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Today’s FACE of Birmingham is Kendall Jackson, owner of Suite Dreams in Mountain Brook Village. Specializing in custom bedding and home decor, Kendall’s shop offers a highly curated selection of fine linens, fabrics and home accents.
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Where did you grow up?  And what brought you to Bham?

I’m from Ozark, Alabama. A small town close to Dothan …. I went to Auburn and graduated in fashion design. At the time, I was interested in wedding planning and bridal dresses, so I moved to Birmingham for my first job out of college in the bridal department at Saks. After woking as Saks for a year, I got a job at Suite Dreams and traveled for Monique Lhuillier as one of their bridal reps for trunk shows. I wanted to open my own bridal salon and what better way to learn about the business than traveling all over the US as a rep, spending time with the best stores out there?  After about a year and half, as a rep on the road and managing Suite Dreams, I realized my focus had shifted from Bridal to home decor. I bought Suite Dreams in March 2009.

Tell us about Suite Dreams…

Suite Dreams, is a linen shop in Mountain Brook Village. We carry linens for bedding and bath, home accessories, furniture and gifts. We have a design center with hundreds of swatches to choose from to complete any bedroom look. Suite Dreams works closely with designers for custom looks. I work hard on finding products that are appropriate for a growing family and 99% of our products are all washable! These days, it seems silly to invest in nice bedding you can’t even throw in the wash if you need to! It alows my customers to enjoy their new products even if the kids, or husband, scuff it up!

What trends are you seeing in bedding and “boudoir” decor?

I have been using a lot of gray tones in the bedroom this past year and I am still seeing it as the “new” color for bedrooms. I mostly work with neutral bedding and pops of color with a decorative pillow or throw that can be changed out at any time. The biggest trend I am seeing is “less is more” attitude with bedrooms. There are no “rules” when dressing a bedroom and I love that my customers are finally okay with breaking the old rules and building their bedroom around their individual needs! A duvet at the foot of the bed is beautiful but if you don’t use it at night, there is no need for it! We love to layer coverlets and quilts on a bed!
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What is your must-have purchase for spring/summer 2013?

A Brahms Mount throw/blanket is a must have for this spring! It’s washable and ages well. My favorite is the herringbone throw with tassels on it. Harley and I love it … Any time is looks dingy, I just throw it in the wash and it’s ready to go!

What did your bedroom look like as a teenage girl?

Oh goodness! My mother was sweet to let me paint my bedroom brick red!! Ugh, what was I thinking?! That was over 10 years ago, and I can remember just loving my red walls and iron bed. I had cool animal print fabric that worked with the bold shades in the room. I still like the animal print, even though it has been changed now.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

My parents have been a wonderful example of advice over the years. The best advice, which I learned from them, is put others before yourself. Giving to others is the most rewarding act of kindness, and when done with a pure heart, it beats treating yourself any day!
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What advice would you give to others?

Don’t let fear make decisions for you. I was terrified when I bought Suite Dreams over four years ago. The economy was about to crash and I was going to be a young business owner who didn’t know much about all of the responsibilities that came with it. I am still here today and stronger than ever, and thankful to still be in business!
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What is your favorite thing to do to relax?

I love to curl up on the couch and catch up on magazine reads or a good movie I have been wanting to see! Now that the weather is better, porch swinging and magazine reading is a favorite!

Favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?

Good laughs are a must on the weekends! This time of year is perfect for grilling out with friends and watching the dogs play in the yard!

Favorite local restaurant?

Lately, I have been going to Saws Juke Joint for food! Best stuff isn’t even on the menu–ask about their specials!  Good food and local music! And I never turn down dinner at Betolla!! My true favorite.
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What are your go to Pandora stations?

I love blues and bluegrass. Lately, I have been listening to a band called Shovels & Rope. Anything with Tedeschi Trucks or Grace Potter is a safe bet. Throw in some Bob Dylan and Taj Mahal and the world seems perfect for a moment.
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What books might we find on your bedside table or eReader?

Anything by the bed now is all wedding related!

Do you have any personality quirks or irrational fears?

I am pretty easy going so not much irritates me. I am very direct and honest, so if I don’t like something, my expression says it all!
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If your house was on fire what’s the one non-living thing you would grab?

My pictures, 100%! I hate being in front of a camera but they are so much fun to look through after years have gone by!

Name three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and God).

Sweet tea, The Laundress Le Labo detergent and a great joke!! I can’t go a day without a good laugh!

Thanks for sharing, Kendall! To find out more about Suite Dreams visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/suitedreams.

And a big thanks to Beth Hontzas for today’s amazing photos!
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