Elegant, Curated Creativity for Every Event

When momtrepreneur Mary Ellen Nichols first launched Christmas Decor Plus More in 2020, she approached this new venture with her same unbridled level of enthusiasm that has marked her entire business career. Mary Ellen started in business as a commercial banker with a large regional bank, later leaving to acquire multiple The UPS Store franchises with her husband, John. With their desire to diversify and Mary Ellen’s love for everything Christmas, they acquired an existing business, Christmas Decor of Knoxville, in 2020.

For 15 years, Christmas Decor Plus More had focused primarily on holiday outdoor decorating and lighting. But why stop on just the outside? Mary Ellen and new business partner, Linda Heaton Ridings, soon expanded their services to include interiors with their newly launched Design Decor, an all-inclusive concierge decorating company specializing in seasonal and event décor and interior decorating.

Linda is also no stranger to Knoxvillians. The creative genius of Design Decor, Linda is the former owner of Knoxville-based Elegant Essentials, master florist, interior decorator, former Executive Director of Marketing for East Tennessee PBS, master networker, full-time realtor, culinary artist, wife, and mom. Ask a busy woman, RIGHT?

In this issue of Everything Knoxville, we are excited to bring you this recent interview with two of Knoxville’s busiest women and dynamic duo, Mary Ellen Nichols and Linda Heaton Ridings. Whether you’re considering a future event or if your holiday décor or home’s interior requires a much needed boost, this interview will be sure to please.

EK: First of all, for all the aspiring women entrepreneurs out there, what motivated you to launch your own businesses?

Mary Ellen: As a commercial banker, I first became inspired by my almost daily interactions with small business owners. I understood their commitment and responsibilities to their businesses, but I also saw the enthusiasm for their futures that only seemed to be limited by the size of their dreams.

Linda: My mom said that I was born an entrepreneur. Self-employment soon became an outlet for my creative side. A traditional career path might have stifled my creativity by placing me in a box. Regardless of your age, it’s never too late to venture out on your own and to pursue your dreams!

EK: Does Design Decor provide services to both residential and business clients?

Linda: Absolutely! Homeowners and business owners understandably become frustrated with the time required to properly decorate the interior and exterior of their homes and businesses for the holidays. They also get bored with their two decades old ornaments and seasonal décor.

Mary Ellen: We take the frustration out of seasonal and event decorating. We do it all, leaving you with nothing but the fond memories of a very special event or seasonal celebration enjoyed with close friends and family.

EK: To be clear, Design Decor is not just limited to the Christmas holiday, correct?

Mary Ellen: Correct. For any season and any reason, we can assist you in finding the perfect décor to fit your unique style. From Christmas to graduations, from autumn celebrations to weddings, and from grand openings to anniversaries, our talented and experienced decorators will inspire your imagination.

Linda: And it all begins with our free consultations, where we listen to your dreams and offer you the benefit of our decades of planning expertise to create a special or seasonal event designed to exceed your wildest expectations!

EK: What options are available?

Linda: For our seasonal clients, there are a variety of interior and exterior packages available. We help you select a signature theme – say champagne or crystal, just to name a few – which can be leased or purchased. We create, install, maintain, remove, and store your themed décor. Also, you’ll especially like our protective floor coverings used during setups and removals, which help ensure that not one piece of sparkle or glitter remain after we’ve gone!

Mary Ellen: We do everything from A to Z, freeing you up to enjoy your holidays or special events. We also offer a wide variety of options and price points for every budget. All you need to do is to enjoy your stress-free holiday or event!

EK: What else would you like our readers to know about Design Decor?

Mary Ellen: We encourage your readers to visit our recently remodeled retail showroom at 627 American Glass Way in Knoxville. We’re located just off the I-40 and Lovell Road interchange on Outlet Drive. Our showroom features a variety of beautifully decorated vignettes designed to inspire you into your world of endless possibilities.

Linda: We offer a full range of interior decorating services as well. Our experienced decorators can help you achieve that designer-inspired look that you’ve been dreaming of, whether it’s a single room or your entire home. Visit us online at www.designdecorknoxville.com, where you can purchase a wide variety of seasonal and interior design décor items all personally selected by Mary Ellen and myself.

EK: In closing, is there anything else you would like to add?

Linda: We hope that you will take the time to visit our designer showroom Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Monday is reserved for appointments only. Take the opportunity to visit our website to begin imagining a worry and hassle-free next event, seasonal celebration, or interior design project.

Mary Ellen: Your future of stress-free holiday and special events begins with one phone call to schedule your free consultation. Why not transform all of your events from “ordinary” to “EXTRAORDINARY?”

Design Decor
627 American Glass Way
Knoxville, TN 37932