Chicago retailer Marissa Nelums sees opportunity in affordable price points | People 2023

Marissa Nelums

CEO and Founder

Glasshouse Interior

Marissa Nelums is currently celebrating the one-year anniversary of her retail showroom on the South Side of Chicago.

“It’s been an incredible year so far, although we’ve seen our clientele decrease, we’ve been able to hone in on other elements and have beefed up our home décor store,” Nelums said. “Our goal is to have price points that people can afford.”

After beginning her interior design firm with a product line of just five pillows in 2016, Nelums has now added accessories, furniture, dinnerware, lighting, rugs and throws.

The location of Nelums’ shop, Glasshouse Interior, is intentional. It is right off the expressway and on the South Side, the area she fell in love with as a student at the International Academy of Design. She said the location will allow her to encourage more Black Chicagoans to get into interior design, and she’ll provide services for clients who might not think they can afford a designer.

“I always wanted to keep my community at the forefront of how we structure things,” Nelums said. “I started this because there wasn’t a lot of representation for people who look like me in design. We’re extremely proud to reach more than just the people who can afford design services.”

Over the past few years, her firm has also completed multiple projects across the country, covering whole home design bathroom and basement renovations and new construction.

“I am very proud of several things. First off, we started the year by completing the design of a 10,000-square-foot home for one of the stars of Chicago Bulls,” Nelums said. “Completing that massive house was a great way to begin the year.”

Nelums also has more on the way. She is launching two books this fall. The first is an eBook for aspiring designers that is a roadmap of what they need to do to establish a foothold in the interior design industry. The book is written so that new designers can digest quickly and take along and get guidance.

The second book is a self-care adult coloring book that is designed to inspire interior designers since it is filled with beautiful interiors.

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