Working in Clark County: Interior Designer Victoria Bradford

By Mary Ricks, Columbian news assistant




Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columb...; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Victoria Bradford worked in the banking business but had a passion for design. She went back to school to study interior design. She started her new career by remodeling private yachts. These days, she works on custom home projects, commercial design and color consultation. She believes she should always leave things better than what she found them. “Design is about the client, not me,” Bradford says. “I love making my clients happy.”

Name: Victoria Bradford, interior designer.

Job/employer: Owner of Comfort Interiors Inc., 901 Main St.

Age: 54.

Professional background: I worked in the banking business at Key Bank for a few years. After my husband died when I was 34, I went back to school. I had always had a passion for design, so I studied interior design at Marylhurst University. After graduation, I started my career in remodeling private yachts. In 2000, the opportunity came to buy Comfort Interiors.

Dean Irvin, who owned Comfort Interiors, donated it to SWIFT (Southwest Washington Independent Forward Thrust), a nonprofit group. To get the maximum exposure for the sale, SWIFT decided to sell the business on eBay and use the auction proceeds to create an endowment to benefit downtown Vancouver. Bradford needed more room and found a good building in a good location downtown.

What she does: I do custom home projects, commercial design and color consultation. Because of the wide array of products available, it is a good time to be in the business. Everyone can afford good design, you just need to know how to put it together. Design is about the client, not me. I ask a lot of questions and try to find something that reflects their personality.

Residence: Cimarron.

A way to describe yourself: Enterprising, visionary.

Most rewarding part of job: Making people happy. There is nothing like finishing a project and seeing the smile on a client's face. When they say, "This is so much better than I thought it would be," it makes me happy.

Most challenging part of job: Time management. Having enough time to do it all.

Personal/business philosophy: Always leave things better than you found them.

Something you would like to do over: I can't think of anything. I don't live with a lot of regret. I do wish I had started ballroom dancing earlier because I love it.

Best feature of my community: I think we should be most proud of the schools in our county. We are lucky with the schools here, and I am proud to have been a part of it.

What would make your community a better place: If more people became involved. So few people vote. People should engage in the community.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: I am a fan of Brewed Awakenings. I like Main Event because it is close by and they know us.

Hobbies: Dancing, reading and wine tasting.

Volunteer activities: I am a member of the board of Evergreen Public Schools, Fort Vancouver National Trust advisory board, a member of the Downtown Association and one of the founders of the Quality Education Coalition.

Favorite travel destination: Italy. I feel a total kinship with the country. A trip to the coast is fun, too.

Most interesting book in last 12 months: "The Aviator's Wife" by Melanie Benjamin and "Every Child Every Day" by David Levithan.

Most interesting play/movie/arts event: I saw "12 Years a Slave" and it was pretty powerful.

One thing you want to do this year: I am excited about our store expansion offering some new lines of locally made furniture.

Something you want to do within five years: I would like to be more involved in philanthropic activities.

Person you'd most like to meet: Aretha Franklin.