Owner and designer Stephanie Alger developed and honed a taste for the finer things in life by earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
In an interview with Discover Bradenton, she says, “I’ve kind of always just had an eye for nice things. No matter what it is… It’s color and texture, and it applies to so many different levels.”
Stephanie grew up in the Capital Region around Albany but never wanted to stay in New York. She had lived in Vero Beach, Florida in the past and came down to visit about once a year for 15 years. Bradenton landed on her radar when she visited family here a few years ago. She spent a couple of months traveling the entire state for business research and fell in love with the gulf coast.
When asked why she decided on the Bradenton area, she said “I made instant family, and I felt very welcomed. I love the atmosphere, and that’s how I made my decision.” Being close to the beach was also a big plus.
Experience and Work Ethic
With her sharp eye for class and elegance, Stephanie first got her feet wet in the industry by running a commercial flooring business for 11 years. Surprisingly, the world of flooring didn’t prove all the different from fashion. “It was just a different product,” she admits. “I was going to shows and picking out flooring and picking out the next season’s trends. I was doing all the marketing and the merchandising… I went to school exactly for this. It’s just an interchanged product.”
With that experience under her belt, she started Refined Design & Landscapes, a business that allowed her to provide custom interior and exterior design, staging, landscaping design and installation, and so much more.
RDL officially had its first year in 2020 – a not-so-great year for many businesses. However, Stephanie believed in what she was doing and kept going in the face of COVID. Reflecting back, she said “Honestly, I had a great year. It didn’t phase me. I worked the entire year.” Three years later, RDL is still going strong and keeping very busy, thanks to her relentless work ethic.
Friendly, Functional Design
Stephanie says her favorite part of running Refined Design & Landscape is getting to know her customers in a very personal way. “They’re not just my clients. They’re also now my friends,” she says. “They follow me on Facebook. They know about my family and my parents… I like making that type of connection with people.”
This personal connection allows Stephanie to precisely design what her customers need, even if they don’t realize what that may be. About her process, she says, “When I walk into somebody’s space, it’s not just about ‘I want a new kitchen.’ Instead, she digs deeper, asking questions such as “What do you do in your kitchen? What does your kitchen mean to you? What’s the functionality of it? How do you want to feel in it?”
This type of functional design ensures every client gets not only a beautiful space but one that’s set up to be used in the ways they actually want to use it.
Constantly Varied, Constantly Growing
Stephanie enjoys her current mix of projects, saying “The things I do most frequently [are] kitchens and painting, as well as landscaping and garden beds. It’s a good mix. I’ve also found that I have in the past year gotten more calls for interior work.” Of course, during the Florida summers, moving indoors and working in the air conditioning is never a bad thing.
Refined Design & Landscaping is currently offering a discount through Discover Bradenton. Just mention this article, and you’ll save 15%!
Stephanie’s website, RefinedDesignandLandscapes.com, offers a fantastic look at her services, photo galleries, and more. Check it out, and when you contact her for your interior or exterior landscaping needs, be sure to tell her you heard about it on Discover Bradenton!