubator in Wilmington, NC. That is when the seed was planted that I would one day have a similar place where entrepreneurs, professionals and makers could come together in a shared space. This was way before the concept of co-working came about in 2005.