This Macon-born beauty exhibits an instinctive flair for design business management. After over a dozen years at AmericasMart, Katie Belveal joined the ADAC team in 2012 bringing her fresh approach and welcoming grin. One of her first major accomplishments — opening up the legendary design center’s 550,000 square foot space to the public. Now, we can all visit the 60+ showrooms and browse over 1200 product lines, learning from the designers and the vendors, developing the enhanced relationship Katie envisioned.
Southerners have a reputation for gracious living … how do you see that earned?
Southern women really do embrace long-standing traditions and foster hospitality. Growing up in Macon, I was fortunate enough to be raised in a decorated home by a mother who enjoyed entertaining and working with a professional decorator. We always used our formal dining room—family dinners, casual gatherings and formal affairs—setting out the good china regularly, not just saving it for special occasions. I knew very early on what my silver pattern would be because it was the same as my mother’s and my grandmother’s. Even today, these details influence the way that I entertain, and I truly believe similar traditions influence the 10-state region ADAC reaches.
Who have been your greatest mentors?
- John C. Portman Jr.: A true visionary with whom I’ve had the honor of working for over 15 years — his stories, the way he thinks and brings everything to life — he’s amazing.
- Mickey Steinberg: He’s the Advisor to ADAC and has taught me to trust my instincts, more so than anyone else.
- My mom: She’s shown me to how be introspective, grateful, humble and to view life through a positive lens.
What advice would you give a new designer about marketing their business?
Network, network, network. Absorb as much as you can. Show your face in every single showroom and learn their products so you know the resources available. If you work closely with the showrooms, they’ll think of you when there’s business to refer. Participate in show houses to promote your talent and design aesthetic. I once heard Suzanne Kasler give this same advice to a young designer, counseling that the best way to market your business is to participate in every show house you possibly can or can afford to do.
Opening up ADAC to the public was a huge change. How do you think it’s altered the way the showrooms function?
I think it has made the showrooms think of their business differently as they speak to two audiences — not only the designer, but now also the end user. Now showrooms reach a bigger audience and a variety of new people, facilitating new event partnership opportunities for ADAC. These partnerships allow broader reach to our 10-state region, promoting ADAC’s name, as well as the showrooms. For example, through Ainsworth-Noah & Associates ADAC has become involved with the Cashiers’ Show House in North Carolina for the last two years. We’re also in discussions with the 2015 Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville, and pulling together a partnership of showrooms to sponsor an event at there.
Working in at ADAC seems like the design equivalent of being a kid in a candy store! How do you stop yourself from shopping every day?
So much at ADAC is truly gorgeous! However, I simply can’t have it all so I focus on the things that become a stopper for me — things I can’t stop thinking about at night. Of course, I covet something new every day, but developing that strong emotion is how I sift through it. I know what I like and my designer helps me decide if and how it works.
Is there a room in your house you’re itching to redo?
At the moment I’m collaborating on a whole home project. I’m bubbling with all kinds of ideas, saving magazine clips and photos of all of my favorite interiors … One of the rooms I am most excited about is the study, inspired by Aerin Lauder’s personal study. I want to do the room in a deep navy lacquer (although hers was black lacquer). I’m also currently obsessed with the black-on-black skull wallpaper from Studio Printworks at Paul + — envisioning that paper in a small space, such as a powder room.
Do you have a recommendation for tackling a first visit to ADAC?
Come to our events or join in one of our designer tours at ADAC, hosted at least once a month. Each tour has a different focus offering a great way to get introduced to ADAC and learn a few individual showrooms at a time and see ADAC from a designers’ prospective. We can also set up an individualized tour with a designer — just call and ask!
How do you spoil yourself … tell us your secret indulgence?
Taking the opportunity to have a slow morning, sit and drink my coffee, curl up with a good book, and just relax in the moment. I’m dying to have chairs made out of silk velvet and dreaming of sitting curled up in those chairs with that book!
Just for fun, tell us what your teenage room looked like?
For my 16th birthday, I asked my mom to have our decorator redecorate my bedroom. I had the walls painted a soft butter yellow. They found an antique brass bed and had all new bedding — pillows, side table skirt and drapes — done in a pattern play of three different fabrics with a trim. This all gave me a special space uniquely mine.
Where can we find you around town? Shopping, dining, hanging out?
You can find me shopping at Trina Turk — I love all of her clothes and accessories. I love dining at my neighborhood KR SteakBar, but I’ve also been spending some time in East Cobb and love some of the new restaurants there … like Common Quarter by the group who have Local Three. All of the dishes are inspired and created with local, seasonal ingredients. I do enjoy hanging out at home — either my own or my friends— with good wine, good food and good conversation.
Do you have a favorite vacation spot or bucket list destination?
Anywhere I can be in a bathing suit, on the beach, in the sun, reading a book — give me a beach and I am happy. Bucket list destination? Definitely Paris.
Name three things you just cannot live without (other than Faith, Family & Friends):
- My To-Do list — The single, most important way I function in both, I stay organized and cross things off that list.
- A good book — The only way I can truly relax and shut my brain off.
- My phone — I have to stay connected to my family and friends.
Don’t miss the week-long celebration of design at this year’s Discover ADAC experience October 6th through October 10th. Workshops, speakers, discussion panels, and signature special events all coordinated to inspire. View the complete schedule at register at www.adacatlanta.com.
Thanks again to our fabulous FACES photographer, Catrina Maxwell, for capturing these images in this incredible setting!