Designer Spotlight – Wegman Design Group
“I find it interesting to be both creative and strategic in this environment.” – Lori Wegman
Meet Lori! She is the owner and principal of the Wegman Design Group located in Naples, Florida and has over 20 years of experience as an intricate and well-known interior designer! Check out her design techniques, where she gets her inspiration, and a few of her favorite design projects featuring UMI stone!
Q: Tell me a little about your background.
A: “I’m originally from Ohio and attended interior design school at the University of Cincinnati. I was always interested in art and architecture, and when I visited the school to find out about their architectural program, I discovered their interior design program was more interesting! I started my career with a great firm there and worked on specialty retail stores where we all used to shop, in malls. Remember The Limited, Casual Corner, Victoria’s Secret??? Those were projects I worked on. Now really dating myself! After that I did a short stint working in the entertainment retailing sector for brands like Nickelodeon, MTV, Star-trek. Which was a lot of fun and offered great perks to my young kids at the time. We did very interactive stores packed with character merchandise. After that position, we decided since we loved Naples, to move here and try to build a business here and then Wegman Design Group (WDG) was born. It is a great joy to work here, to have great employees to be with every day and wonderful clients who inspire us.”
Q: How and why did you decide to get into design? And more specifically, why primarily commercial (or hospitality) vs residential design?
A: “I always knew I would do something in design or architecture from an early age. Not sure how I knew that, but it allowed me to be very focused to choose the right school and jobs. For me, commercial design is so rewarding as you are working with clients to build their businesses and they count on you to be responsible with their timelines, budgets and design recommendations. The work is fast-paced varied and I find it interesting to be both creative and strategic in this environment.”
Q: How long has the Wegman Design Group been in existence? And what changes, in terms of design, have you seen over the years that have had a profound or positive affect on your business?
A: “We started the business in 2001 with one employee! So nearly 20 years and 14 people later. I can’t really believe it as the time has certainly flown by. We are blessed to have so many wonderful clients, many whom have been with us for that long and new ones we get to meet still. When we started there was opportunity for growth in the commercial design area which was very small at that time. Luckily, that opportunity fit with my background. We were at the right place at the right time. That opportunity allowed us to become one of the oldest and most accredited commercial design firms in the area with a great portfolio of work. I think the most positive change has been the growth in South Florida, in general, as it has elevated our opportunities, allowed us to attract and retain the best talent and partner with the best people in terms of people like UMI, professionals like architects and engineers and builders and contractors. I am very thankful for my team and their incredible talent.”
Q: Do you have a project for which you’re most proud?
A: “There are so many, I really couldn’t pick any one. Some award-winning work that we are very proud of includes Moorings Park and Moorings Park Grey Oaks, Discovery Village, Shell Point multiple projects, Pelican Marsh Golf Club, Treviso Bay Clubhouse, Bigham Jewelry are a few.”
Q: What was one project that you used material from UMI (Natural stone, Pompeii Quartz, SapienStone, or Vetrazzo) that you can tell me about?
A: “It is impossible to name one! We used Antolini to give us a rich artistic feeling in projects like Moorings Park Grey Oaks Bistro, Pelican Isle Yacht Club bar top, Pelican Marsh private dining room, Pompeii on Moorings Park’s Sandwedge Bistro. A special project which you helped with was the Vetrazzo Milefiori we used at Guadalupe Center and which they kindly donated the material for a great cause in our community. Vetrazzo had all the colors in their logo and the energy we wanted for this project, the colorful glass comes from recycled bottles, which is also a great example of repurposing discarded materials. Projects on the boards where we are using UMI materials are Esplanade (SapienStone), Shell Point’s Art center (SapienStone), Marbella remodel – Pompeii Quartz, The Quarry Golf Club – (Pompeii and Antolini). Your help in getting large samples, great pricing and access to materials has been a real value, thanks!”
Q: You’re well known in the design community, but what would be one thing we would be surprised to learn about you?
A: “Well, maybe that I am an avid knitter. I mean I started knitting as a way to relax but now it has turned into an obsession. I go to NYC for knitting shows in January, now that’s crazy….”