Interview & Photography by Hilary Maloney
Interior designer, Breckyn Alexander, recently opened the doors of her handsomely collected interiors, art, and consignment boutique, BMA At Home, in Athens, Georgia as an extension of her established interior design business. BMA At Home is a cultured collection of interiors that reflects her pioneering take on design.
Tell us a little more about yourself and your new shop.
BMA At Home is a retail extension of BMA Designs. The store is an interiors, art, and consignment boutique with a mix of inventory, an estimated 25% consignment, 25% vendor product, and 50% product that I curate. My vendors have traveled to Demark, India,China… so the vendor inventory takes BMA At Home off the beaten path of other interior stores. The mix of product makes the store distinctive and refreshing to the retail client
How did you get started with BMA Designs?
Well, a bit of honesty here…in 2008, I was working for an Architectural and Engineering firm. Along with many other industries the Architectural and Engineering industry bottomed out. I decided to branch out, turn the page, and start my own company, focusing on interiors and sustainable consulting for my commercial contractors. I was young, and felt if I could make things work during the current downturn, I could surly succeed when the pendulum swung back around. Well, the pendulum did swing in the favor of BMA Designs. With hard work, a bit of stubbornness, and support from some of the best in the industry, things continue to move forward.
What led you to open your own store?
I had a strong desire to be more connected to my community. My drop-in shoppers add creative energy to my day and keep me on my toes. Good energy equals strong design, which is good news for my design clients.
What does your typical day look like?
First things first, coffee! Then breakfast with the men of my life, my husband, my precious son and two golden retrievers. Then maybe 10 minutes of news and I’m off. I knock out emails first thing in the morning or at least give a good attempt. Then design client meetings from around 10-2. Then its coffee time again! Next to my studio and BMA At Home, which share a storefront. I spend the afternoons designing and spending time with my BMA At Home clients. Six o’clock, I wrap things up and I’m off to spend time with my family.
What inspires your work as a designer?
As the designer with new construction or a major renovation, my inspiration most certainly is the project site. Integration of the proposed building to the site really gets my wheels turning and my creative energy flowing. The exterior and interior design, all the way to the interior finishes and furnishings should contribute to the unity of the site.
Secondly, but of equal value, I am inspired by the people who will live in the space I create. Every client is uniquely different. My clients make my job refreshing and ever changing.
Outside of your work, what sparks your creativity?
I am inspired by being outside in my garden, taking a walk, immersing myself in my community, fashion, and jewelry. I am obsessed with seeing how things are put together and uncommon material usage.
Did you grow up in a creative household?
No, my mom says I have the only creative gene in the household. I was always the unconventional one who simply thought about things differently than the others in my family. I did get my work ethic from my mom. I’m just a worker. I love what I do... so it’s easy to work.
Do you have any advice for interior designers starting out?
Get your warm body on as many job sites as possible. Seeing how structures are built throughout the construction process is invaluable. If you understand how structures are built you have the freedom to design with confidence.
Any advice for readers wanting to incorporate sustainable decor in their own homes?
The single most relevant factor for interior décor and sustainability is craftsmanship. Nothing is more wasteful than disposable furniture. I also look heavily upon where a product is constructed, and using local products is a win-win situation. Sustainability supports the local economy and doesn’t rack up transportation miles before the product arrives in your home.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
The first thing I think about when I think 10 years out is family, which includes the dogs. As far as my career I always dream big. If you don’t dream big no one else will for you. Designing my own furniture and fabric line would suit nicely.