STEPHANIE PLYMALE, executive director
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.
Since purchasing the school, Stephanie has successfully moved the school to a new location on N. Mississippi Ave – one of the most up and coming neighborhoods in Portland. She has redeveloped the entire certification program and enhanced the curriculum with new content and the most current industry standards. She created computer aided courses to teach students how to do proper floor plans, elevations and renderings – a highly valued skill in the industry. Her extensive travels through Europe has given her a richer knowledge of the history of design and inspired her to make this opportunity available for students in the Master Program that she has created.
She has also created a beautiful brand which she is very proud of and supports with a strong marketing strategy. Her hard work has not gone unnoticed and she has received great reviews from students, alumni, the community of designers and media outlets.
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.