Miller looks to innovation, current trends for success in business

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Rayma Silvers/Tribune Photo Decor by Miller Owner Trista Miller (center) and Dusty James, Sekans Occasion Shops (right) discuss fabric options with local resident Tina Rockhold during an interior design consultation.

After Fort Scott Native Trista Miller decided to move back to her hometown 11 years ago, she was presented with an opportunity which would help fulfill a childhood dream.

When Miller and her husband David, who were living in the Kansas City area at the time, decided to relocate to Fort Scott, Miller said she was unsure what type of employment she would be able to attain. It was not long before Miller discovered family friend Lillian Fischer was interested in retiring from her interior design company which had been in business for 25 years.

Even as a child, Miller possessed a love for decorating, always dreaming of working as an interior decorator some day. Having taken interior design classes in college, Miller was ready to take over Fischer's business. She purchased the company and changed the name to Decor by Miller.

"I love it," she said. "Even as a child I constantly had to rearrange our bedroom. You never knew where our furniture would end up. I just have a passion for it."

Miller added, if she were given the opportunity to select another profession, she would choose to do exactly what she is doing today.

"I would choose this one all over again," she said. "I couldn't choose another one."

Owning Decor by Miller has also made it possible for Miller to make her husband and four children a top priority in life, which has created a greater love for her interior design business, she said. In addition, Miller said she has built up close relationships with many of her clients through the years.

"I love the relationships I have with my clients," Miller said. "After you learn so much about their lives, you begin to feel like a part of their family. That's very rewarding."

Decor by Miller, which has been in business for 36 years, completes both residential and commercial interior design projects for residents in the surrounding area.

Decor by Miller and Sekans Occasion Shops partner together to help offer Miller's customers furniture, window treatments and decorating accessories. According to Miller, the company completes jobs not only for customers in Bourbon County, but also customers in the Kansas City, Nevada, and Pittsburg areas.

According to Miller, with the current economic crisis, many residents are choosing to redecorate instead of build or purchase new homes. In light of this, Miller created a new service which has become popular among her customers. Miller and her two employees, Jared Leek and Charla Miller, in addition to Dusty James from Sekan, work together to provide customers with a room redecorating service.

The color consult and room- remake service allows individuals to pay a flat rate to have two designers redecorate one room. During this redecorating, Miller said the consultants create a new color scheme for the room. After a new paint job, often the designers can use furniture and accessories the homeowner already owns to redecorate.

However, if the homeowner wants to make new purchases, Sekan has many pieces of furniture and accessories already in stock.

According to Miller, Decor by Miller and Sekans Occasion Shops will host an open house in the near future to showcase their new furniture in addition to their Christmas decorations.

By working together, the two companies are able to offer reasonable much needed services to area residents.

"Sekan and I want to be here for many more years," Miller said. "We are focusing on having affordable products."