Wilmingtonbiz logo
Print
Entrepreneurs

2017 CEA Winner In Internet-Related: Vavaroom

By Cece Nunn, posted May 5, 2017
Cathy Maready & Megan Smith, co-founders | Year Founded: 2016 | No. of Employees: 7 (Photo by Lindsey A. Miller)
An online company born from a Wilmington interior design firm allows clients to use the internet to turn their houses into homes.

Vavaroom was founded by Cathy Maready, owner of Elephant Ears, a high-end interior design firm that opened in Wilmington in 1996, and Elephant Ears designer Megan Smith.

The website allows homeowners to design rooms with the help of qualified designers at Elephant Ears, but at a fraction of the typical cost.

“We saw a niche between Megan’s friends and my friends and some people that are just a little intimidated about calling a designer, or they immediately think it will be way too expensive to hire a designer,” Maready said. “So we dreamed up something that could be affordable and online.”

With the goal of helping to produce at least 50 designed rooms a month, Vavaroom officially launched in April after a year and a half of development.

“We wanted the process of Vavaroom to be fun and to be enjoyable. There’s a big crowd now watching HGTV, and a lot of them have an interest in interior design and want to do these DIY projects. With our website, they get to work with us and they get to measure their room and their windows and be part of the design process,” Smith said.

Vavaroom’s target market are clients who are between 35 and 48 years old and part of two-income families. The homes they’ll typically own will be in the $450,000 to $1 million price range, Maready said.

The site’s packages cost $199, $399 and $799. The lowest price gets you a color palette and some suggestions while the $399 package, the most popular, includes 3-D renderings, a shopping list and floor plan, Maready said.

After clients take measurements (Vavaroom tells them how to do it), fill out a questionnaire and download pictures, “they get online with us via Skype or Facetime or email, whatever avenue they want to communicate with us on,” Maready said. “We prefer something where we can see their room and listen to who they are, what their passions are, what their desires are.”

For client Alex King, a former banker and a real estate investor, the process was fun, he said.

“The style was great, and they stayed in the budget,” he said. “As usual, some of the items they picked I would never have picked out without their help. That was what was fun about it.”

He ended up selling the house he was working on through Vavaroom, but still was able to use the renderings produced to show friends and potential buyers.

Maready said she expects Vavaroom’s presence to grow. Vavaroom and Elephant Ears are headquartered at Crosspoint Plaza, 7110 Wrightsville Ave.

“We’ve designed the website to be on a national platform; however, we are starting out regionally because we feel like we’ve got a following with Elephant Ears,” Maready said.

For more info about the Coastal Entrepreneur Awards, click here.
 

Join The Discussion

Similar Stories

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Rob20beale2 311791810

Preconstruction: A Plan for Success

Rob Beale - W.M. Jordan Company
Adamshay 300x300

Elder Exploitation And Prevention

Adam Shay - Adam Shay CPA, PLLC
Billhunter300x300 b&w

Friendly Is Free!

Bill Hunter - Wilmington Design Company

Book On Business

Bob2017

The 2017 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!
Print Only
$24.95 - Qty
Print + Excel File
$79.95 - Qty

In The Current Issue

Clubs Used To Float Someone Else’s Boat

Many boaters say the second happiest day of their life was when they bought a boat. The happiest day? When they sold it. That common lament is changing with the recent surge in boat club memberships.

Lenders Note Rise In Investment Properties

It’s not news that the Wilmington area is seeing a strong demand for home mortgages. What may come as a surprise, though, is the increasing ...

First Bancorp To Grow With Recent Asheville Merger

First Bancorp, parent company of Southern Pines-based First Bank, has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire ASB Bancorp Inc. The t...

Ico topnews Editor's Picks

Local United Way Reduces Charitable Funding By 10 Percent

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 23, 2017 Trending News

Downtown Bookstore Changes Hands

Cece Nunn - Jun 23, 2017 Trending News

City Prepares To Market Gateway Properties For New Development

Cece Nunn - Jun 23, 2017 Trending News

Mojotone Could Be In New Building By September

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 21, 2017
Technology

Cloudwyze

CloudWyze was created to help businesses focus and perform at their optimal level. It is difficult to find and implement the right technology for your company. That’s where we can help. We have exp ...more

Ico trending Trending News

Ico newsinimages News in Pictures

Have a tip, pitch or guest column?  Send us a tip.

Gallery Galleries

Video Videos

Power Breakfast: Coach C.B. McGrath - June 2017
Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2016

Register to Continue Seeing Wilmington's Best Business Coverage!


There are three ways to register for free.

Sign in with LinkedIn, Facebook or create an account:



Already registered? Login here.

Your free registration includes:

  • Access to 10 articles per month on WilmingtonBiz.com
  • Email updates to stay informed on local business news
  • A mobile optimized website
  • Advanced notification of Business Journal events
  • Management of your digital and print subscriptions
Laptop iphone ipad