STEPHANIE THORNTON PLYMALE, president & ceo

Heritage School of Interior Design is owned and operated by Stephanie Plymale, a design industry leader and experienced entrepreneur. In February 2014 she purchased the school and has utilized the rich history and success of Heritage to transform the program. She has integrated the artistic and creative elements and principles of design and its history with the business and technology of design. To support this transformation, she has developed several new courses, which provide students with the well-rounded education they need to succeed in the industry.

Stephanie is a loving and passionate mother of three children. Her professional background includes 18 years as an independent interior designer with experience in commercial design, residential design, staging for realtors, and custom window treatments and furnishings. The knowledge she gained helped her to grow not only as a designer, but also as a leader and business owner. She also worked as the lead in-home designer for Calico Home where she was a top-producing designer in the national chain of over 90 design centers.

In addition to balancing her family and design career, she was also a top-level competitive tennis player. Although she did not have the opportunity to play tennis growing up, she strove for excellence and was determined to compete against those who had played their whole lives. Her motivation and diligence to train everyday helped her to achieve this goal and she proceeded to play competitively throughout Oregon for 15 years.

After a successful design career, and a thorough understanding of the value of hard work, her passion turned from working as an Interior Designer to empowering and inspiring others. It was soon after this realization that she was given the opportunity to purchase Heritage School of Interior Design, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. She had worked closely with her husband in the recent past to start Clinicient, a software for physical therapy, which started in their home at their kitchen table and grew to be multimillion dollar company. The leadership and marketing skills she developed while supporting the growth of Clinicient gave her the knowledge and confidence she needed to take Heritage to new levels.

Stephanie is committed to the growth and expansion of Heritage School of Interior Design. In 2018 the second location opened in Denver, Colorado, and in 2019 the third location will be opening in Seattle, Washington in the Seattle Design Center. Each location is strategically chosen and is welcomed by the existing design community. As the school continues to expand, the Heritage curriculum is transforming, with a vision of having the highest level of technology and best instructors in the field. 

Stephanie is an active volunteer trainer and speaker for Dress for Success Oregon where she helps to prepare the women in our community for a career. The experience she has had with these women significantly impacted her realization that she thrives on helping individuals grow personally and professionally so that they can achieve their dreams. Stephanie translates this determination to Heritage with her commitment to providing ongoing support and career opportunities for students and alumni.

Visit our blog to learn more about Stephanie’s story.

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