February 11, 2013 at 1:50 PM
WESTFIELD, NJ—As a little girl growing up in Clark, Daniela Palumbo of Ella Allure Interior Design Center visited her family’s Sav-Mor Upholstery shop on Staten Island, where her family has owned and operated the business for over 30 years.
“I used to sit on my dad’s cutting tables,” said Palumbo, who grew up in the industry and was managing her father’s fabric showroom by the summer after she finished high school.
When it came time for college, Palumbo, an Olympic-level gymnast, found herself turning down a full scholarship in gymnastics so that she could follow her real dream of studying interior design.
While at the New York School of Interior Design, she continued to expand her work at Sav-Mor, making site visits and offering new services to complete customer’s design schemes. She rounded out her early work experience with an interior design firm in Manhattan, but soon enough found herself back at the family business.
“As his company Sav-Mor was growing, so was I,” she said of her dad’s shop. They decided to open a second shop, this time someplace new.
“I looked into a lot of towns. Westfield felt like the perfect fit,” said Palumbo. She added, “There was a need for this in Westfield.”
Ella Allure, which sits neatly on Broad Street between Nirvana and GAP Kids, opened its doors last January. Word-of-mouth spread about their ability to design to “Every budget, every personality, every style, every taste,” Palumbo said, and clients from Westfield and beyond have kept the little shop busy from the start.
Meanwhile Daniela and sister Gabriela Palumbo were chosen by Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS as Up and Coming Designers to participate in the 2012 Picnic by Design event benefitting the foundation—a high honor for young designers and one that the women enjoyed.
But the everyday tasks of running the business seem to thrill Palumbo as much as any celebrity-studded event. During a recent visit from a representative of one fabric company, Palumbo eyed a case of lush fabric samples like a kid who just found the candy shop that comes to you.
Each of the fabric lines in Ella Allure’s extensive library, she explained, has a unique story. For example, she carries a line from a house that once made fabrics for Marie Antoinette. The shop is filled with patterns, colors and textures to fit a spectrum of styles and budgets.
A New Level of Personalized Service
Ella Allure offers anything but a one-size-fits-all approach.
“What Ella Allure offers is the personalization of a do-it-yourself project, but with my expert guidance. I try to completely eliminate that overwhelming feeling,” said Palumbo.
She can certainly do all of the shopping for you, as traditional designers do, but Palumbo is just as happy to bring clients with her to the to-the-trade fabric houses that the public normally never gets to see.
Whether it’s replicating a beloved antique piece of furniture that’s been destroyed in a storm or furnishing and decorating an entire house, “What I love most about what I do is the reaction people have to each individual project,” said Palumbo.
The shop offers a to-the-trade discount to other designers in the area, as well, who might otherwise go to New York City to do what she and Sav-Mor can do for them right out of Westfield.
“It’s nice to have a local place that offers this,” said Palumbo.
Ella Allure is located at 220 East Broad Street in Downtown Westfield. Call 908-654-3527 or email Daniela@EllaAllure.com for more information. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Walk-ins welcome.
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