It’s a juggling act. Being a mother of three young kids is a lot of work, but throw running a successful interior design business in the mix and you’ve got more than just a juggling act… you’ve got a super woman. That’s Theresa Dorlini. She’s a hard-working mom to Dotti, Luca and Tyson, ages 5 and under. “I like to think of myself as a stay-at-home working mom,” said Theresa. She continued, “My first love was design, but nothing prepared me for the love I would have for my kids! I am extremely fortunate to be in a profession I love, and have the flexibility to be a mom. I knew that if I couldn’t make the two passions work together I wouldn’t be happy. ” And Theresa certainly is making it work. Her business, which she co-owns with her husband John, is called CIRCLE Design Studio. “When I tell some people I operate from a home office they kind of give me that ‘I feel sorry for you’ look or don’t take me seriously… but then they see our work and it speaks for itself,” she said. “In the end, being able to have lunch with my kids everyday makes it all worth it.”
Theresa and her husband live in Southwest County and make it their business to design beautiful spaces. Both are Certified Interior Designers (CID), and John also holds a Masters degree in Architecture. “There are definitely days that I feel like ‘I’m not going to make it,’” said Theresa. “But I am blessed because John and I are in the same profession. He is more than willing to help me pick up the slack. If we have to, we take the kids to our jobs with us. We have to go with the flow and most people respect that.”
Theresa jokes that the kids and chaos have made their work better. Since having their first child in 2007, they have consistently won awards for both residential and commercial design. In fact, The Roanoker Magazine just awarded CIRCLE Design Studio “Platinum” for Best of Roanoke for 2013. They said it is the first time in the history of the awards that an unranked company has gone straight to Platinum.
Theresa and her husband have been in practice for 15 years, working for several different architecture/design firms nationwide, but they started CIRCLE Design Studio together in 2005. The Studio began in Staunton, but once the economy took a down turn, the couple realized they needed to be in a bigger market and moved down to Roanoke three years ago. Theresa’s background is originally in corporate design, but her company does about 80 percent residential work now. Theresa describes her style as modernist, but also likes classical forms and therefore likes to mix the two. “We believe great design is timeless,” she said, “and should be attainable even on a modest budget.”
Being the owner of a small business and a mom is hard work but in Theresa’s case it’s her passion. “You’ve got to have a love for what you do and a love for the people you are serving…clients and kids.” said Theresa. It’s just this kind of dedication and passion that consistently wins Circle Design Studio awards and makes them a great addition to Southwest County and the Roanoke Valley.
You can see some of CIRCLE’s award-winning work at www.circledesignstudio.com