From Brick & Mortar to Interiors
Where did the name come from? According to Debra, the short answer is “from my maiden name, Prince combined with a reference made by my very first brand rep at market toward my husband as my ‘porter’. He was absolutely loaded to the hilt with glorious swatches, hand woven pillows and one-of-a-kind textiles as we left her showroom. He has always encouraged me and I thought it a sentimental commemoration of my new adventure.”
Debra began her creative journey working in furniture market industry showrooms in her native High Point, North Carolina. Her skill in merchandising and display, earned her accolades and encouraged her love of design on a public scale. Her subsequent career traveling as a wholesale national department store account executive for a multi-brand accessory firm, developed her skills with master project and budget management. Through this experience, she saw the diversity of offerings in home and design stores in other areas and yearned to create her own specially curated boutique.
In 1996, Debra opened the doors of Porter & Prince, her inimitable brick and mortar store located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. Her intent was to provide her region with elevated products for everyday living that were not typically available in western North Carolina. Engaged and intrigued customers had many interior design related questions and would so often ask if they could hire Debra to bring her calming, sophisticated style into the design of their own homes. This was the beginning of Porter & Prince design services.
During its 26 year history, Porter & Prince earned the recognition of many national shelter publications notably being named the ‘most beautiful independently owned boutique in North Carolina’ by Architectural Digest. The brick and mortar store recently was shuttered with focus shifting to interior design and industry consulting.