Since the age of six, Anne Marie Yoch and Jennifer McCall have been working side by side. Fast forward over twenty years later and the two childhood friends are still side by side, only this time instead of playing on a playground, they are business partners.
After going their separate ways after graduating from Downingtown High School in 1994 for college, Yoch and McCall came back together to start Fresh Interiors of Chester County, an interior painting and design company, in June 2005.
"I just got my Masters Degree in Art and I wanted to do something to get my art out there," Yoch said. "We jumped right in. Jennifer has a great eye for design. We do all the work ourselves."
According to McCall, it just made sense to attempt the business.
"I love interior design," McCall said. "We came up with this idea to blend her skills and mine and realized this is something we could do. It makes sense."
While Yoch has been interested in art since high school, McCall only recently became involved with it. As Yoch was attaining her BFA from Tyler School of Art in Painting and Photography, McCall was earning a BA in Communication Studies with a minor in Creative Writing at West Chester University. Following graduation, Yoch earned her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute. Prior to launching Fresh Interiors, McCall was working as a presentation specialist, in which she melded her keen eye for design with creative writing skills. Though McCall enjoyed the job she was doing, working alongside Yoch and having their own business is more rewarding.
"It's hard to stick with it," McCall said. "It's like we know this is what we want to do. There is nothing like knowing we are working for ourselves."
Fresh Interiors offers a collaborative, creative, and unique interior painting design. Their services range from traditional interior paint finishes to color planning, custom artwork, decorative wall treatments, organization and cleaning. McCall and Yoch also do corporate packages, such as creating company logos, marketing materials, and complete interior office, retail and showroom painting design.
Another service Fresh Interiors offers is touching up homes prior to the home going on the open market for sale.
"We touch up, rearrange the furniture. We want to help them get top dollar," said McCall. "If you put $1,000 into a house before the open house, it makes a world of difference."
While most painting companies have laborers do most of the work, Yoch and McCall don't have that luxury at this point in their venture.
"Jennifer and I are doing all the work ourselves," said Yoch. "I do most of the drawing. The execution of everything is done by the two of us. We pride ourselves on doing everything from start to finish, if it takes four coats, we put four coats on."
The home painting business is seemingly run by males, but Yoch and McCall see it ripe for the picking for women, especially in the eyes of mothers or the woman of the house.
"I think we appeal to women," McCall said. "We did three murals for a woman in Downingtown and got to know her kids pretty well. I think being women is a big selling feature for us."
Over the past few years, television shows like "Trading Spaces" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" have become very popular, especially the interior design of homes and rooms portions.
"Maybe people want to have more specialized rooms for their kids," said McCall. "Anything you see on TV, we can do."
Currently, Yoch and McCall are working full-time with Fresh Interiors while getting business the old fashioned way, word of mouth.
"Most of the jobs we've been getting are word of mouth, referrals," Yoch said. "Right now we are interested in getting jobs ahead of time. We want to have them lined up months in advance. So far we've managed to do this full time."
To this point, most of the work they have been getting has been corporate design and interior work, but Yoch and McCall are interested in getting more and more residential work.