Sitting down with Ford Boyd Bailey, owner
How did your business begin?
In 1984, after being in London studying at Sotheby’s, I got married, came back to Columbia, and decided to open my own design business, at the time not thinking about retail. I rented two rooms in the back of a building on Lady Street and stayed there for two years. In 1986, George, my husband, and I bought a historic house on Gervais Street, renovated it, and my business stayed there for about seven years. My client base was growing, and I felt like I needed space to showcase my style and display furnishings that reflected that. In January of 1993, we bought the building I am currently in, and I opened Verve in the summer of 1993.
What is the mission of your business?
In opening Verve, my mission was, and still is, to offer a selection of good quality furnishings, antiques, artwork, decorative accessories, lighting, and custom items in an atmosphere that is unique and exciting, and to bring good accessible interior design to the public. Verve is a boutique retail shop that also offers full interior design services for the customer who needs it.
What do you like best about your business?
First and foremost, I am so very fortunate to have great people to work with. We are as close to each other as most families. It’s a joy to come to work every day and work with my staff in a creative environment. We share ideas, we laugh, we cry, we have genuine love for each other and our clients, and I think that is reflected in the work we do. As designers, we have found that in helping clients with their homes, we learn so much from them and about them. Every day and every job is different. We become friends with so many of our clients, and long after their project is finished our relationships remain strong. We have had some clients for so long that we are now helping their grown children with their homes. How fun is that!
What is something people would be surprised to learn
I am known for my love of clean lines and neutral colors. I always like to start there for the best block to build on, and then, with time, add the layers. However, most would be shocked that my secret favorite color is purple!