Healthy, loving family relationships play a crucial role in preserving and enhancing a person’s happiness and overall sense of well-being. Spending quality time with family nurtures these close connections and boosts happiness. Yet many people find their jobs so time-consuming that they don’t have as much time as they’d like to spend with family. Mary Kellejian and Kelli Kellejian-Barrett have found a wonderful way to balance their careers and families: by joining together as a mother-daughter team and going into business together.
Mary and her daughter Kelli joined forces in 2013 to revamp and relaunch Mary’s interior design business Polo Bay Interiors. Mary is an accredited ASID designer who started Polo Bay Interiors as a design studio in Polo Plaza in Del Mar in 1991. In 2012, Mary was appointed the president of the San Diego chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Meanwhile, her daughter Kelli had followed her in her mother’s footsteps and pursued a parallel career path in interior design. Kelli worked at a large design firm in San Diego, and even served as recording secretary for ASID’s San Diego chapter during Mary’s time as president.
In 2013, Kelli and Mary decided to make a change, so they joined forces and teamed up together. After 21 years at Polo Plaza, Mary packed up shop and moved Polo Bay Interiors to a new location on Cedros Ave, in the heart of Solana Beach’s famous Design District. Kelli left her position at the firm, and they teamed up to re-launch Polo Bay Interiors at its new home. They also started a brand-new adventure just down the street: Polo Bay Consignments, a boutique featuring new, gently used and vintage furniture and accessories, beautifully displayed to demonstrate their elegant flair for decor.
When starting a business, it’s important to choose a partner you know and trust well. And, of course, whom do you know better or trust more than your own mom? Kelli has found her mother Mary to be the perfect choice of partner. “It comes naturally. Our personalities complement and balance each other well. It’s been a blessing for the both of us,” she says.
Mary concurs, “It’s a great pleasure working with my daughter. I respect her input and creative ideas. Kelli has a terrific sense of style!” They each have their own unique tastes and aesthetics, but are united by a deep respect for and knowledge of all styles and types of design. Their diverse and eclectic tastes drive their creativity and help them provide clients with a wide range of styles and design choices.
Mary and Kelli play off each other’s strengths and specialties. “I really excel in working with fabrics, pulling together the different materials for furniture, pillows and drapery treatments,” says Mary. “I enjoy playing with patterns, textures and colors.” Then she gives her hand-picked textiles over to Kelli, who handles all the window coverings, which has been her particular area of expertise for the past 10 years.
At Polo Bay Interiors, Mary and Kelli’s goal is to “learn your story, your style, your vision; then design your home accordingly.” They listen to their clients in order to create a beautiful space that truly represents their client’s needs, personality and style. At Polo Bay Interiors, they provide full-service work in all areas of interior design, both residential and commercial: color selection, concept drawings, window coverings, space planning, custom furniture design and furniture and accessory selection.
They set up shop for Polo Bay Consignments just down the street from their design studio on Cedros Ave. At Polo Bay Consignments, you can find an eclectic mix of elegant, retro and rustic finds, beautifully arranged in carefully-curated spaces. Kelli shares some of her favorite vintage finds on Instagram @polo_bay, such as elegant South African art and furniture, beachy decor made from real seashells, antique French books, and fun retro items, like a series of collector’s plates featuring pictures of M*A*S*H, Dynasty and The Wizard of Oz.
The women of Polo Bay stay involved in the local community, and are active in the Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Cedros Design District Association. They also support local charities such as Rancho Coastal Humane Society, Helen Woodward Animal Center, Wounded Warriors and San Diego Nice Guys by donating overflow items from Polo Bay Consignments every month.
To spend more quality time with this mother-daughter duo, visit their website, PoloBayInteriors.com or visit Polo Bay Interiors and Polo Bay Consignments on Cedros Ave in Solana Beach.