Avila Winters, the interior design business run by Winters resident Karla Avila, is opening its first store front location in Woodland. This store is the culmination of a dream that she and her family have held for years. “It’s really the story of a tribe coming together,” Avila says when talking about the store. Her husband, Tony Avila, does most of the heavy lifting. Her mother and her in-laws watch the couple’s two children while Karla and Tony put in long hours pulling the business together. As the moving pieces of her plan began to come together, Avila found that her original plan to open a storefront on Main Street Winters would have to be put on hold. She was facing a problem that groups like the Economic Development Advisory Committee of Winters addresses. Avila first visited Winters while attending a bridal shower with her mother-in-law. Avila fell for the town so quickly that she started looking up homes for sale on the drive back home to Oakland. She and her family eventually moved to Winters. When she opened her interior design business, she put the town’s name in the title. As Avila’s business began to grow, she started looking for ground level retail space in Winters. As she searched it became apparent that there was very little available. She says that as she searched she met other people with similar stories. It seemed like it would be a lengthy and difficult process for a new business to open a storefront in downtown Winters. Avila had found herself at a crossroads. She could either keep waiting for a space to open in Winters, or jump on the opportunity that came to her in the form of a quaint store in the heart of downtown historic Woodland. Avila jumped. She says that once she started taking the steps to open her own store, everything started happening very quickly. “It just took off,” Avila says with a laugh, “I can’t even put the brakes on, not that I want to!” Before fully committing to starting her own business, Avila had been working in a corporate job for years. She found that something was lacking in her work life. “I was missing the creative component, which is a big part of who I am,” Avila says. In December of 2017 she decided to quit her job. She gave herself a few months to decide if she would seek out another corporate job, or dedicate herself to her passion, interior design. Avila’s interest in interior design had been developing ever since she and her husband first moved in together. Avila says that their first house as a “fixer upper,” but that they didn’t have the budget to fix it up. The couple began transforming the home on their own. They learned how to do renovations themselves, and filled the home with D.I.Y. pieces. Avila enjoyed the work so much that she started to make take on projects for herself after they finished work on the house. Her projects began with chairs that people had left out on the curb. She would salvage the chair, reupholster it and then sell it online. Her friends and family began to comment on her skill as a designer. With the encouragement of a friend, Avila decided to commit to completing a “passion project.” She put out the call on Facebook that she would take on several spaces and redesign them as an interior decorator. All she needed was a budget, and she would be ready to go. The experiment was a huge success. “Within three or four weeks I completely transformed their homes,” Avila says. After that she began getting clients through word of mouth recommendations. Avila grew her business with a few simple principles. It has always been important to her that her services be available to people with different income levels. “For me it’s very important to make things accessible,” Avila says. “Things that are beautiful are not reserved for the rich.” With her new physical store front, Avila is not only able to showcase the design instinct that she has honed for years and brings to her clients, but also displays items that anyone can purchase without hiring a designer. “I want people to walk into the store and feel what an Avila Winters design would be,” Avila says. “We want this to feel like home.” Avila considers a family’s comfort and happiness when arranging a home. “Sometimes we don’t realize the effect a home can have on your life,” she says. Avila points out that a cluttered or uncomfortable home can completely change a person’s mood. “A home is a very important place to a family,” Aviala says. “It’s our sanctuary,” she adds. The Avila Winters store will be hosting a soft opening on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 422 First Street in Woodland. For more information, visit www.avilawinters.com.]]>
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