During International Women’s Month, Okotoks Today is celebrating women that are making a difference in our local business and community landscapes. Meet the women behind Nichola Clare Designs: Nichola Evans, Principle/Owner; and Caroline Elliott, Associate, Senior Designer, NCIDQ
Nichola Evans opened Nichola Clare Designs in 2011 so she could express her creativity in a way that best serves clients.
Evans says, “Take two charismatic designers with natural talents and drive to create, pair them with ability and a genuine passion for design, and the results will always be inspiring and stimulating! We offer full-service design, new build design of exteriors and interiors and redesign for the renovation of older homes or existing interiors.”
Evans adds, “We are experienced local designers with a hands-on approach to our projects as well as a motivated desire and understanding for design. Our projects span decades of years with luxury estate homes, retail design, large scale residential developments and commercial office buildings. We bring an experienced, hands-on approach, with a strong design understanding and aesthetic to every project. We excel in the basic principles of interior design: balance, rhythm, proportion, scale, emphasis, contrast, details and unity.”
Both women have been heavily involved in the building industry for a number of years and have a clear-cut, demonstrated ability for working alongside builders, architects and sub-trades. This ensures that the end result is not only aesthetic, but also well executed and concise. The company has projects spanning Okotoks and surrounding areas, Calgary, Canmore, Banff, Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Las Vegas. Among these projects there have been many that have been recognized in the media and have received design and construction awards.
“I am proud of all of them, but in particular a National SAM award. I have received quite a few in city and provincial awards, but being recognized nationally really means something to me,” smiles Evans.
The work is part of the reason for the company’s success. Evans also points to their work philosophy, saying, “I believe in being honest and open with clients, showing costs and explaining the process of the build pertaining to the design. We do thoughtful, meaningful design and present ideas that most clients don’t realize that they need and or want.”
Elliott points out, “I think the hardest challenge is people understanding the creative field. I feel HGTV has made it look easy, but months of work has gone into the design prior to the build stage of filming on reality shows. Once clients start working with us, they understand how much work goes into the interior design.”
Evans and Elliott are proud to be women in business and are happy to support other female entrepreneurs.
“Each year we get calls from design graduates from Mount Royal University. We always take the time to help them grow with words of wisdom, ideas and hurdles we have personally had to overcome. If we are able to, we provide them with work-term positions. We enjoy mentoring as well as learning from the younger generations.”
Evans supports charities that support women in need, and Elliott volunteers at Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS). Both are fond of animals; it is worth noting that their “office manager” is an 8 pound schnauzer!
Evans and Elliott invite you to learn more and to view galleries of their work.
“We are on Instagram @NicholaClareDesigns, and also on houzz @Nichola Clare Designs. Be sure to keep an eye out for our new website as well!