Photos by Paul Flessland
Last year, she brought us the Property Brothers and the year before that, it was Chip and Joanna Gaines. This year, Maria Bosak of Eco Chic Boutique is bringing Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond, and HGTV’s Chip Wade to the 2017 Eco Design Conference. Maria sat down, yellow mug in hand, to answer our burning questions about this year’s event. You can grab a cuppa’ joe and read along with us for an exclusive sneak peek at this year’s conference.
Q&A with Maria
What sort of changes has Eco Chic Boutique undergone in the last year?
Right now what we are seeing that people are asking us to do a lot more of is actual decorating and staging homes, so we have started staging homes for local builders, which to us, is so much fun-to get this blank canvas, this brand new home-and to go in and put the finishing touches on it has been just a joy.
How do you think that’s going to impact the Design Conference this year?
The reason we started the Design Conference was because Chip and JoAnna Gaines agreed to come to Fargo and speak. We were fans of theirs and loved them, so we put this spin on it, and we called it ‘The Design Conference.’ The event just kind of came out of nowhere. Since they were coming to speak, we had to make an event around them, but what we really saw in the store was people looking for ways to impact their home.
For us, it started out with a lot of painting of furniture, but now we’ve moved into decor. As Eco Chic has grown as a store and we’ve added more offerings in the store, we’re going to start to expand the conference. When you come to the conference, you’re going to get the same inspiration and educational pieces, just on a much broader spectrum. We’re going to teach you a lot more things about design and furnishing. This is year three, each year we’ve added on, and this year will be no exception. There’ll be even more home decor and inspiration.
After speaking at the first ever Eco Chic Design Conference back in 2015, Chip and Joanna Gaines contacted the Fargo City Planner for tips on how to make their home city of Waco, Texas more like Fargo.
What are you looking forward to most about this year’s Design Conference?
I’m a huge fan, of course, of Ree Drummond. I cannot wait to get her to Fargo and meet her. Chip Wade, a guy that hails out of Atlanta, home builder, has had shows on HGTV, is going to come with jam-packed information. I am excited to introduce both of them to Fargo. For me, what I have seen at the last two shows, is not only do people come away with design tips, but they leave refreshed. We are looking to add new things to this show that leave you walking out of there feeling great about the day and your home. We like encouraging people, and this event is going to do that.
How did you choose Ree Drummond and Chip Wade as your guest speakers?
I have been a huge fan of Ree Drummond. Early on, long before she had a TV show, she had her blog called The Pioneer Woman. I would read her blog each day because it would make me feel better. Her photography was great, her recipes were great, who she was as a person, I just wanted to share that part of her with everybody in Fargo- Moorhead. They can experience who Ree Drummond really is, and that’s what you are going to get to do at the show.
With Chip Wade, we wanted to bring in someone that was an expert in actually building homes. We had the chance to see him on a couple different shows, and his personality. We like to have fun, and we like to talk about home building, so he felt like the perfect guy to bring those two together. Eco Chic is a family business. We want the people up on that stage to feel like family, and you’ll leave feeling like you know them-like they’re friends, so we picked people that we would like to hang out with and learn from.
The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) is a popular food blogger, cookbook author, and Food Network personality. She even sells Pioneer Woman products in colors and patterns that bring out the character of any kitchen.
What will a day at the Design Conference look like?
The day starts out with shopping. We have curated a handful of local venders that are going to bring some of the best handmade items, local home decor, design tips and styles. You get four hours of shopping before the stage show begins, then you’ll hear from local experts, and you’ll get workshops from both me and Grain Designs. There are going to be giveaways, great food and surprises along the way. You’re going to get to shop, eat, be encouraged, get inspired, laugh and you’re going to hear from Chip and Ree, our two keynotes at the end of the day.
What kind of Giveaways will there be?
Last year, we had about $10,000 worth of give aways that we gave away throughout the day, and we are going to do that again this year.
How are you going to set up for the Design Conference in the SCHEELS Arena?
This year, we are going to drape o some of the arena, and we are going to put in living room features. We’re going to have four different living rooms set up with four different styles that you can not only lounge in, but that you can shop from.
The 2017 Eco Chic Design Conference will take place from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on April 22 at the SCHEELS Arena, located at 5225 31st Ave. S, Fargo.
To reserve your seat, please visit iloveecochic.com/designconference or call the SCHEELS Arena Box office at 701-364-3672.