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Our ever-evolving team brings a beautiful variety of perspectives and layers of expertise to each project. These creative, caring and capable humans are passionate about working together to deliver interior environments that contain and enhance lives. As our firm continues to grow, we are committed to delivering GOOD (goal-oriented, original, observant and detail-driven) design and project management to each of our clients, year after year. Read on to learn a bit more about our team and what makes us unique.

Allison Smith – Founder & Principal Designer

Allison studied fashion design, merchandising and photo illustration at Kent State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising and going on to have a career in marketing before circling back to one of her original loves – interior design. Allison’s holistic perspective on design and her distinctive ability to balance creativity and analytical problem solving, makes her invaluable to her clients. Her years managing complex teams and projects is evident in her processes and her curiosity and commitment to lifelong learning fuels her creativity. Allison splits her time between Ohio and Florida with her husband and daughter. She loves to study history, fashion, art, architecture, well-being and anything that informs or inspires what she is currently designing.

Kathleen Heyward – Administrative Assistant

Kathleen has been dreaming up and creating beautiful things as far back as she can remember. Her grandmother taught her to knit when she was about eleven and she’s been happily knitting & playing with fibers and fabrics ever since. She graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking and painting and later earned a certificate in Biblical Studies at Columbia International University (SC). Gem and Clay is a dream job for her! She is thrilled to work around beauty with such talented and inspiring people! Kathleen finds inspiration in nature and people. She also loves dabbling in mud (ceramics) on occasion cooking and baking gluten free deliciousness in her kitchen. Kathleen makes her cozy home in Ohio with her husband. They have two grown married children (all creative and compassionate human beings).

Erica DeMuch – Senior Interior Designer

Erica is an NCIDQ certified interior designer, with a Bachelors degree in Interior Architecture from Ohio University.  Erica has more than 15 years of experience designing custom residential & commercial interiors in Florida and Northeast Ohio.  Erica brings a mindful approach to creating well-balanced and though-out interiors that reflect the client’s individuality – incorporating personalized points of detail, comfort and flow throughout the home.  Erica, believing that our home environments play a crucial part in our overall well being, loves connecting with her clients in order to transmute their energy into a home that simply feels good and supports their happiness. Erica lives in Ohio with her two boys who keep her busy and smiling!  Her holistic health coaching and yoga certifications present themselves not only in her approach to interior design, but in her approach to daily living as well.  Erica enjoys creating healthy recipes, exploring various approaches to wellness and getting out into nature…especially when it’s warm!

Katie Smith – Interior Designer

With years of creating art and a career in real estate, Katie has fallen in love with designing unique and inviting homes. Her background as a holistic health coach has taught her to take design with a holistic approach, creating spaces that fully encompass who our clients are. A passion for others’ well-being and happiness has been the driving force throughout her life and into her careers. With real estate and interior design, she wants her clients to feel a sense of comfort when they walk into their home.

Katie lives in a small town where she grew up and where she plans to lay down roots for her future family. She is constantly learning about gardening, design, and wellness. If she is not designing, you can find her hiking or in her garden”

Sarah Meacham – Interior Designer

Sarah spent her childhood surrounded by creativity and was inspired by her mother and grandmother at an early to pursue a career in interior design. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design from Bowling Green State University. She believes your home is a reflection of your personality and should support and inspire those that live there. She loves connecting with clients and bringing their vision to life while implementing a holistic approach to design. Sarah and her husband live in Ohio and enjoy live music and outdoor activities with their three kids and miniature schnauzer.

Whitney Rutledge – Procurement Coordinator

Whitney attended Kent State University where she studied fashion merchandising and marketing. Her unique background before joining the Gem and Clay team includes retail management, visual merchandising, and coordination and design for weddings and other events. A favorite mantra of Whitney’s is “beauty is the manifestation of love.” She believes that creating beauty in our everyday lives is a sacred act of love for ourselves and for the world around us, and is grateful to be a part of a team that creates beautiful spaces for our clients. Whitney enjoys being outdoors and connecting with nature whenever possible, grounding her spirituality with various movement practices including yoga, and expressing herself through her personal style. She lives in Ohio with her cat, Sable.