By ROYCE ARMSTRONG
WIGGINS - A Wiggins home designer has won national acclaim by listening to customers and keeping abreast of building trends, the company president said.
"We offer personal service to help people find the perfect house plans," said Debra Purvis, founder and president of DesignHouse Inc. "We do make changes to our own plans. Women are fewer in this industry, but I believe it helps us design better homes."
DesignHouse recently was named runner-up for the Most Marketable Designer - Builder Sales award presented by Hanley Wood, a business-to-business media and information company.
"The house plan industry is very competitive," Purvis said. "Our challenge is to do the very best we can to provide plans our clients are looking for."
Purvis, who primarily designs country, traditional and Southern style home plans, said one of the hottest trends now is Traditional Neighborhood Design.
"We are developing more TND style plans," Purvis said. "The style makes people feel warm and comfortable... like grandmas' house but with the modern floor plans of today."
Purvis said that in one form or another, her entire family is involved in the industry. Her husband is a real estate broker and her daughter will be a junior at the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall, studying interior design.
She said her company's continued success will come through "listening to our clients' wants and needs.
"And looking to the Lord for the direction in our future. He has opened lots of doors for us."
Originally published April 13, 2008 in The Hattiesburg American